About us

History

Association of Parents of Hearing Impaired Children (APHIC) was established on 23rd February 1992 in Sofia.  It was a natural process resulting from the increasing needs of the parents of the hearing impaired children to share their problems and to look for alternatives for integrating the children into the groups of children of their age. The main functions of the Association are to support the children and their families through organizing speech and hearing rehabilitation, trainings, cultural events, encouraging the children in visiting the public schools aiming at facilitating the process of their integration.

The first Management Council constituted of five members: Veneta Vassileva – Chairperson, Stoian Nikolov – Deputy Chairperson, Maria Mihailova – Secretary and Venelin Ivanov and Emilia Nankova - members.

The first steps of the Association were difficult and a lot of problems had to be overcome – lack of support and understanding from the civil society and from the Government. Thanks to the efforts made by all the members of the Association, as well as their personal input to the public awareness  - the society has become more cooperative and the number of people understanding the problems of the hearing impaired children and their families had become significantly higher. The communication with public institutions and other organizations had been improved. 

In 1993 Bulgarian APHIC has become an associate member of the European Federation of Parents of Hearing Impaired Children (FEPEDA) and therefore invited to participate in the Federation’s annual meetings.

European Federation of Parents of Hearing Impired Children – FEPEDA (http://www.fepeda.net/)

 FEPEDA was established in 1990 in Luxemburg as a non-governmental umbrella organisation set up to represent associations of parents and friends of deaf and hard-of-hearing children at a European level. Its membership includes national and regional associations as well as smaller groups and individuals from all of the European Union, Central and Oriental Europe and the Community of Independent States.

The aim of the organization is to support the the national Associations of Parents of Hearing Impired Children. From 1990 FEPEDA is organizing regular family meetings where parents from all of Europe exchange an experience in different fields of general interest: education, technologies, social services and legislation.

There are 29 Europe countries members of FEPEDA. Since its establishment the annual assambly had taken place in variuos countries.  

In parallel to the meetings of the parents  - similar are organized for children and youths from all the Europe. The youths participate in forums for discussions on various subjects, in sports and cultural events.

Bulgarian APHIC is an associated member of FEPEDA from July 1993. After Bulgaria had become a Member State (January 1st 2007) - Bulgarian Associatin had became a voting member.

FEPEDA has prepared a European Charter for cooperation between parents and specialists in the sphere of the education of children with impired hearing.

Projects implemented

·         ¨Developing skills for interactive help among parents of hearing impaired children aiming at reducing the social isolation - 1997, Civil Society Development Foundation

·         ¨ Integrated training of hearing impaired children in public schools - 1998, Rehabilitation and social Integration Fund

·         ¨ Early rehabilitation of children with anomalies in the hearing capacity- 1998, Open Society Foundation

·         ¨ Workshops on music- and play-therapy - 2000, Open Society Foundation

·         ¨ Extracurricular School Activities - alternative way of providing access of hearing impaired people to an integrated educational environment – 2001, Open Society Foundation

·         ¨ Family support and social environment - SIGNAEUROPA IV - July 24-31, 2006 - International Project - Program Junior

·         ¨ Additional essential skills training in order to facilitate the employment of the hearing impaired people on the labor market - BUKVAR - Agency for People with Disabilities, 2007

·         ¨ Alternative methods for rehabilitation of hearing impaired children with cochlear implants - implemented in partnership with Sofia Municipality, 2007

 

Recognition of APHIC as  Nationaly represented Non-Governmental Organization

With a Council of Ministers Decision No. 1149 dated 17.10.1996, APHIC was recognized as Nationally represented Non-Governmental Organization. Consequently APHIC became a member of the National Council for  rehabilitation and social integration and it is being supported financially by the state budget.

Statute

Association of Parents of Hearing Impaired Children – None-Governmental Organization

APHIC is a member of:

1.      FEPEDA - European Federation of Parents of Hearing Impaired Children

2.      National Council for Integration of People with Disabilities, within the Council of Ministers

3.      National Council for People with Disabilities in Bulgaria, member of the European Forum for People with Disabilities