Bulgaria PDF Print E-mail

1. Inclusion in Gerneral Education

According to the new Law for Protection, Rehabilitation and Social Integration of People with Disabilities in force from 01.01.2005, the Ministry of Education an Science must provide children with special educational needs (SEN), disabilities and/ or chronic diseases in Bulgaria with:

  • Supportive environment for integrated/inclusive education in all educational levels (pre-school, primary and secondary school, higher - middle school, professional education);
  • Early hearing, speech, logopedical, psycological rehabilitation, rehabilitation for blind and visually impaired children.
  • Textbooks, training aids, modern technology and technical devices for education of children with disabilities.
  • Professional education for children with disabilities.

At the regional inspectorates of Ministry of Education and Science, interdisciplinary teams are developed for the complex pedagogical evaluation and for integration of children with disabilities in general education.

Resource centers supporting inclusive education are also created at the Ministry of Education and Science.
The state educational requirements concernig children and students with SEN and/or chronic diseases were changed in 2002. Now, these students have to be integrated in general educational system. Schools are obliged to accept children with SEN and/or chronic diseases. Only if there are no any possibilities for education in regular state schools and by written request of parents, children with SEN enter special schools or institutions. (Educational Act, 2002).

Persons with acquired disabilities at the age of 16 years or older the have right to additional adapted general educational or/and professional educational programmes, as well as specialised programs for rehabilitation free of charge.

High schools and universities are obligated to provide supportive environment, special technical aids, appropriate study materials and additional teaching help, supporting the process of education and assessment of people with disabilities.
Candidate-students with disabilities have an advantage to enter universities if they participate succesfully in entrance competitions.( High Education Law)
Students with disabilities get social grants, pensions and some other alleviations.They don`t pay fees in state high schools and universities.
Persons with a disability have the right to receive inclusive professional education (initial professional qualification, extension of qualification, long-lasting education, retraining)
Parents of children with disabilities receive financial support at the rate of 70% of the minimal guaranteed monthly income.

Disabled people have are entitled to financial support for assistence when they visit state, public, healthcare, educational or other institution.
According the Law for Physical Education and Sport (amended in 2000 and 2002), physical education, sport and tourism are an integral part of education in pre-school, general, special and professional educational institutions. The educational programmes of Ministry of Education and Science are concerted with the Mynistry of Youth and Sport.

Positive changes in Bulgarian legislation are quite new and reality in schools is still far from its requirement and recommendations. Not so many general education shools are accessible for children with disabilities. There are a lot of other problems for inclusion like unadequate state financing and special equipment support, teachers' knowledge and formation, parents and teachers' attitude towards disability and special needs of children, lack of information. A lot of parents still prefer to send their children to special schools.

2. Inclusion in Physical education

Most of children with disabilities in general schools are excused from regular physical educaton classes. There are some good attempts at inclusive physical education, but they may be defined as wonderful exceptions from the common practice.
In special schools for visually and hearing impaired children the state requirements (about number of PE classes per week and schoolsports) are fulfilled.
In many of special schools for children with motor disabilities, still only physiotherapist are employed
Special schools students participate regularly in schoolsport chamionships in different kinds of sports. There is traditionally a strong competition between schools from diferrent towns.
The Bulgarian Paralympic Association and the Bulgarian Deaf Sport Federation support and organise schoolsports events for children with disabilities in special schools.
In 2005 children from some special schools (blind, deaf) participated in regional sports events for general schools students.
In last few years in Bulgaria a variety of projects were started, supported by EU funds or by single European countries, by governmental and nongovernmental organisations, directed to integration of children with disabilities through adapted physical and sports activities.

Inclusion in Sports and Physical Activity

Government supported organisation for persons with disabilities are the Bulgarian Paralympic Association and the Bulgarian Deaf Sport Federation.
Also other organizations receive financial support such as sport federations and clubs for projects and programmes for the development of sport for disabled.
In Bulgaria there are no special normative regulation regarding integration of people with disabilities in sport.
The Law for Physical Education and Sport (changed several times in last years) regularises sport for people with disabilities:

  • The state recognises physical activity, sport and toursm as an importent internal human need and all Bulgarian citizens have right to maintain and improve theire physical abilities.
  • Physical activity and sport for people with disability are aimed to improve of their quality of life, rehabilitation and social integration. Requiste conditions for sport practicing in all its variety for people with disabilities have to be provided.
  • The Ministry of Youth and Sport supports and finances sport preparation and participation of athletes with disabilities in Paralympic games, World and European championships.
  • Athletes with disabilities use state and municipal sports facilities free of charge. People with disabilities do not pay tickets for sports competitions.
  • Planning, design and building of sports facilities is consistent with requirements of access for people with disabilities.
  • Sports facilities must provide access and afford opportunities for sport activiy of persons with disabilities.
  • The budget of Ministry of Youth and Sport funds: physical activity, sports and social tourism programmes and projects for peopele with disabilities and sport for all; financial awards and stimulations for medal-holders and well presented disable athletes in big European and World sports events; social support of athletes with disabilities.

Legislation regarding inclusion of adapted sports organisations in general sports organisations.
In Bulgaria legislation regarding inclusion of adapted sports organization in general sports organisation does not exist yet.
Some sports federation develope sport for people with disabilities in separated clubs or in inclusive settings (badminton, tennis, curling, aerobics, cycling ....)

Employment of Youngsters with a disability

Empoyment of people with disabilities in Bulgaria may be in inclusive and in special settings.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Agency of Employment develop and carry out national programmes encouraging enployment and giving people with disabilities equal opportunities for participation in the labour market. These programmes stimulate employers to engage persons with disabilities.

Employers are obligated by the Law for Integration of People with Disabilities (2005) to adapt labour evironment to person`s with disability needs from the moment of engagement or from disability acquirement if the person was already employed.
Empoyers may stand for funding from Agency for People with Disabilities for:

  • improvement of accessibility
  • adaptation of place of work to disabled persons' needs
  • technical aids and equipment for person with disability

Employers that engage people with disabilities enjoy some benefits (30% reduction of all kind of insurance installments).

Specialized enterprises and co-operations for people with disabilities also profit from benefits according to actual Bulgarian legislation. They have to meet some requirements concerning the relative part of people with disabilities from the staff (at least 20% Blind ore visual impaired in specialised enterprises and co-operations for Blind; at least 30% Deaf or hard to hearing people in enterprises for Deaf; in enterprises for people with other kind of disability - not less then 50% from the total number of the staff).
There are possibilities for additional funding for programmes and projects of people with disabilities or of specialised enterprises and co-operations of people with disabilities.

http://www.inclusivesports.org/countries/bulgaria.htm

 

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