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El Langui has created the #NoHayLímites (NoLimits) tag inspired by the Manifesto of the Adecco Foundation, a declaration of principles and attitudes based on respect and the value of diversity as its main banners in order to achieve the mainstreaming and social inclusion of people with special needs. “Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and look them in the eye, at the same height, woo labels or adjectives.” To produce his video clip, “El Langui” has included the participation of Pablo Pineda, the first European university graduate with Down syndrome; Raquel Domínguez, a disabled athlete; and Joan Pahísa, a graduate in Computer Engineering working on his Doctoral thesis, writer and athlete of small stature. #Reacciona (react) against over-protection, bullying and discrimination of people with special needs by sharing this video and including the phrase “Yo #Reacciono” (I react).
#Reaccionar contra la #sobreprotección, el #bullying y la #discriminación de las personas con discapacidad, compartiendo este vídeo e incluyendo la frase “Yo #Reacciono”.
He is lively, positive and has a great sense of humour. He is 35 years old, clear-eyed and his name is Juan Manuel Montilla, better known as “El Langui”. He was born in the Pan Bendito district of Madrid, part of the populous area of Carabanchel. His life has been closely tied to his group of eleven friends, the “peñita” (gang), as he calls them lovingly, his district and hip hop music.
El Langui is thankful that he was not given any special protection. Quite the opposite, he says, and cites his mother as an example: she forced him to outdo himself every day by placing things in more complicated places than usual, or how she let him get up by himself, every time he fell, after checking that he hadn’t hurt himself.
He starting rhyming at the age of 13, as the prelude to what would later become a musical career and the embryo of the hip hop group known as “La Excepción” (The Exception). He says that they started to take it seriously at a time “when you need to tell people what is going on and start telling them your life, because ‘hip hop’ is all about the street, and you use it because you need to express yourself and you don’t know how else to do it. What’s more, rap is freedom and lets you do it.” He admits that they have always been a bit counter-culture and have sought an individual personality for their music.
In one of his songs from their Cata Cheli album, El Langui writes “El hip hop hizo el papel de tiritas para mis heriditas, dejando pequeñas costritas” (hip hop took the place of band-aids for my injuries, leaving little scabs). Juan Manuel Montilla is rich in love, friends and dreams and will be successful in music and in life because his magnetism, his inner strength, his desire to live and his surroundings are the best antidote against the obstacles of life.
PPablo Pineda Ferrer was born in Málaga on August 5th, 1974, into a family originally from Valencia. His parents’ decision to bring him up and educate him exactly the same as his siblings, despite having Down syndrome, was the key to his educational success.
Stimuli and motivation took him from primary to secondary school, before finally going on to university where he has completed his qualifications as a Primary School Teacher, under the attentive gaze and admiration of a legion of friends he has made wherever he has gone. He also has only a few credits to complete for his degree in Educational Psychology.
While researching at university he realized that the drop-out rate among many people with his same genetic alteration is due to the scant stimulation received during their formative years. His message is clear: people with Down syndrome cannot be treated as mentally ill, stimulation is the key to their success.
His starring role in the film “Yo También” (Me Too) enabled him to break down taboos relating to his condition and earned him the Best Actor’s Concha de Plata award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.
Since 2010, he has been working with the Adecco Foundation to increase awareness among companies and their workers about the importance of including people with special needs on the payroll.
At 29 years old, this young Catalan has shown that his height is not an obstacle when it comes to achieving his dreams. Joan Pahisa is exactly 1 metre tall and weighs no more than 30 kilos, but his dedication and constancy has led him to various tournaments in ping-pong and basketball, some at international level, a hobby that has also helped him break down social barriers and prove that he is valid for this and much more.
Joan has spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, a disorder of the skeleton that prevented his bones from growing but that he has always described without any agitation: “I have a growth problem, my disease makes me have problems with cartilage, with the tips of my bones, that are shorter and deformed. I only know of one other person with the same condition, a girl in Catalonia, but there are sure to be others, although not many.” And this distinctive characteristic is just one more detail in his biography for, in addition, he continues to complete his professional training through his academic studies to finish his doctorate in computing at the Autonomous University in Barcelona (UAB).
Raquel defines herself as passionate, positive and, above all, very lucky. Luck is not something you can touch, it’s something you feel. At 9 years of age, she started to feel some discomfort and, after many, many tests, her doctors diagnosed Bilateral Arthroscapulectomy, in other words that her shoulder blades (scapulae) were gradually disintegrating, so they have had to screw them into place on her shoulders, meaning almost total immobility in her arms and subsequent loss of muscle mass.
Raquel feels lucky, she doesn’t know what her life would have been like if she had never had her condition diagnosed, what she does know is that one day she decided to keep all the good things in her life and throw away the negative (even though this is sometimes difficult in our society).
Raquel is an athlete; opting for sports has been the key that opened up a new world for her as, with every challenge, she proves to herself that she can go beyond her limitations. She has been champion of Spain seven times in the 50 m butterfly, six times in the 200 m medley, Andalusian regional champion in speed walking, three times champion in the 100 m and 200 m sprints. She is one of the few women with special needs to compete in marathon and ultra-distance races and she is not focusing on the triathlon, of which she is already the Andalusian regional champion.
Together with the Adecco Foundation, she has been participating for the last 8 years in Overcoming Life’s Limits, a seminar through which she has managed to open up a communication channel between companies and individuals, guiding in a very special way the true path towards diversity. In this same context, Raquel runs activities for Ability School Day, where she uses the values of Paralympic sport to bring the reality of disability closer to hundreds of primary school pupils.