Христина Чопарова

Христина Чопарова

Christina Tchoparova

Dear Readers, we’ll introduce you to a very, very brave boy named Georgi Skordev. He lives in a world we know little to practically nothing about. Georgi was so eager to come into our world that he was born prematurely to his loving parents who had been excitedly expecting him. This caused him to lose his sight and hearing. He is both deaf and blind, but a very sensitive child. He’s a 10-year-old guy from a seaside city who has a lot to tell us. However, his stories have so far remained untold because his means of communication are still unknown to us and we can barely come to a reaching point. That’s why, his mother is speaking out for him.

I’ve known Maria Popova (or Maya, as the people close to her know her) for ages. But we’ve only managed to meet up in person along with Goshko at the International Conference ‘See the Silence, Hear the darkness’ held in Plovdiv last year. She was there to share her experience as a parent of a deafblind child. Unfortunately, we barely had the time to speak about all the matters that concern us. This is why I’m expressing my sincere gratitude on her willingness to speak out through We Hear You.

Last year, Mitko graduated from New Bulgarian University, getting bachelor’s degrees in Acting in Film & Television. With his active imagination, he would write scripts in hope that some day, he’ll see them playing on the screen. Mitko Yakimov is the founder of Foundation Deaf Unlimited Bulgaria, the organization doing the National research on Bulgarian Sign Language. He was also a part of the international judging committee of the Miss and Mister Deaf Stars 2017 beauty contest, which recently took place in Paris. Ladies and gentleman, allow me to present Mitko Yakimov!


Wednesday, 04 January 2017 02:00

Technologies that change the World

Dear readers, we welcome you into 2017! The year has started with many new things, but now I want to share with you one special news. The young creators of the AVA application, who I already informed you about, are included in the list of prestigious Forbes magazine for young entrepreneurs. They are included in the Forbes’ selection “30 under 30” for 2017 as a proactive young team, because their application AVA will change the history of the deaf and hard-of-hearing people. This mobile application offers easy communication in real time with conversion of speech into text in dynamic circumstances featuring more than two speakers. AVA already has fans throughout half of the world!

Dear friends and Readers of We Hear You, there are meetings and events that leave you with a feeling of fascination long after they’re over. I had the splendid chance to participate in a meeting with Amber Smock, director of the Access Living Disability Advocacy Institute in Chicago, Illinois. The event took place on 17th of February 2016 at the Faculty of Educational Studies of Sofia University ’St.Kliment Ohridski’. I was invited to attend the meeting as a media expert of the Union of the Deaf in Bulgaria. Mrs. Smock has a hearing loss herself and hosts educational events for special education teachers. She was invited to visit Bulgaria by members of the National Association of Special Education Teachers in Bulgaria (NASEDBg;  Bg abbr.:NARU). She asked to meet university teachers and students at the Speech-and-Hearing Rehabilitation Program, as well as members of the deaf community in Bulgaria. The event was organized by Associate Professor Dr. Neda Balkanska, head of the Speech-and-Hearing Rehabilitation Program at the Special Education and Speech Therapy Department of the Faculty of Educational Studies.

For his students and colleagues, he is just Richapd. He prefers the more informal style of communication. Holder of numerous prizes for contributions to the assistive technology for Deaf and deaf-blind people. Since 1971, he has been a professor at the University of Washington in Seatle (USA). I contacted him for an interview. Richard had a readiness to answer, even something more - showed a lively interest in the situation in Bulgaria about bulgarian sign languagge, technologues and legislations. Today I present to you, dear readers of "We hear you", the enriching and very useful dialogue with this remarkable person. Richard E. Ladner.

Dear readers, for many of the deaf peoples and those who prefer lip reading (hard-of-hearing people), it is a problem to participate in real time face to face conversations. When they talk to individuals or participate in a group conversation with many people involved, it is impossible to follow every person’s speech at the same time. How could people with hearing impairments possibly attend to every single word in a conversation? How can they be active participants, not just mute observers? How could those people spare themselves the discomfort or not miss out on the conversation? Those questions have held the attention of a team of perspective young people from different nations and cultures for a long time. These three young men created the project AVA – mobile application for communication without barriers.