Struggles in life with my deaf identity


Personally in my perspective, all people have different struggles. This struggle is about my deafness with my deaf identity regarding of employment to seek. Being educated with good academic degrees and professional experiences, usually in life there is always going to have lots of competition when it is about to seek an employment with a salary. Competition in labor market plays a big role and it is sometimes to face unfairness among the society especially for persons with disabilities.

The deaf and deaf-blind community is to experience in a struggle of life when facing the issues of oppression and discrimination worldwide. How this issue applies to my own experience? Each time, I go to various interviews, it is normal to feel nervous in the beginning. I always tried to think positively in a way to overcome the worry about how to be able to understand when communicating with hearing people during the interview. Luckily enough, I am well aware of knowing in how to access in understanding better the communication with the employer. Of course, it is the common sense that I ask them to speak slowly and if I am unable to understand, I request them to show the written questions they already have wrote down. Sometimes, I experience misunderstanding. Regarding of my disability, I portray myself as a deaf woman and educated with degrees combined with international professional experiences, although some perceive me that I am not well enough suited for a job due to their view of seeing the resume I have less professional experiences. On the other side, it might be the disability to be the problem due to that they might not see me in how I can contribute myself to the respective organization according to their mission/vision. Disability is always an obstacle to face among the hearing people and that obstacle needs to be learned in how to prevent it, so deaf/deaf-blind with hearing people can altogether adapt easily regarding of the cultural aspects. Five years of being unemployed is due to a total struggle regarding of this issue. Unlike my case for the US, it is that the country looks to be advanced with better protection of American Disability Act (ADA) with Rehabilitation Act, however the NGOs/companies have interest only in hiring people matching with their profile to the respective needs suited to follow goals/missions of the NGOs/companies. Of course, in order to land a job, one needs to be very well sociable with communicative skills to build good professional networking with the employees of the various NGOs/UN agencies/companies/governmental agencies. Networking to produce is a powerful tool to have when seeking an employment. Without networking, it is a lot harder to make it in landing a job in a short time.

Regarding of discrimination/oppression happening in Bulgaria among the deaf/deaf-blind, the employers currently do not have the formal practice that is applicable to them. I am speaking in fact that when I did apply for a job in Sofia, Bulgaria and in all cases when I receive a notice about an interview via phone call, I encountered a huge struggle. In general, the employers normally use the phone call to make to the candidate, but never send in an email which to my opinion is very much to represent in total professionalism than it be via a phone call. Due to my deafness, of course I did inform that I was not able to hear very well and I respectively asked them to send me an email about the interview information. They did hang up by saying we cannot do that and it has to be done only via a phone call. With this kind of experience including the incident when my grandmother did her best to act as an interpreter informing the employ I am deaf in which it lead to the conclusion in quickly to hang up. This situation have made me to realize how much oppressed is my country with total discrimination toward deaf/deaf-blind people. Bulgaria has high rates of deaf/deaf-blind people being unable to find a job due to the oppression and discrimination issues. All deaf and deaf-blind people have all various kinds of qualifications with all degrees, except that they cannot hear. They can read and write including to do so many good things for the society. They can work for any profession without any problems. The US has everything including to have a deaf doctor/dentist plus deaf lawyer. Being the deaf woman in my life and with this pride regarding of the deaf identity, I believe I can do anything in contributing well to the society in the field of human rights/international law and disability rights. To this point, I am now Legal Coordinator following my dreams to contribute well on equal basis to the society.

Let’s talk about the deaf identity regarding of employment to seek. Yes, I am proud to be deaf because being deaf is awesome to represent its own culture with American Sign Language/International Sign Language. Truly in life, the deaf culture with the identity of deafness has never been to portray or represent the form of disability. It is to show as a minority community that is different than in any other minority community. Deaf community believes that rather than having a disability, its members are merely “different”. The same applies to deaf-blind. That said, the key characteristics of deaf identity and deaf culture are the positive self-identification with the conception to show as a natural and positive part of spectrum in the social sphere among the community in generality. The deaf identity is not about the power to possess within the deaf community. It is the cultural conception to be viewed and many deaf people from the community is fighting to emerge that with a true advocacy to teach the meaning of it with the significance of using the sign language. It is that the sign language gives the main significance as the distinguishing feature to define the deaf community with its own culture. The deaf including the deaf-blind people are part of  linguistic minority than to portray as part of disability community. It is the truth to be viewed. Many hearing people have the kind of mindset viewing the deafness as some kind of pity. This behavior should not view as a total pity toward the deaf/deaf-blind community. Hearing people need to learn in viewing this perception that deaf is not disease and most definitely not disabled to be viewed. Labeling disability for the deaf/deaf-blind is all about politics. Why it is all about the politics? The stigma associated with the word “disability” is medical viewed that deaf/deaf-blind people are not able to socialize and be fit well in the community to contribute like the rest in the society. It is related with the matter about social and cultural construct build by the outsiders. To rephrase the concept of disability – I am saying this term is very fluid. Then, what is the disability according to us? In generality, people tend to conjure the notion viewing it be something related with physical perception that is missing. In truth to be told, deaf/deaf-blind are able in many ways possible, and they are not to be disabled meaning not able to do whatever it is. The barrier accordingly to the attitude and social power of structure need to be changed and fixed.  The struggles they have in their destiny is to represent with the social stigma that face issues in which they are always trying with their efforts to promote deaf/deaf-blind identity in friendly manner within the labor marker to compete well on equal basis with hearing community.

On the other side, the notion of disability is about to provide with concept to have a total protection with legal rights and that’s the  ADA and Rehabilitation Act. Both represent to provide equal basis for equal opportunities for people with disability with a protection from all kinds of discrimination. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(UN CRPD) also supports that including to provide a full spectrum of rights available for persons with disability altogether with the human rights framework. The US law on disability is more to involve with legal action and resistance while the UN CRPD is about to provide quotas without the legal actions being mentioned to enforce for people with disabilities. However the differences between these legal frameworks, I am drawing with an attention here that all deaf/deaf-blind people are able human beings and have the same rights as normal people. Deaf/deaf-blind people are in fact to “Enable the Disabled and be able to Translate Disability into Ability, so it means that everyone is capable in the reality on equal basis

Deaf/DeafBlind Rights in Bulgaria


To address and to combat disability rights issues in Bulgaria, we must honestly reveal the truth of why it is still persisting to occur to have no improvements since the communism has collapsed in 1989. No activities were ever involved to represent about improving the disability rights till four years ago it has started. So far from the year of 2014, the activities to improve the disability rights for deaf/deafblind remain to be the same with no big change to happen. Being observer and witnessing the true facts going on in Bulgaria, I am saying it is time to bring with a big change involving the true activism. Passivity with no activism is not going to help to improve with a big change on the disability rights for deaf/deafblind community.

Disability rights issues for the deaf and deafblind communities for the whole country is most related with the legal matters regarding of recognizing officially the Bulgarian Sign Language, the educational access via sign language interpreters, employment access with security being provided with disability rights law and health care access to information/communication via sign language interpreters. Poverty and disability reinforce each other, contributing to increased vulnerability and exclusion. We have nothing including the necessary resources needed to provide. Bulgarian Sign Language is very poor with no linguistic analysis being provided, there are no good quality of sign language interpreters, oralisim continues to exist in all deaf high schools without sign language signing being provided and no bilingual education for all deaf/deafblind children. Sign language and bilingualism without oralism and good quality of sign language interpretation are all the main cores the community needs for every single life.

Deaf/deafblind people in Bulgaria experience discrimination and oppression every single day. The issue is not what the deaf/deafblind people see in the West as well as in the US. It is being said in this way because the discrimination and the oppression is unnecessary to have projected toward the deaf/deafblind community. The society in whole need to learn and accept the deaf/deafblind people including their identity with their culture. All those in that community have so many talents to share, to contribute within the society and be useful for the society except that they cannot hear plus cannot hear and see at the same time. Parents of the deaf/deafblind young adult need to learn and believe in them that they can do it in achieving to study whatever major field they are interested at the university. No parents should ever say NO to their own children that they cannot study for example in LAW. Being deaf and being deafblind don’t prevent them to study LAW. Studying Law or any other major is for everyone. Within the UN CRPD, all deaf/deafblind people including all other disabled people have the opportunity to participate in their societies and to enjoy their civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights on an equal basis with others.

Within this community, the fact is that we do not have a strong implementation from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) into local law when Bulgaria did ratify for it officially. This matter remained to stall for so many years without even anyone to give a care that it is important for that community to have an ideal protection with powerful law for disability rights. The Bulgarian government including the experts in the field of disability rights mainly those who are deaf/deafblind should be involved to participate in providing a guidance of how the law regarding of the UN CRPD need to be implemented. It is very good idea to have specific law established for disability rights that explains and provide the provisions about the right to accessibility services with total participation in the society that involves to have the equal bases with others. This is the idea applying for an example the US has and that’s the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Only the deaf/deafblind are the true experts for this matter and they can do it. Importantly, they know well the deaf culture and sign language in order to understand the needs the deaf/deafblind community shall meet accordingly to the UN CRPD. “Overlooking and ignoring the plight of disabled people is not an option that an acceptable theory of justice can have”, a notable thinker said. Deaf/deafblind people are part of the disability rights group and are human beings with full rights!

Disabled Migrants in Bulgaria

Honduran migrants, part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S., are seen during a new leg of their travel in Esquipulas

Persons with disabilities make up around 15 % of the global population, and comprise a significant minority of refugees and migrants. The same applies for Bulgaria. Statistically to look, lots of refugees and migrants have fled their home countries due to the continuous conflicts with civil wars that never ceased to stop. Most of them have fled from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and some countries from North Africa. One can speculate that around 3.5 to 5 million of those who are displaced are displaced becoming into refugees/migrants. All those that have become displaced/refugees/migrants often experience to have a forced migration and most of  them that are disabled have experienced a migratory journey with poverty transitioning, stripped of family/support and survival being compromised due to environmental and structural factors. Even though, some of them are unable to flee leaving behind in their home country due to the difficulty to make movements without having any support/assistance.

Despite the scale of forced human movement regarding of their disability, the camps for all refugees/migrants especially was not at all equipped to provide the necessary needs for health care, educational purposes and so on. Witnessing to see the whole picture, it is related to the facts that many usually have issues faced with discriminations. The disabled refugees/migrants normally hide in their rooms and never show up to use the services provided at the camps due to the shame a single family feels. Being ashamed of the disability should never be presented because showing the person’s disability is to portray the real identity related with the culture. Being disabled is a true identity and that’s the beauty of it! No pity should be attached for it.

Cultures, the refugees/migrants that possess coming from Afghanistan normally experience a total transition with shock due to the lack of education and the lack of basic understanding to have regarding of what it means to have the right to health care, educational formality to study and understanding the concept of disability rights. The issues are tantamount and all have difficulties to project in knowing where they are as Bulgaria is not yet like the West of Europe. The country is not yet open to diversity and inclusion to have despite of different nationalities, cultures and religions. Discrimination and deprivation of rights are the obstacles they constantly have faced including the disabled. All displaced people including the refugees and migrants have shown to experience fear, untold tragedies, violence, death and all have shown signs of Post-Traumatic Disorder (PSTD). Most have arrived in Bulgaria are under 18 years old and traveled all by themselves without parents being presented. The camps in the capital of Sofia lack to provide the psychological therapies to the migrants due to the lack of professional psychologists.

Even though, Bulgaria has signed to some aspects accordingly to provide to the migrants asylum but it has not ratified officially the UN Convention on Migrants’ Rights.  The situation is pretty much political. Regarding of human rights framework and to the international law, it is laid down with obligations which all States are bound to respect all citizens within the State’s jurisdiction. This means that all migrants, regardless of their status, are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. It also applies for all migrants under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The country which I speak here about should start to implement the UN Convention on Migrants’ Rights into their local stature and start respecting the cores stated about migrants’ rights especially for the disabled displaced/refugees and migrants. All deserve to have equal respect with equal treatment and protections being provided.

Nature is changing its rules

climate change march 2

Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Washington DC and across the globe last Saturday for the People’s Climate March which is to be the third annual large-scale climate change protest. Following last week’s March for Science, on this day which it was April 29th also marks President Trump’s 100th day in office. Since he became president, his administration has managed only several recent actions to weaken environmental protections on air and water, and to enable fossil fuel exploitation on public lands and waters. The march is intended to apply pressure to those in power so they might act seriously on climate change related with UN Paris Climate Change Agreement and start protecting the environment accordingly as agreed per se on this above mentioned accord. Many scientists and climate change advocates often mention that climate change is real and is deepening Horn of Africa’s hunger crisis due to recurring droughts. It is also affecting the immigrants, indigenous people, persons with disabilities, laborers, coastal dwellers, and children who will live to see the effects of such folly. On the other side, there is evidence showing that climate change has pushed the Arctic into a new state. It is that in the past 30 years, the minimum coverage of summer ice has fallen by half; its volume has fallen by three quarters. Right now, scientists point out that the Arctic Ocean will be largely ice-free in summer of 2040. The hard truth is that the Arctic Ocean as it is known today is almost certainly gone. It is serious matter that we need to start taking care of. We need to act seriously accordingly with the UN Paris Climate Change Agreement and scientists need to find a way of how to prevent causing even more further the cause in shrinking the ice in this fast manner. Actually, that state of the Arctic which at the moment is such that humans cannot simply undo climate change. They will only have to adapt to it.


Migratory pressures in Europe

migration crisis 6

    The search for safety, dignity and a better life is the main reason due to which people are leaving their homes as their countries are affected with persecution, extreme poverty, conflicts and climate change. More than 1 million refugees and migrants have arrived in the European Union, the large majority of them fleeing from war and terror in Syria and other troubled countries. Thousands of persons have died attempting to reach the EU. Almost 90% of the refugees and migrants have paid organized criminals and smugglers to get them across borders. It is even that Europe has received more legal immigrants than the US. The migration issue has surfaced to portray significant repercussions for European governments and the EU. Europe has systematically tried to impose a system of deterrence that closes borders and outsources border control to neighboring countries. However, Europe’s approach has failed to adequately support people who have arrived onto the European shores and help them provide human dignity. Since 2015, Germany and Sweden along with other Western countries have realized the European solidarity in accepting more refugees than the rest of EU combined.  It is to this point that countries in Central and Eastern European are particularly vocal opponents, fearing that the newly arrived migrants and refugees, many of whom are Muslim, could alter the primarily Christian identities of their countries and of Europe. Should Europe start detaining the asylum and vulnerable seekers and refuges when trying to impose border restrictions within the EU’s frontier regions such as Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain?  Within the European Union, the agenda on the migration issue among the leaders has created deep division involving with populist movements due to taking advantage of the fears and tensions stirred up by this phenomenon. European leaders believe that enhancing even further the border control would help regain with success the control as the flow of migrants to drop dramatically. It is clear that Germany, Sweden and other Western countries are the hotspots for migrants and refugees to seek a new life with good resettlement, but these countries start to feel worn out in providing assistance to them while the Eastern European countries clearly do not provide any of these to them. The anxieties regarding of their fear and tensions, Europe should be open to refugees and migrants to integrate freely into the European culture and societies. It is true that Europe needs immigration as an injection of youth and dynamism as it helps to provide input for economic growth and help to offset unfavorable demographic development (such as aging populations and shrinking workforces). My point is that Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Bosna and Herzegovina, Serbia and others should be involved in accepting and helping to provide resettlement with asylum to all refugees and migrants. It is all about having to involve a balance within all European member states and helping each other to cope in regaining the migration pressure under control.  A fundamental change is needed in the EU’s approach to migration – one that respects international law and human rights, expands safe and regular routes for people to travel to Europe, implements fair, transparent and efficient asylum procedures, and ensures development aid is used for reducing poverty and inequality, not for reducing mobility. To my point, I reiterate of abiding by the principle that people must not be sent back to countries where they may face torture, prosecution or threats to their life. It is important for the European Union to commit with political will in building a single asylum and migration system that establishes safe and legal means of migration.

Immigration ban in the US


    Protestors Rally At JFK Airport Against Muslim Immigration Ban 

    Donald Trump is democratically elected president and the United States is a democracy. But the experts, lawyers and scholars caution that the revised immigration ban imposed by the current president in the US shows xenophobic policy towards Muslim and it is blatantly discriminatory. He has effectively shut America’s door to anyone- including refugees from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. These six countries have two main things in common: they are predominantly Muslim, and many of their citizens are trying to seek asylum abroad to escape serious human rights violations like persecution, indiscriminate bombing, and torture. Does Donald Trump’s Immigration ban breach international law?  This ban definitely is illegal and “mean spirited”. The experts question the point that the more this law is going to attempt to increase deportation, then the greater the extent of profiling is going to be. Clearly, Trump’s order appears to pose violation accordingly to the several international treaties ratified by the US as well as some provisions of which have been incorporated into the US law and is cited as binding by the US Supreme Court. Every country as is stated accordingly to the Status of Refugees and other international human rights law that it has the obligation to protect refugees against abuses and those facing persecution. So, to this point, it is required as is stated in the UN Refugee Convention that the US provide protection and safe haven to those that face persecution.  Accordingly to the news published in the New York Times, it is said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated about 20, 000 refugees from all over the world would be definitely affected immediately by this ban. My point is that the long-standing U.S. policy of welcoming refugees has generally created win-win situation in which it has saved the lives of the most vulnerable people in the world and have turn enriched and strengthened their new societies with better lifestyle having good job, educational and health care access. It provided positive outcome and otherwise it is proven to show that illegal or legal immigration truly bring real benefits to the supply side of the Americans. Many economists and lawmakers agree that immigration definitely is beneficial and brings good results for the economy as well as it is the source of labor-force growth. Removing the 7 million unauthorized workers or illegal immigrants would reduce the employment as stated in an article as it is to be by an amount similar to that experienced during the Great Recession. The US being as democratically representative country, it should therefore respect the international law as well as the US law about immigration and refugee status and continue welcoming people from other countries and share in the responsibility of welcoming and resettling those who flee oppression. We need to challenge everything that represents in this immigration ban.


The inconvenient truth about the greening of human rights

The inconvenient truth about the greening of human rights


Often said among the scholars, experts and academics that environmental issue is human rights and there is interlinked relationship leading to have an issue with vigorous debate. The connection between human rights and the environment are critically important, but are often poorly understood. Why should environmental protection be treated as a human rights issue? Would the Paris agreement be enough? The environmental issues parallel brings plenty of social, economic and individual problems. Increasing environmental pollution threatens fundamental human rights and freedoms including the right to life. That is why the environmental issues are not only the environmental pollutions but also a threat to the basic human rights which are protected by constitution and international agreements.

There is one who said an important lesson in my life. My grandfather values the meaning of life related with the environment. He once mentioned that we all living on this Earth need to learn how to preserve the nature and the resources provided for life which is the paper, water and food. Being a kid I could not understand the whole point when I overly had consumed the toilet paper filling up to the top of whole toilet. My grandfather has shouted at me giving me the point how important is the preservation of our planet Earth that provide the essential support of life for the humanity.  Years go by and I started to learn the importance of our life for this planet Earth.

Accordingly to this point, I would say as Bismarck would quote “politics is not an exact science”. We need an action with a care to preserve the environment and start protecting the human rights. Otherwise, this is where the realism comes in saying many people will have to adapt to a hotter Earth and some of them will need help. The fact is that climate change disproportionately affects vulnerable people, especially in countries with limited resources and fragile ecosystems. It also damages food supplies, spreading disease and creating refugees, and it is poised to become the most massive human rights violation the world has ever seen. We need to consider thinking about the vulnerable poor countries that experience drought, disasters, and heavy heat leaving them no food left to farm with, diseases and migration to big cities and other countries. We need to face the present reality and act upon it.

The good news is that we have created officially the so called document “Paris climate agreement”. I wonder when asking myself a question about this matter wondering whether it would be enough to save our planet from climate change. No one can say for sure. The Paris climate agreement, by contrast is sufficiently loose in its structure and modest in its aims to be able to withstand the countries with biggest carbon emitter. All 195 countries signed to this accord agreed therein to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere so as to limit dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and the maximum rise of 2C was established as the goal of international climate policy. The best is to set a strong policy that would help to sustain the environment which is the carbon tax. Would it be sufficient to prevent further climate damage? A stronger policy and a powerful law is always the best tool to have set for governments, companies and institutions that regulate greenhouse gases.  A scholar said “a human rights perspective on climate change essentially serves to reinforce political pressure coming from the more vulnerable developing state”. On the view set out here, I argue that climate change is regarded in international law as a common concern of humanity, and thus as an issue in respect of which all states have the legitimate concern.