JUNE 2008

10 June 2008 - ELSA volunteer Irina Papancheva has been offered a position of Communication Officer at the European Disability Forum (EDF) - an umbrella organisation for Europe's disability associations in Brussels.

Jun 08 -ELSA volunteer Irina Papancheva has been offered a position of Communication Officer at the European Disability Forum (EDF)

Edwin J Farr, Chair of ELSA, comments "This is great news for Irina, she has an excellent CV and will be well suited to this post. It is also very good that Irina, who is a person who stutters, will be working for the EDF. She will be working to raise awareness of all disabilities and I am sure she will have the well-being of people who stutter close to her heart."

Irina, has worked with ELSA for 10 years, she was recently a main speaker at the 2007 ELSA Youth Meeting in Nijmegan.

Irina obtained an MA in Slavonic Studies – Czech Language and Literature at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski in 1999. She worked as a journalist for nine years and as non-contracted translator of the EU legislation from English and Czech into Bulgarian for the Bulgarian Council of Ministers. Irina has attended a number of journalistic courses and specialisations in Maastricht, Brussels and Madrid. She also initiated the establishment of the second Bulgarian Stuttering Association SIZ and was first its chairperson and now board member.

In 2005 she published the first Bulgarian coloured book for children on stuttering, called "I Stutter" with the financial support of the European League of Stuttering Associations (ELSA). In 2007 her second book, the novel Almost Intimately, was published.

Irina was Deputy Mayor of Sofia Municipality for Health, Social Services and Integration of People with Disabilities from January 2006 to October 2007. She has been awarded Social Services Manager – 2006 prize by the Bulgarian Human Resources Foundation and magazine. Currently Irina is pursuing MA in European Integration and Development - European Politics and Social Integration in Vrije University in Brussels.

The Board of ELSA send our best wishes to Irina

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