Ashod Derandonyan & Alexander Ivanov
LISTEN UP FOUNDATION
Providing equal access to Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and youth by establishing a national center for video relay sign language interpretation and speech-to-text services for communication with people outside the community, raising awareness in the society and stimulating Deaf pride.
In Bulgaria, about 90,000 people who are hearing impaired do not have access to media content and education material because these do not yet support closed captions or speech-to-text reporting services. Of those affected, 8,000 are children, and this lack of access creates multiple barriers for their educational advancement and career development.
The primary goal of Listen Up Foundation is to establish a national center for video-replay sign language interpretation and speech-to-text reporting services. With the assistance of sign language interpreters and text editors, these services will be made available through a cloud-based platform and a mobile app. This will allow hearing-impaired children to have equal access to learning material in the classroom and at other events. By providing these services, the Listen Up Foundation hopes that all hearing-impaired children in the country will become motivated to pursue academic and professional excellence, leading to a better quality of life.