Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. - Speaking in Front of Audience About Inclusive Meetings and Events

Inclusive Meetings and Events Consulting Services and Programs


Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.

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Assess Your Convention Center Accessibility

PCMA Convening Leaders 2023 Convention

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Today’s meeting industry professionals are responsible for more than assuring all is aligned for each new meeting and event.

Clients and attendees now have high expectations that meetings will be inclusive for ALL who participate — whether it be on-site or virtually.

As a meetings industry disability inclusion expert, I’m here to help.

"I cannot speak highly enough of the experience I had working with Rosemarie as our accessibility consultant for 9 months in 2023. Working with, and most importantly learning from, Rosemarie has opened my eyes and my mind to planning and executing conferences that are truly inclusive and accessible to our attendees. I very much appreciate Rosemarie's ability to share her lived experiences and professional expertise with our meetings department, host city partners, and me as we started the journey to elevate our awareness and ability to provide accommodations to meeting attendees. Rosemarie's extensive experience combined with effective communication, a great sense of humor, enthusiasm for the work and a desire to have all of us succeed are some of the many reasons why I have enjoyed working with and getting to know her.

Over the course of our 9-month engagement, Rosemarie worked with our team as we made significant and impactful decisions to improve the meeting experience for attendees who need accommodations. Highlights of our efforts included: revamping the registration experience, enhancing the meeting website and app to better communicate the services to be provided, conducting a site visit to our host city and venues, developing the role of an accessibility ambassador as a first point of contact for each meeting, and reserved seats in meeting rooms for those in wheelchairs or scooters. We also brought Rosemarie into our office building to evaluate our in-house conference center and provide training to our meetings team, giving them more knowledge and confidence when engaging with attendees in need of accommodations. Lastly, we had Rosemarie join us onsite for our annual meeting to provide feedback on our efforts, help with course correction in the moment for things that could be changed onsite, and to engage with the attendees and association staff to collect feedback for our final report summarizing our efforts over the course of the contract.

Thanks to the tremendous guidance provided by Rosemarie the feedback from those attendees who utilized one or more of the services provided has been very positive and our constituents are pleased to see our efforts to welcome and support attendees across our meeting portfolio (1 annual meeting and 75 smaller meetings). The impact of Rosemarie's work will continue to flourish as we expand our efforts beyond our annual meeting to the rest of our portfolio. While the goal for our engagement was to improve the attendee experience at our meetings. I will also share that personally and professionally the time I spent with Rosemarie was a gift in terms of expanding my perspective and abilities regarding inclusive meetings, educating me on the small and big things that can be done to support our attendees, and revitalized my enthusiasm for my profession as we design and execute meetings for ALL of our constituents.

Thank you Rosemarie for your passion, expertise and partnership on our journey."

Joy Womack, CMP
Director, Operations, Meetings and Events
Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Having been paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury, my experience in a wheelchair has taught me about accessibility. I know what needs to be arranged to accommodate people with various disabilities including limitations with mobility, sight, and hearing.

I am an expert in the Americans with Disabilities Act and other accessibility standards as well as universal design practices. I am highly experienced in evaluating hotels, convention centers, and other meeting spaces.

Accommodation Defined

There is a difference between accessible design and universal design. Accessible design is more than just code compliance. Its major emphasis is on usability. Good accessible design includes usability and equity as a goal. Thus, the end result is the optimization of the human experience.

Universal design goes above compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, which are viewed as minimum standards. Universal design is a framework or philosophy benefitting people of all sizes, ages, and abilities. The people attending your events!

Rosemarie Rossetti asking a question of hotel lobby guest services representative

What are the Problems that Rossetti Solves?

Rosemarie Rossetti teaching at at corporate client's training room

CHALLENGES related to ...

Exclusion

The unique needs of people with disabilities that are not taken into account when planning meetings and events.

Unfamiliarity

A lack of awareness about the needs of people with disabilities when planning meetings and events.

Poor Outcomes

Failure to pre-plan leads to stress, costly makeshift solutions and unsatisfactory results. People with disabilities are not accommodated at meetings and events.

Value Proposition Advantages

Business Culture


  • Reduce unconscious bias.
  • Gain engagement confidence.
  • Social participation improves.
  • Maximize the power of inclusion.
  • Create an environment of inclusion for the health, wellness, and safety of all.

Improved Perception


  • Creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for meetings and events.
  • Improved social media response by participants.
  • Enhances Public Relations outreach and outcomes.

Proactive


  • Addresses crucial points to anticipate challenges.
  • Assures a more smooth, gracious, and respectful experience for every participant, including people with disabilities.

Workflow Efficiency


  • Eliminates the struggle of planning inclusive meetings and events.
  • Helps meeting professionals gain confidence and save time.
  • Guides meeting professionals to anticipate and provide for the participant’s needs for successful inclusive meetings.

Business Cost Control


  • Unexpected expenses are reduced and/or eliminated.
  • Reduced legal liability exposure.

Profitability


  • More attendees at your event.
  • Heightened attendee appreciation and satisfaction.

"Rosemarie was a vital part of our team as we planned for our 2022 annual meeting. She joined us in meetings with our venues and pushed them to make accessibility accommodations that we hadn't thought of.

Rosemarie's expertise in accessibility solutions is evident, and her attention to the smallest details is impressive.

She provides very useful documentation that will help you make your event the most accessible that it can be."

Oscar Larson, Conference Director
American Association of Geographers

What Can You Expect from Rossetti as your Disability Inclusion Consultant?

Information Capture & Appraisal

  • Work with website designers to suggest changes for the meeting or event registration section including marketing that is targeted to people with disabilities.
    • Identify people who register that have a disability and what accommodations they will need.
    • Assure the website can be fully accessed by a person who uses assistive technology and not a computer mouse.
    • Enable registrants to pay online easily with assistive technology. WCAG 2.1A compliance. https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/ 
An example web registration form screen shot.
Rosemarie Rossetti straining to reach a serving container with ladle of maple syrup on a buffet line.

On-site Inspection

  • In-person site visit to all venues for the meeting or event including field trips and off-site locations.
    • Evaluate hotel rooms, hotel parking, hotel lobby, registration area, ballroom, breakout rooms, restrooms.
    • Meet with the hotel managers and catering/food staff. Discuss the menu and need to accommodate special diets. Discuss networking set up, table set up, buffet set up.
    • Work with the company representatives who will be responsible for the virtual portion of the hybrid meeting. Discuss closed captioning and Sign Language Interpreters for the on-site and virtual audiences.
  • Utilizes various universal design and accessible design checklists to evaluate the venue.
  • Create an in-depth report noting the findings, suggestions, recommendations, and advice. This report will highlight the problems, solutions, and changes needed to improve the venues.

Create Appropriate Communication Strategies

  • Work with the team of meeting professionals to assist in creating a master guide to use for accommodating people with disabilities.
  • Assist in creating the questions on the evaluation survey for the attendees.
  • Assist in creating the interview questions as people with disabilities register.
  • Assist in creating the questions to be asked during the event to get feedback from people with disabilities.
  • Assist in training meeting professionals and volunteers.
  • Suggest resources and vendors to support the meeting and event.
Rosemarie Rossetti asking a question of hotel lobby guest services representative
Rosemarie Rossetti Leading Meeting Day Event Space Walkthrough Experiential Learning.

Meeting Day:
Immersive Experiental Learning

Planning intentional inclusive events and experiences for people with disabilities requires empathy and education. Let Rosemarie guide you through a behind-the-scenes tour of your event space with your event participants. Understand how to better collaborate with your venue and supplier partners to design an inclusive meeting and event environment.

  • Recognize what’s essential when designing events from a disabled person’s perspective.
  • Identify the questions to ask your venue and supplier partners upfront to be prepared for every eventuality.
  • Design your event environment to provide physical and psychological safety.

Concierge Service

  • Be present at the meeting and event serving as a liaison to consult, advise and direct staff and suggest adjustments.
Rosemarie Rossetti offers concierge service for on-site meetings and events.

Benefits of Working with Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.

She will ...

  • Identify meeting and event challenges that people with disabilities may experience at the venue.
  • Help meeting professionals avoid serious problems that people with disabilities may experience at the venue.
  • Develop solutions to serious problems that people with disabilities may experience at the venue.
  • Make recommendations so her clients are more compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Make recommendations so her clients avoid a judgment against their corporation or organization from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Why Rossetti is the Right Choice

Rosemarie Rossetti speaking at TEDx.
  • Knows from personal experience as a woman who has used a wheelchair since June 1998 how the built environment can either restrict or enable independence.
  • Since 1997 she has been an international speaker at various venues, knowing firsthand the potential problems and challenges people with disabilities face.
  • Has extensively traveled throughout the United States to access built environments.
  • Delivered presentations in-person and virtually on the topic of disability inclusion.
  • Wrote on the topic of disability inclusion in publications.
  • Interviewed on podcasts on the topic of disability inclusion.
  • Is a master communicator and consummate professional.
  • In the know as a leading expert on the topics of disability inclusion, universal design, and accessible design.

How to make the most of working with Your Event Planning Partner: Rosemarie Rossetti!

Invite Rosemarie to join you at meetings in upcoming venues to step up and identify areas that demand attention. She will ...

  • Uncover avoidable challenges that can be addressed in advance.
  • Make recommendations about details that have been otherwise overlooked.
  • Use her experience and expertise to suggest solutions geared to save both time and expenses before the need arises.
  • Provide valuable insights that are documented so mistakes won't be repeated.

With Rosemarie's guidance you can create the most accessible and successful event ever -- while building goodwill and positive future connections for everyone on your team!

Make an intentional choicerather than riskunintentional embarrassmentor harm.

Contact Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. today and put her on your planning team.

Educational Programs

Accommodating People with Disabilities at Meetings and Events

It’s a legal, social, and professional responsibility to adapt your meeting venue to accommodate speakers and attendees with disabilities.

Having been paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury, Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. speaks from her wheelchair sharing her own dramatic personal story. She presents to audiences throughout the U.S. and beyond as a recognized expert on inclusive design. She has also earned recognition for her home that is the top-rated universal design home in North America.

In this presentation, Rossetti addresses crucial points you need to know to anticipate challenges in order to achieve a smooth, gracious, and respectful event experience for every participant. She will focus on: why disability inclusivity is so important, how to set up your meeting rooms, how to remove dining and networking challenges, how to accommodate speakers and guests with wheelchairs, and important resources designed to ease your way as a successful meeting professional.

This presentation to MPI chapter members can be approved by the Events Industry Council for continuing education credit.

Rosemarie has taken the Meeting Professionals International Inclusive Event Designer course.

Benefits & Learner Outcomes

  • Identify problems and challenges that people with disabilities experience at meetings and events.
  • Develop solutions to solve problems and challenges that people with disabilities experience at meetings and events.
  • Create an inclusive, easy access environment for people who use wheelchairs and scooters in and around meeting and dining rooms including layout, aisle width, easy access, table heights, and more.

Multimedia

The presentation is enhanced with a handout and high quality graphic slides which serve to illustrate the main points. Audiences are better able to retain the core messages by having visual illustrations.

Making Virtual Meetings Inclusive

Takeaways

  • Communication strategies to accommodate people with disabilities at virtual meetings.
  • Be able to implement technologies to enable people who are deaf, blind, or have learning disabilities to fully participate.
  • Know how to work with a presenter in advance of a virtual meeting to obtain supportive materials for the participants with disabilities.
  • Source suppliers that provide technology services to make your virtual meetings inclusive.

Multimedia

The presentation is enhanced with a handout and high quality graphic slides which serve to illustrate the main points. Audiences are better able to retain the core messages by having visual illustrations.

Rosemarie is the RIGHT Choice for Your Next Event!
Experienced

A proven (40+ year) success record in corporate & organizational settings, speaking to groups from 10 to 10,000.

Consistent

Stellar evaluations from both participants & meeting planners, time after time.

Trustworthy

A skilled, approachable, ethical professional industry expert you can count on.

Interactive

Captivating, engaging, well researched, high content / high value presentations.

Customized

Pre-program interviews with persons you select allows Rosemarie to dig deep to customize programs tailored to your organization's desired outcomes. You will experience enterprise-wide satisfaction and measurable success.

CEUs

Credit-ready programs encourage attendance.

FUN !!

Attentive, organized, upbeat and easy to work with.

Media / Articles — click / tap to view

Article Cover - Empowering Accessibility in Associations  
The Association 100 Podcast New!

Empowering Accessibility in Associations

Article Cover - Tour the Venu In A Wheelchair  
Radio LoRa (Zurich, Switzerland) with Alex Nae New!

Tour The Venue In A Wheelchair

Article Cover - Ensuring ADA Compliance and Accessibility at Conferences and Events with Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti  
The Association Podcast

Ensuring ADA Compliance and Accessibility at Conferences and Events with Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti

Article Cover - Project Your Voice: Talking About Planning for Accessibility with Rosemarie Rossetti  
Projection

Project Your Voice: Talking About Planning for Accessibility with Rosemarie Rossetti

Article Cover - Navigating Your Event on Two Wheels  
Professional Convention Management Association - Convene Magazine

Navigating Your Event on Two Wheels

Article Cover - Top Tips on Creating Accessible Event Environments  
Skift Meetings

Top Tips on Creating Accessible Event Environments

Article Cover - Making Your Meeting More Accessible  
Professional Convention Management Association

Making Your Meeting More Accessible

Article Cover - All Access - Going Beyond ADA Compliance  
Association Conventions and Facilities Magazine

All Access - Going Beyond ADA Compliance

Article Cover - 3 Resorts With Commitments to Accessibility  
Meetings Today

3 Resorts With Commitments to Accessibility

Article Cover - Roll Play: Wheelchair User Shows PCMA Meeting Planners how Columbus Convention Center can be more Inclusive  
Travelability Insider

Roll Play: Wheelchair User Shows PCMA Meeting Planners how Columbus Convention Center can be more Inclusive

Article Cover - Are Your Business Meetings Truly Accessible?  
Skift Meetings

Are Your Business Meetings Truly Accessible?

Article Cover - PCMA Convening Leaders Takes Over Columbus, Ohio  
Skift Meetings

PCMA Convening Leaders Takes Over Columbus, Ohio

Article Cover - Cruising on Wonder of the Seas  
Mélange Accessible Journeys Magazine

Cruising on Wonder of the Seas

Article Cover - 2022 Holiday Performances in Accessible Columbus Theaters  
Experience Columbus

2022 Holiday Performances in Accessible Columbus Theaters

Article Cover - Accessible Parks in Columbus  
Experience Columbus

Accessible Parks in Columbus

Article Cover - Where to Find Accessible Transportation in Columbus  
Experience Columbus

Where to Find Accessible Transportation in Columbus

Article Cover - Tips for Planning an Accessible Meeting in Columbus  
Experience Columbus

Tips for Planning an Accessible Meeting in Columbus

Article Cover - Accessible Outdoor Dining in Columbus  
Experience Columbus

Accessible Outdoor Dining in Columbus

Summer Ambassador for Experience Columbus, Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.  
Experience Columbus

2022 Summer Ambassador Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D.

Article Cover - Skift Meetings - Disability and Inclusion  
Skift Meetings

What Makes Events Truly Accessible

Article Cover - Steps to Make Virtual Meetings Accessible  
Goverment Connections

Steps to Make Virtual Meetings Accessible

Article Cover - Why COVID-19 Has Made Universal Design More Important for Seniors Home Based Care Providers  
AARP Travel

How to Find the Best Hotels for Wheelchair Users

Article Cover - First Steps Toward Virtual Meeting Accessibility  
ASAE Blog Article

First Steps Toward Virtual Meeting Accessibility

Article Cover - Executing Hybrid Events in Pittsburgh  
Meet Pittsburgh Blog Article

Executing Hybrid Events in Pittsburgh

Article Cover - What We Talk About When We Talk About Inclusion at Events  
HUBB Webinar On Demand

What We Talk About When We Talk About Inclusion at Events

Article Cover - Hybrid Meetings  
HUBB Blog Article

Accommodating People with Disabilities at Hybrid Meetings and Events

Article Cover - How to Better Accommodate People with Disabilities at Meetings and Events  
ASAE Blog Article

How to Better Accommodate People with Disabilities at Meetings and Events

Article Cover - Tips to Help Meeting Professionals Plan Inclusive Meetings and Events  
MPI Blog Article

Tips to Help Meeting Professionals Plan Inclusive Meetings and Events

Article Cover - How to Create Accessible Digital Events (Podcast)  
Northstar Meetings Group

How to Create Accessible Digital Events (Podcast)

Article Cover - Adapt to Dining and Networking Challenges  
Special Events Galore

Adapt to Dining and Networking Challenges

Article Cover - How to Provide a Ramp and Stage for Speakers  
MPI Blog Article

How to Provide a Ramp and Stage for Speakers

Article Cover - How to Assist and Best Communicate With People With Disabilities at Your Events  
Northstar Meetings Group

How to Assist and Best Communicate With People With Disabilities at Your Events

Article Cover - The Gift of Inclusive Design (Podcast)  
PUSHLiving Magazine

The Gift of Inclusive Design (Podcast)

Article Cover - How to Plan Truly Accessible Meetings and Events (Podcast)  
Northstar Meetings Group

How to Plan Truly Accessible Meetings and Events (Podcast)

Article Cover - Tips to Accommodate Participants with Disabilities  
MPI Blog Article

Tips to Accommodate Participants with Disabilities

Article Cover - The State of Inclusion in Meetings & Events  
MPI Foundation Research Report

The State of Inclusion in Meetings & Events

Article Cover - How To Accommodate People with Disabilities at Meetings  
Smart Meetings Online

How To Accommodate People with Disabilities at Meetings

Downloads

Partial Client List

  • Alliance of Independent Meeting Professionals
  • American Association of Geographers [Multiple Engagements]
  • American Society of Association Executives
  • Disability Training Alliance
  • Experience Columbus
  • Hubb
  • IMEX America
  • Loudoun Convention & Visitors Association
  • Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress
  • Meeting Professionals International - Michigan Chapter
  • Meeting Professionals International - Mid America Conference
  • Meeting Professionals International - Middle Pennsylvania Chapter
  • Meeting Professionals International - North Florida Chapter
  • Meeting Professionals International - Ohio Chapter
  • Meeting Professionals International - Philadelphia Chapter
  • Meeting Professionals International - Pittsburgh Chapter
  • MeetingsNet
  • National Diversity Council
  • National Speakers Association [Multiple Engagements]
  • National Speakers Association - Ohio Chapter [Multiple Engagements
  • Northstar Meetings Group Independent Planners Education Conference
  • Ohio Society of Association Executives [Multiple Engagements]
  • Professional Convention Management Association
  • Society of Government Meeting Professionals [Multiple Engagements]
 

What Clients Say

"Rosemarie's session at our meeting on being inclusive when planning meetings was a hit! In-person and virtual participants rated our speaker a 4.86 out of 5 which is outstanding!

Her willingness to tailor her program to our audience was so appreciated and gave the attendees usable takeaways. She is definitely an expert in this field and an asset to any event."

Jan Spence, CSP, Director of Education
MPI North Florida Chapter

"I am continually impressed with Rosemarie's passion and insight around designing inclusive events. Rosemarie joined Hubb for a panel on inclusive hybrid event design and her depth of knowledge, powerful personal story, and masterful speaking blew our audience away. We had one of our highest net promoter scores and received glowing reviews from our audience.

Rosemarie can introduce new ideas and actionable strategies in a way that is easy to understand and connect with. I highly recommend to any meeting planner to invite Rosemarie to be a part of your event or to use her extensive knowledge on inclusive design thinking at your next meeting."

Allie Magyar, Founder and CEO
Hubb