Rosemarie Rossetti: Tips on Tackling TEDx and Universal Design

We at, were thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with the dynamic Rosemarie Rossetti, after delivering her powerful TEDx presentation. We learned about her journey and tips for those considering such a challenging endeavor.

mW: Could you tell us a little about your background?

On June 13, 1998, my husband Mark Leder and I went for a bicycle ride on a rural wooded bike trail in Granville, OH. After riding for a few minutes, Mark thought he heard a gunshot and slowed down to investigate.  As he scanned the scene he saw a large tree falling. He shouted, “Stop!” But the warning was too late. Instantly, I was crushed by a 7,000 pound tree and paralyzed from the waist down.

mW: What is your profession?

Speaker, trainer, consultant, and author

mW: What are you passionate about?

My family and my work.
Universal Design Living Labratory
mW: Do you have any current projects?

Coming home from the hospital in a wheelchair, I realized how my home intensified my disability.  My husband and I knew that we had to sell our home and find something more suitable. We decided to build our home and the Universal Design Living Laboratory was born. This has been the catalyst for many of my projects.

Smart Home Tech for Smart Women

By Lucy Lawrence

It wasn’t long ago that the mere thought of a ‘smart home’ conjured up images, reminiscent of a science fiction novel. Today, smart technology has infiltrated our homes in countless ways, making them more accessible and safer, especially for approximately 20% of American women who are living with a disability. It is important for women in wheelchairs to make their homes accessible, in order to remain as independent, as possible. Achieving such a level of accessibility, is becoming increasingly easier, thanks to smart home technologies that makes it significantly more attainable to make any dwelling substantially more accessible.

Smart Speakers

The popular Alexa and Google Home smart speakers, have become technology that has revolutionized life at home! These voice activated devices can perform essential tasks such as ordering groceries, turning lights on and off, even adjusting a programmable thermostat. At a reasonable price considering the benefits, they can provide an unbelievable amount of independence.

Not "Even With" but "Thanks to" My Disability

By Janira Obregon

Soon after I was born, my mom knew that there was something wrong because, unlike most babies, I was not moving my arms nor legs. After speaking to different doctors, I was finally diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia, a disability that affects my four limbs, due to a brain injury at birth. 

There have been times in my life where things got complicated, but despite that, I kept pushing forward to be the best I could be. There are people who think that because I have a disability that I need special accommodations for everything or I won’t rise to the occasion, and that’s not true. There are also people who support and believe in me and the things that I can do.