Artists Work To Change Island's Attitudes
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 18, 2002
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO--Recently released census data shows that about 1 million people in Puerto Rico -- about 28 percent of the population -- have some form of disability.
Many of them are fed up with the barriers Puerto Ricans with disabilities face in employment, housing, transportation, health care and physical accessibility. Some are angrier, still, at society's attitudes of pity and overprotection.
"Sometimes you have to scream," said Luis Felipe Passalacqua, who sued the island's School of Fine Arts to bring about changes in teaching methods for blind students. "We have to put an end to this pity they have of us."
Passalacqua, a medical illustrator before he became blind six years ago, along with other artists with disabilities, now express themselves through Art Without Barriers, a program through which artists create and sell their own works.