site.btaSofia University Hosts Event on Bulgarian Sign Language

Sofia University Hosts Event on Bulgarian Sign Language
Sofia University Hosts Event on Bulgarian Sign Language
An event on Bulgarian sign language takes place at Sofia University on February 26, 2024 (Sofia University Photo)

The Aula of the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia Monday hosted an event titled "Bulgarian Sign Language is Not to Be Missed". The meeting was organized by Deaf.bg, Fulbright Bulgaria, Sofia University, and Gallaudet University in the US, Sofia University said.

Participants with hearing impairments were joined by representatives of academia, the National Assembly, the Government, the Sofia Municipality, and the business community. They discussed why sign language makes people happy and why it is important that there is an undergraduate course in Bulgarian Sign Language Philology. The results of a first-of-its-kind study on the linguistic and cultural identity of young Bulgarians with hearing impairments were presented.

Attending the opening ceremony were Sofia University Rector Prof. Dr. Georgi Valchev, Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano, Fulbright Bulgaria Executive Director Angela Rodel, Sofia Mayor Vassil Terziev, representatives of the Education and Science Ministry, the academic community, and various organizations and institutions.

Cordano said that Bulgaria has been a strong leader in promoting Bulgarian sign language since the early 1980s. She noted that the tradition had started with a "unique sign language specific to Bulgaria, which is now officially recognized as a Bulgarian sign language". She thanked the Bulgarian deaf community for their efforts to make this happen.

"We are aware of the uphill battle the deaf community in Bulgaria has been fighting for years. And it is precisely because you are at Sofia University that I believe that we can walk through this difficult battle together. It will not be easy. It will not be quick, or at least not as quick as we expect it to be," Valchev said.

In her address, Rodel recalled that Gallaudet University was established in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln to support the learning of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the US. "It is an incredible opportunity that, through Fulbright, we can create similar educational opportunities for deaf people here in Bulgaria," she said. Rodel said that she and her organization are honored to be able to make this exchange between Gallaudet University and Sofia University possible.

/RY/

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By 07:05 on 25.04.2024 Today`s news

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