Region: Europe

Disability Definition

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Bulgaria ratified in 2012, defines persons with disabilities as “those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”


The Persons with Disabilities Act (PDA) was approved on 18 December 2018 and has been enforced since 1 January 2019, and replaces the Law on the Integration of Persons with Disabilities (January 2005). This new act outlines the basic rights of persons with disabilities and aims to:

  • promote, protect and guarantee the complete and equal rights and freedom of the people with disabilities;
  • create conditions for social inclusion for the people with disabilities;
  • improve the respect of the immanent human dignity of the people with disabilities;
  • grant support of the people with disabilities and their families.

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified by Bulgaria on March 22, 2012. Bulgaria also signed the optional protocol on 18 December 2008.

Reference: Bulgaria’s New People With Disabilities Act – Know Your Employer Obligations – Discrimination, Disability & Sexual Harassment – Bulgaria (mondaq.com)

Employer Legal Requirements

Employers with 50 or more employees to follow quotas for hiring permanently disabled personnel:

  • employers with 50 to 99 employees: 1 permanently disabled person
  • employers with 100 or more employees: at least 2% of their average annual headcount.
    Employers have an obligation to calculate these quotas on an annual basis and notify the Employment Promotion Agency (“EPA”) by 31 March each year.

If employer fails to meet the obligations for hiring permanently disabled staff under quotas, a fine can be imposed by the Labor Inspectorate of up to 30% of the minimum monthly working salary, for each position which remains unoccupied by a permanently disabled individual.

Failure to pay the fine may lead to an administrative sanction of between BGN 2000 and BGN 5000.

Reference: Bulgaria’s New People With Disabilities Act – Know Your Employer Obligations – Discrimination, Disability & Sexual Harassment – Bulgaria (mondaq.com)

Accessibility Requirements

2016-2020 National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities (UN) aims:

  1. To provide access to a living environment, to transportation and transportation services, to information and communications.
  2. To provide access and inclusion of every child in the education system and the opportunities for lifelong learning.
  3. To ensure effective access to quality health services.
  4. To provide conditions for work and employment of people with disabilities.
  5. To provide adequate support for community living.
  6. To provide access to sport, recreation, tourism and participation in cultural life.

Cultural Norms

“According to data from focus groups with parents of children without disabilities, children with disabilities are ‘shunned’ and often ‘isolated’ because they are ‘different’ and ‘weird’. … Children with disabilities were often categorized as ‘defective’ over ‘normal’.” Pity is the prevailing emotion regarding children with disabilities. Most people a part of the study agreed that children with disabilities face hardships because of their disabilities.

Reference: file (unicef.org)

Business Practices/Examples

Additional content coming soon.


Although there is no complete data on the actual number of children with disabilities in the country, the estimated number is about 32,000. During the 2018-2019 academic year almost 22,035 children with disabilities and special needs attended mainstream schools and kindergartens, but children with disabilities continue to be one of the most excluded and invisible groups in the society. For example, data shows that in 2018 approx. 90% of all children in infant homes (0-3 years for age) and 50% of the children in family type residential facilities were children with disabilities. Around 10,000 is the estimated number of children with disabilities who are out of school. Data also shows that many of the young people with disabilities aged 15-24 are not in employment, education or training.

Reference: Data on the children with disabilities in Bulgaria and around the world | UNICEF

Supplier Diversity

Additional content coming soon.

Talent Sourcing Resources

JAMBA-Career for All is an organization that operates in Bulgaria to connect people with disabilities to job opportunities. They have created an accessible job board and provide skills training workshops to people with disabilities.

Additional Resources

Governing through personal assistance: a Bulgarian case: This paper evaluates the effectiveness of the Bulgarian model for assistance of persons with disabilities via the Persons with Disabilities Act.

UNICEF provides information on the rates of disability in Bulgaria.


Additional content coming soon.
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