City hires new Community Specialist for People with Disabilities

August 24, 2023

The City has hired Guthrie Byard as its first Community Specialist for People with Disabilities. In this role, Byard will work to ensure that City programs, services and projects are accessible to people with disabilities and comply with federal requirements.

The Neighborhood and Community Relations (NCR) department oversees compliance of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Byard will manage this work in partnership with all City departments to identify and remove barriers to ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities. Furthermore, fostering relationships with people with disabilities to ensure they are reflected in the City’s missions, values, goals and work.

Byard has been a Minneapolis resident for nearly 20 years and has spent his entire career working to advance the rights of people with disabilities, most recently serving as the ADA & Title VI administrator for the Metropolitan Council. He has a strong interest in furthering digital accessibility, expanding physical access beyond the ADA through the use of universal design principles, and is dedicated to creating a more transparent, inclusive government.

“Minneapolis is committed to ensuring all members of our community, regardless of their abilities, have equal access to opportunities and the support they need,” said Mayor Jacob Frey. “Through the Community Specialist for People with Disabilities position, we’re taking a significant step toward creating a more accessible and inclusive city for everyone. I’m thrilled to welcome Guthrie Byard into this important role. His vast experience and expertise will undoubtedly drive positive change within our city and make a significant difference in the lives of many.” 

“I’m excited to bring my education and experience to the city I call home,” Byard said. “Working with colleagues and the community, I hope to make the city a more welcome and accessible environment for everyone.”