As co-chair of the ADA Disability Inclusion Committee for the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, attorney Greg Fehribach says he won’t rest until hundreds of thousands of visitors to Indianapolis realize that the city is the most accessible community in the nation.
Fehribach, ’81, MA ’83, has osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily, and uses a wheelchair. He is leading a group of volunteers—including several Ball State students who are members of the Super Bowl Mobility Assistance Team—who will make the Super Bowl the best experience possible for people with disabilities.
“I’ve been blessed to work with three Indianapolis mayors who have made the issue of creating an inclusive environment for people with disabilities a top priority,” he says. “As a result, Indianapolis has been named a disability-friendly city by the National Organization on Disability. Our committee has worked closely with the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL to make sure that inclusion is a priority for the game.
“We’ve been working with thousands of volunteers, touching all aspects of life here in Indianapolis. It doesn’t matter if it’s a person driving a cab or a person working in a hotel, we all represent the city to the entire nation during the Super Bowl.”
Committed to Inclusion
Fehribach has been a strong advocate of inclusion and the rights of people with disabilities since his days as an undergraduate student at Ball State, where he held various positions in student government. He later served the university as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2008.
In addition to his role as an attorney in Indianapolis, Fehribach is a distinguished fellow at the university’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs and is studying the employment of people with disabilities from a public policy standpoint.
“I am a strong advocate for Ball State because the university is a national model for how students with disabilities should be included in campus life,” he says.
In spring 2011, he taught a course on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act and has incorporated several students from that class into the Super Bowl inclusion initiative.
“It is simple customer service,” Fehribach says. “There are a few nuances to understand in providing accessible accommodations to people with disabilities. You just have to be committed to inclusion, a commitment the NFL wholeheartedly shares.”
Fehribach has been a strong mentor to students, working tirelessly to prepare them for the 2012 Super Bowl, says Naomi Davis, '12, Indianapolis, who is studying criminal justice, pre-law, and interpersonal relations and is a member of the Super Bowl Mobility Assistance Team.
“Working with the Mobility Assistance Team for the Super Bowl will ensure persons with disabilities will enjoy the game just as any other guest to the events would,” she says. “Mr. Ferhibach's class provided us with an in-depth dissection of the Americans with Disability Act which further promotes the civil liberties of people with disabilities. With this information in mind, I can better help the guests to the Super Bowl enjoy the game as much as any other individual.“