From his wheelchair, Kevin McGuire leads the charge
| FROM ALUMNI NOTES | BY AMY LASKOWSKI. VIDEO BY ROBIN BERGHAUS
Kevin McGuire (CAS’83), an attorney and an ADA consultant, shows how Gillette Stadium has been made accessible for people with mobility, sight, and hearing impairments. Photo by Cydney Scott
Kevin McGuire remembers when wheelchair users could enter a building only through the service entrance, when those who were blind didn’t go to the movies, and those who were deaf could never enjoy the opera.
McGuire (CAS’83), CEO of McGuire Associates
, a consulting firm specializing in compliance with federal and state disability laws, has made it his life’s work to see that venues around the country are accessible to all. And that “all” includes him; McGuire is paralyzed from the waist down.
“I know accessibility laws probably better than anyone else in this country,” says McGuire, sitting in his custom-made titanium wheelchair. “It’s meaningful for me. When I have people come up to me because they had a great experience at a Broadway show or a baseball game, I feel good knowing that I had a big part in making their experience so great.”
At Gillette, McGuire oversaw full compliance with ADA regulations, which includes accessible restrooms, concession stands, and telephones, and captioning and game description. He also helped train the stadium’s 3,000 employees to assist disabled guests.
McGuire has worked with almost every major arena, stadium, ballpark, and concert venue in the country, and Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass., is one of his favorites. It was important to the Kraft Group
, he says, that the stadium, built in 2002 and home to the New England Patriots
, exceed all requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA) of 1990, a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on physical or cognitive disability. The act requires, in part, that public venues provide van-accessible parking, assisted listening devices, and American Sign Language interpreters.