News
Home  >  News > Pablo Pineda: “Down's Syndrome does not define me nor conditions me”...

Pablo Pineda: “Down's Syndrome does not define me nor conditions me”

Pablo Pineda.

Pablo Pineda.

Pineda took part in a dialogue with Francesc Xavier Pérez, regional coordinator of Adecco Foundation.

Pineda took part in a dialogue with Francesc Xavier Pérez, regional coordinator of Adecco Foundation.

Marina Romeo and Maite Vilalta closed the 1st Session on Labour Integration for People with Disabilities.

Marina Romeo and Maite Vilalta closed the 1st Session on Labour Integration for People with Disabilities.

During the interview.

During the interview.

27/04/2018

Entrevistes

Pablo Pineda is convinced that Down’s Syndrome does not define nor condition him: “I always say I am Pablo Pineda and that I have Down’s Syndrome. There is a big difference between ‘having’ and ‘being’. ‘Being’ can crush you down and ‘having’ shows it is only one feature”.

He told this on April 25 in the 1st Session of Labour Integration for People with Disabilities, organized by the UB – Adecco Foundation Chair. The activity’s objectives were to establish the main challenges when it comes to labour integration in public institutions for people with disabilities. Pineda, in a dialogue with Francesc Xavier Pérez, regional coordinator of Adecco Foundation in Barcelona, explained his experience both in the training years and the career period too.
 

“People judge a book by its cover, including me”

“People judge a book by its cover, including me. Prejudices come from not knowing enough”. This is how Pineda started his speech. The 43-year old is the first university graduate with Down Syndrome and is aware that a great part of his success happened thanks to his family: “I was the youngest of a family of four brothers and my parents had me as one more. In this sense, they weren’t visionary. They were not influenced by opinions from others or were not affected by prejudices. My brothers played a role too, they were my teachers”.

Pineda, who offers lectures for families and companies and has become internationally distinguished, highlighted that he always tells parents who have a kid with Down Syndrome to treat him/her as any other kid and that they have to encourage him/her since the very beginning.

He said he has a very happy kid but adolescence was not a happy period. “It is complicated by itself. When you are in high school you see some terms and descriptions come up and some people accept you but others don’t”.

He is thankful to his university mentor, Miguel López Melero, who suggested him to study Teacher Training in Special Education. “I wanted to be a lawyer to promote social justice, or journalist to inform about things”. With the awareness-raising task he carries out, Pineda has end up working on both things, in some way.


“University is too theoretical, not emotional enough”

When he was asked about what the university should do to integrate people with disabilities into the classrooms, he was very clear: “There is a need of a change of attitude, a change of the way of thinking: the difference has to be seen as a value and has to be respected. Because the progress of society lies in this difference. It is necessary to understand we all have skills, different skills”.

“I became an influencer and I love my job at Adecco”

His first years in the labour field were not easy. He worked at the Malaga City Council, in the Social Wellbeing Area, but he regrets his talent was not useful because he ended up being the “errand boy”.

Afterwards, he came cross a hard-to-believe opportunity: he became the main character of the film Yo también and won the Conxa de Plata award. “Those times were wonderful”, he remembers.

He published the books El reto de aprender (2013) and Niños con capacidades especiales (2015) and is now working at Adecco Foundation as a consultant, where he carries out tasks on awareness and training for companies and society in general. “I became an influencer –he gladly says- and when I was sick and could not give conferences I felt really bad and missed my job”. Actually his speaker-role is not new, because when he was eleven he already appeared on a video saying: “Let children like me play in the school playgrounds”.

The activity was closed by Marina Romeo, lecturer of Social Psychology at the UB and director of the UB-Adecco Foundation Chair, and Maite Vilalta, vice-rector for Equal Opportunities and Social Action, who concluded that listening to Pineda had been a “wonderful gift”.

Share this at:
| More |
  • Follow us:
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Facebook profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Twitter profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Instagram profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Linkedin profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Youtube profile
  • Button to access University of Barcelona's Google+ profile
  • ??? peu.flickr.alt ???
Member of International recognition of excellence HR Excellence in Research logo del leru - League of European Research Universities logo del bkc - campus excel·lència logo del health universitat de barcelona campus

© Universitat de Barcelona