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Universal Design Expert to Speak at Hospitality Design Expo & Conference

Columbus, OH – April 6th, 2009 – Rosemarie Rossetti Ph.D., an internationally known speaker and advocate for people with disabilities, will address architects, designers and their clients in the hospitality industry on incorporating universal design elements into all new construction and remodeling projects. Rossetti presents this important talk on behalf of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) in conjunction with Hospitality Design Magazine. It will take place at the Hospitality Design Expo on Friday May 15th at 1:00 P.M.

Not your typical, “don’t forget to add a ramp” discussion, Rossetti will explain how universal design goes beyond traditional considerations of “accessibility” to make a better environment for all guests. Guided by her personal experiences and extensive travels as a person who uses a wheelchair, Rossetti will review sample hospitality facilities for common problems and challenges that design, layout, and materials present to people with disabilities. This talk will give the audience solutions for providing more accessibility, greater independence, and increased safety for guests.

Universal design is human-centered design, accommodating people of all sizes, ages, and abilities. It provides a framework for the design of spaces and products benefiting the widest possible range of people and situations without special or separate design. "Professionals in the built environment must stop regarding universal design as a specialty practiced only by a few. We must encourage our clients to critically evaluate their projects and the products they are currently using and see how they can benefit consumers of all ages and functional abilities," said Michael Alin, Hon. FASID, and executive director of ASID.

Rossetti knows from personal experience the difficulties people face when circumstances change due to injury or aging. "Ten years ago, a spinal cord injury left me paralyzed from the waist down,” Rossetti said. “I came home from the hospital in a wheelchair and realized just how unaccommodating my two-story home was to me. My life change was sudden; for others life changes more gradually such as with aging or degenerative illness."

Rossetti’s mission is to educate professional interior designers and architects on the essential elements that make universal design easily integrated, cost effective and attractive. Her talk aims to help those in the hospitality design arena offer independence and safety to a greater number of guests. Rossetti and her husband are building a national demonstration home, the Universal Design Living Laboratory in Columbus, OH to showcase universal design, green building and healthy home construction.

Universal design features that experts agree should be incorporated into floor plans and product specifications include:

  • Step-free entrances
  • Lever handles on doors and faucets
  • Various heights of counters
  • Wood, non-slip tile and a dense weave, low pile (< ½”) carpet floors
  • Full extension drawers and shelves
  • Step-free roll in shower
  • Lower rocker style light switches (36” above the floor)
  • Higher electrical outlets (25” above the floor)
  • Large bathroom with decorative grab bars
  • 17-19” high toilet seat
  • Adjustable hanging closet rods and shelves
  • Open knee-space under all sinks

Rossetti will be available for interviews in the Press Room or privately.

Complete Press Kits available in the Press Room on-site at The Venetian/Sands Expo in Room 203 or by contacting Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2005-2016 Universal Design Living Laboratory. All rights reserverd worldwide.