Emiliano Naranjo: a teacher with a disability fighting for fairer societies in Argentina

Emiliano was born with cerebral palsy and battled against multiple odds, discrimination and stigmatism, fighting all the way to the courts to be where he is today: a university professor of physical education, an advisor to the province of Buenos Aires and a consultant in the private sector.

From the time he was a child, Emiliano relied on sports to cope with his physical condition, but he did not discover his vocation for teaching until one day, while swimming in a pool, the mother of a child with physical disabilities asked him to teach her son to swim. It was at that moment that Emiliano realised that he could combine his dedication to sports with his passion for teaching.

Confident of his vocation and with the support of his parents, Emiliano went to university to study a career as a physical education teacher. From the first day of classes, he realized the path would not be easy: his classmates thought he was in the wrong class and, when he completed the requirements for graduation, the university refused to award him his diploma, citing his body’s failure to meet the expectations of a physical education teacher. Emiliano decided to sue the university and, after a 10-year legal battle, the courts agreed with him and he was able to get his degree as a teacher.

“Inclusive education is a way to confront discrimination and leads to fairer societies by allowing anyone, whether or not they have a disability, to write their own history.”

Emiliano has been practicing his profession for over 10 years, first as a physical education teacher in an inclusive school and then as a professor in the field, training teachers at a university. Moreover, Emiliano is part of the government’s technical team seeking to improve the implementation of inclusive education in his country.

The message Emiliano communicates to all his students?

“It is time for all people to learn together, in the same school, without any kind of segregation” 


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