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  • Writer's pictureNicole Will

Making Homes Safe and Accessible

Making Homes Safe and Accessible with Rosemarie Rossetti, PhD

An accident can change everything. The fall of a 7,000 lbs. tree, while riding her bicycle on her wedding anniversary, left Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. paralyzed from the waist down. Coming home from the hospital in a wheelchair was a rude awakening. Rosemarie knows firsthand how our homes can either offer frustration or ease and independence. This led to her life’s work and personal mission of educating those in the housing industry, government policymakers, and the public about universal design, green building expertise, and aging in place. The goal is to provide accessibility for those who wish to stay in their home for as long as possible to support those family caregiving needs. Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti's work is inspiring as she challenges us to rethink design and accessibility. Thank you, Rosemarie, for having important discussions around re-imagined living and workspaces.

Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti shares about:

  • How her accident and return to home shaped her life's work

  • What is universal design?

  • Why this generation of boomers are making the choice to age differently than their parents

  • The benefits, features and financial advantages around universal design

  • What can people do to make their homes safer and more accessible?

  • What features does a sustainable home provide?

  • Rightsizing vs. downsizing

  • What are some of the challenges facing the housing industry, government policymakers, and the public at large to address and meet the needs of housing for an exponentially growing aging population?

  • All about the Universal Design Toolkit

Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. is a powerful, internationally known speaker, trainer, author,

consultant, and president of Rossetti Enterprises Inc. since January 1997. Her company is

certified as a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise.

She acquired a spinal cord injury on June 13, 1998. As a person who uses a wheelchair, she

knows firsthand the benefits of accessible and universal design.

Rossetti and her husband, Mark Leder led the design team, were the general

contractors/builders, and since May 2012 have lived in the Universal Design Living Laboratory,

the national demonstration home and garden in Columbus, Ohio.

This is the highest rated universal design home in North America earning three national

certifications: Livable Design, ZeroStep, and Life-Flex. The home received a Silver rating

certification on the LEED for Homes program from the U. S. Green Building Council and earned

a Gold rating certification on the National Green Building Standard program. The home is

certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

Rossetti is an inspiring entrepreneur who is rethinking design and building by spearheading

discussions and experiments around re-imagined living spaces. She is a keynote speaker at international and national conferences and events. Her live and virtual presentations help people integrate universal design, accessible design, and green building features into their projects. She speaks to and consults with consumers, builders, remodelers, Realtors, architects, engineers, interior designers, developers, and occupational therapists.

Rossetti’s universal design and green building day-long accredited course for architects and

interior designers, Designing Sustainable Homes that Make Life Easier was taught in 10 cities

nationwide. Rossetti was certified as a course instructor for the National Association of Home Builder’s

Universal Design/Build course.

She is the author of the book the Universal Design Toolkit, Time-saving ideas, resources,

solutions, and guidance for making homes accessible.

The Universal Design Living Laboratory is included in the second edition of the Universal Design Handbook.

To Learn More About Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti:

To Learn More About the Universal Design Living Laboratory and the Universal Design Toolkit:

Her TEDx talk video about the Universal Design Living Laboratory can be viewed at

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We are not medical professionals and are not providing any medical advice. If you have any medical questions, we recommend that you talk with a medical professional of your choice. willGather has taken care in selecting its speakers but the opinions of our speakers are theirs alone. Thank you for your continued interest in our podcasts.

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