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Dotty Bell photoMember Spotlight 

 Zach Rossetti, PhD

Location: Brookline, MA

Member since: 2010

Associate Professor of Special Education, Teaching and Learning Department, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

Why did you join AAIDD? 
I joined AAIDD because of the mission and especially the longstanding emphasis on listening to and supporting individuals with IDD and their families. Through family-professional collaboration, advocacy, policy, and research, AAIDD promotes human rights and school and community inclusion for all people with IDD. AAIDD cultivates a network of individuals with IDD, their families, and professionals dedicated to directly improving the quality of life and self-determination of people with IDD.   

Why did you choose the field of intellectual disability? 
I believe the field of intellectual disability chose me. I am the oldest of six in my family; my brother Todd, considered to have had multiple disabilities, was the fourth of the six. Todd was a huge Boston sports fan, loved chocolate cake, and was very social. That he was so outgoing was even more impressive because he did not speak, used a wheelchair, and needed support throughout his day due to his cerebral palsy. Communicating and connecting with others without speaking is one of many lessons he taught me. I also learned early on that others did not always view Todd as I did. Beyond the stares while in public and the teachers who talked to him as if he were much younger than he was, I always questioned the establishment of his intellectual disability because he was assessed without a means of communication. Todd could have and should have experienced more rigorous academic and social experiences in school. Too many people missed out on the privilege of truly knowing Todd.

AAIDD Leadership Positions: 
Editorial Board, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

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