Motivational Speaker, Athlete
Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassador
Ride the Wave of Possibility:
Increase your customer base and revenue with inclusive design
It’s all about perseverance and a positive attitude – Tracy shares her memorable story of motivation for all of us overcoming our own obstacles. She’s passionate on sharing her experiences and challenges in the residential built environment and why we need to change the way we design and build homes so they are inclusive for everyone. #NoOneLeftBehind
After her presentation, you will discover WHY change is worth it. Together we can make a difference and we will . . . .
- Discover the untapped market potential; Activate and inspire change instead of being left behind
- Position the extraordinary value of accessible homes by turning “No” into accepted counter-offers when you have resistant clients
- Expedite results in easier and more affordable ways
Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt BRLS, B.Ed, MBA is an engaging speaker focusing on motivational techniques who will empower you. Having traveled the world as a past aspiring Paralympian and Humanitarian, Tracy brings her award winning perspective and life experiences to the stage as the opening speaker for the LivABLE Environment Conference.
Co-Founder of the Living In Place Institute
CLIPP, HATS, CAPS, CAASH, CGR, CGP, CLR, LDST
Living In Place…The Next Evolution
Going Beyond Aging In Place and Universal Design
Erik Listou is committed to helping all people live in homes that are accessible, comfortable and safe. His $100M+ career in residential and commercial building spans over 50 years. Recently recognized as one of the Top 50 Influencers in the kitchen and bath industry, he has honored with eight national credentials and numerous project and leadership awards. Erik, the consummate and entertaining public speaker, educator, author, and organizer, has taught professional courses for almost two decades for several industry associations. He is the former Executive Director for the Denver Habitat for Humanity and hosted and produced his own 125-episode talk radio show. Now, as Co-Founder of the Living In Place Institute, he brings his knowledge, passion, energy and leadership skills to the forefront of industry and consumer awareness through inter-professional teaming and advanced education in design and products.
Accessibility Strategist, Author,
Rick Hansen Ambassador
Sawchuk Accessible Solutions
Build Your Space
For those who build, renovate and design new buildings using universal design, published author Julie Sawchuk will guide you through the process. Drawing on her own personal experience and using her home, along with knowledge from experts, Build Your Space highlights barrier-free design ideas that you didn’t know your clients needed! Listen to Julie’s challenges on how difficult it was building her trade team and discover ways to sell accessibility to your clients.
Julie’s home in Ontario is a showcase of how accessibility is not just functional, but also beautiful.
Julie Sawchuk is a best selling author, accessibility strategist and a professional speaker. She helps her audiences learn from her first hand experience of living life with a disability in a world where the idea of “barrier free” is coming out into the light. Julie exposes the myths that access can’t be done and costs too much. She will help you see that building, renovating and training for and about accessibility makes sense. As a Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification Professional, Julie has worked with organizations big and small to help them create spaces that are accessible to all their clientele. From international airports to small town schools and restaurants, Julie opens people’s eyes to the economic and cultural benefits of building or renovating with accessibility top of mind.
President of Brand & Digital Marketing,
Restonic Mattress Corporation
The Power of Content Marketing – A Case Study
Julia Rosien, as Vice President of Brand & Digital Marketing for Restonic Mattress Corporation, serves as the brand liaison for Restonic’s family of brands, which includes Scott Living and Biltmore Estate. She also oversees all national and digital advertising and brand initiatives, working closely with retailers, sales reps and licensees around the globe.
She’s a frequent guest speaker at conferences throughout North America, including 140 Conf, TEDx and a multitude of regional and industry-specific events. As a marketer, brand evangelist, writer/blogger and speaker, she employs lessons learned from her diverse past, which includes being an editor of a national pregnancy magazine, college instructor and teacher at a women’s prison.
Manager of Strategy and Operations – Obvius Access
The New Era of Design: Livable Housing
International research indicates that it is 22 times more efficient to “design a house for change” than to retrofit it when an unforeseen necessity arises. At the time Livable Housing guidelines were introduced, the family home accounted for 62 percent of all falls and slip-based injuries and over $1.8 billion in public health expenses in Australia during 2011.Livable Housing promotes universal design standards which will help make community-dwelling a more viable option for a lifetime of living.However, what is the real cost of designing and building a livable home? Join Jonathan Marriott to learn for how Australia has radically rethought housing design to ensure a lifetime of easy living and what we can learn from them.
Jonathan Marriott has over 15 years’ experience in business operations and joined Obvius Access after working in Central London as a Regional Business Manager for three different organisations with a global presence.
Obvius Access in an accredited accessibility consultancy operating across the UK and Australia. With over 16 years of local government experience in Australia, Obvius Access specialises in accessibility in the built environment, transport and Livable ™ housing design and assessment.
A member of the International Association of Access Professionals, Jonathan ensures that there is cross functional alignment of goals and execution across the business both in Australia and the UK. Alongside the other directors, Jonathan develops and delivers on company strategic plans to drive operational excellence and performance.
As an accessibility consultant Jonathan values his clients as business partners. Jonathan operates as a responsible corporate citizen and broadens his skills, experience and perspective through work with diverse communities and individuals. Jonathan’s personal commitment to ethical integrity means his approach to work is consistently open, empathetic and genuine to the business partners’ needs.
DID, ARIDO Intern,
IFSG Red Ribbon Certified Feng Shui Practitioner
Creating a Sense of Place: Harmonizing Nature in The Built Environment
The look and feel of the interior spaces we inhabit on a daily basis impacts all of us cognitively, physically and emotionally. Our surroundings can determine our moods, our productivity and even our wellness and ability to heal. When we achieve a fuller understanding and a heightened awareness of the full impact as to how our surroundings affect us, we are able to realize richer, fuller, and happier lives.
Through a thoughtful planning process and careful curation of our spaces we can ensure that the elements within a space support the needs of the people using those spaces. We can then begin to more fully understand the importance of the harmonization of nature and its elements with the built environment and the impact on the people within those spaces. By continuing to investigate how to integrate these many natural elements into our spaces we can begin to create a sense of place.
Linda Bischoff possesses over 30 years’ experience in the area of interior design. Both her personal and professional experience have allowed her to formulate leadership, volunteerism and business best practices.
Linda is one of a handful of Canadian Feng Shui Practitioners to hold the designation of Red Ribbon Feng Shui Professional as recognized by the International Feng Shui Guild. Her passion for style, colour and feng shui flows to the outside with an avid love of gardening, nature and animals.
Since practicing Feng Shui she has developed a more fulsome understanding of the built environment enabling her to have a greater impact on the look, feel and energy of buildings and office spaces.
PTA, CSAHD, BAEA, CPCA, CEAC, ECHMP, SLEC, DOPS Managing Partner, President Accessible Daily Living/DriveLab Inc
The Team, the Tools, the Future
We are faced with an exciting and important time for residential and public space design. With the aging population looking for solutions to their current living environment and existing barriers, we have a chance to right the wrongs of the past. A daunting task, but with the right team, understanding each other’s role, responsibility and celebrating contributions we can progress to an accessible and inclusive society. Its time to put the books and theory to test. A hands-on movement is knocking!!! Where do we begin? Know the team, Know your tools, prepare for the future.
Mr. John Groe is Managing Partner, Accessibility Consultant at Accessible Daily Living (ADL) and President of DriveLab Inc. (DLI). He is responsible for all areas related to Accessibility and Business Development for ADL and DLI. Mr. Groe holds educational credentials with C11 Practices and Principles (Chartered Insurance Professional Program) as well as graduating from the Physiotherapist Assistant Program, General Arts & Sciences Program, specializing in geriatrics at Humber College. He has also successfully completed the “Accessible Construction Contractor Training and Certification Program” through March of Dimes Canada and has received his designation as a Canadian Specialist in Accessible Home Design (CSAHD) from Mount Royal University in Alberta, Canada.
Mr. Groe has spent most of his career working hands on in both the medical/rehabilitation and Insurance industries. He has extensive knowledge of rehabilitation having worked in one of Canada’s top Trauma and Orthopaedic Hospitals for more than a decade.
Owner & Creative Director at Rebecca Hay Designs
Grow Your Business Through Wellness
Have you considered how the items in your home may be affecting your health? In this health conscious world everyone is focused on the foods they consume and how it affects their body. However, few people are talking about what they’re putting into their homes and how it affects the air that we breathe and the surfaces we touch. We all deserve to live in a home that promotes wellness. As a design professional, it’s easy to make a room pretty. But what sets you apart from your competition? What is your unique value offering? One way to set yourself apart as a designer is by caring for your clients on a deeper level. Demonstrate the value you bring to clients by bringing products into their homes that promote wellness. In this talk, Rebecca will share her passion for sustainability and the ways in which we can all be healthier in our design choices while at the same time increasing our sales and the profile of our business.
Rebecca Hay is the owner & creative director of Rebecca Hay Designs, a Toronto based Design firm specializing in livable family homes. With a commitment to the environment, Rebecca and her team are mindful in their design choices and strive to be as sustainable as possible. Their work has been showcased in the pages of some of the country’s top design and lifestyle magazines. Rebecca is a regular columnist for several GTA publications and is known and celebrated for her commitment to building a stronger design community. She hosts Designer Meet-Ups every month across the GTA, is an active YouTuber and you can follow her daily design adventures on INSTAGRAM.
ARIDO, IDC, NCIDQ, LEED Green Associate
Principal | Director of Design Interiors, HOK
The Future of Design: The Necessary Rise of Inclusive Design
The Future of Design: The Necessary Rise of Inclusive Design, curates a conversation to redefine an “Inclusive Design” approach that considers the authentic diversity of people, culture, and community as crucial considerations in ideation. The proposal also explores how an inclusive design approaches can profoundly impact the design process and create exceptional design solutions in the future.
The learning outcomes of this proposal include:
- How to create positive discussions around adopting inclusive design practices
- Where the opportunity lies in everyday “design practice”
- The value of adopting inclusive design practices
The Future of Design: The Necessary Rise of Inclusive Design encourages dialogue and shares methods to adopt Inclusive Design approaches, within the daily practice of interior design. As well as, aptly highlights the need to educate students and professionals more broadly to help facilitate and establish this new approach as critical to the iterative design process.
Our world is smaller than ever, humanity aspires to: provide care, work, play and live connected experiences that are more meaningful. As designers it is our responsibility to create considerate environments that support this quality of life for all. This is the Future of Design.
Ian Rolston is: a creative strategist, design enthusiast, design director and an engaging speaker. Specializing in creating compelling environments, Rolston has collaborated with the world’s best firms and companies across design sectors: Hospitality, Corporate, Retail, Health Care, Science + Technology, Education and Sports Entertainment.
A native son of Toronto, Canada, Rolston uses design as a medium to challenge convention to explore spaces beyond the boundaries. Believing design has the power to solve the biggest challenges that face our world today.
Principal, ABE Factors Inc. (Accessible Built Environment Factors)
Lead Technical Accessibility Specialist
Accessible Home Design from a Technical Perspective: Codes and Standards
It is apparent that the Building Code lacks technical accessibility design guidance when it comes to building single dwellings or smaller residential homes such as townhomes. However, that is not to say the barrier-free design requirements applicable to accessible suites in larger condominiums or apartment buildings can’t be applied to the smaller projects voluntarily. In this short, half-hour session, Samantha will take you through some key technical residential design features prescribed by the building code for larger residential facilities that can also be applied to smaller family dwellings, and provide the audience with a few examples of housing design standards that can be referred to when designing single accessible homes or proposing accessible modifications.
Samantha Proulx, C.E.T., RHFAC, Principal at ABE Factors Inc., is a Leading Technical Accessibility Specialist and Inter-Provincially Trained Building Code Consultant with almost a decade of experience in educating and working alongside design industry professionals on creating and maintaining inclusive, functional and compliant spaces that can be entered, experienced, and exited safely by everyone. Samantha is recognised as an expert in her field and specializes in Codes, Standards, Regulations, and governing Legislation pertaining to accessibility and barrier-free design and has an extensive skill set in teaching and applying Part 3 Fire and Life Safety of the Building Code. Ms. Proulx was one of the very first individuals to obtain her Professional Accessibility Assessor designation through the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) Training Program, is an instructor of the RHFAC Program at SAIT, sits on numerous technical accessibility committees at a National level, has been retained as a leading expert on slips, trips, and fall litigations, and she strongly believes that together we can empower people through the built environment to maximize human performance.
M.Arch., Hon.B.Sc., MRAIC, IDC, AIC, CAPS
Technical Specialist, Ministry of Long-Term Care
Director & Special Projects Editor, The Right Angle Journal
Vice-President, Colour Research Society of Canada
Putting a Healthcare Design Lens on Planning and Designing Residential Projects
Due to changes in nature of economic forces, advanced technology and people’s lifestyle, the healthcare landscape is no longer as monolithic as before. The boundary of healthcare delivery is expanding and becoming blurred in society since the Millennium. Visiting, staying, and receiving treatments in healthcare facilities are no longer the only few options for people to cope with illness – Aging at home and home care are some of the popular trends.
This seminar will give a brief overview on the basic design principles used in healthcare facilities design. It does not matter the project scale and type – ranging from adding a barrier-free walkway or ramp to upgrading a HVAC system and renovating a washroom or house, some of these design principles are also applicable in designing for residential projects.
Vivian Lo, has over 20 years of progressive media, healthcare, and architectural design experience which comprises working at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for nearly 10 years specializing in developing Canadian healthcare facilities design and standards, including hospitals, community health centres, family health team clinics, and long-term care homes. She has been a member of several steering committees for healthcare facilities design since 2007; committee member of the Ontario Association of Architects, the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, and the Canada Green Building Council; as well as conference committee of 2013 International Union of Architects Public Health Group Congress and Design, Health World Congress in 2014, and International Colour Association Interim Meeting in 2022. Vivian received University of Toronto Arbor Award in 2018 for mentoring undergraduate and graduate students for over a decade.
Home Modifications — What can go wrong?
This session explores a proven multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to Home Modification projects for the purposes of supporting individuals living with disabilities and those wanting to age in place. Through the unique lens of each client and their Home Modification Team, participants will learn the importance of maintaining professional boundaries, mitigating legal risks, and avoiding common project pitfalls. High impact, collaborative, and inclusive design considerations as they relate to improving client function, safety and accessibility will be shared and will surely add to any renovator/contractor, architect, designer, occupational therapist or other involved professional’s Home Modification tool box.
Marnie Courage is CEO and Inclusion Specialist at Enabling Access Inc. in Winnipeg. She is an Occupational Therapist with more than 20 years experience in her field. She has completed Universal Design courses through the University of Buffalo and holds an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. Marnie teaches Creating Inclusive Workplaces – Accessibility to Accommodation course at the University of Winnipeg’s Human Resource Program. She sits on the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists Home Modifications Task Force and is a member of the Canadian Home Modification Council. Marnie was involved with the course content review for the new Canadian- Certified Aging in Place Specialist (C-CAPS) course and runs a well established Safe Living Manitoba an OT Home Modification Assessment and Consultation service to support people living with disabilities and those wanting to age in place. Marnie is a Certified Life Care Planner, providing medical-legal cost of future care services nation wide. She continues to use innovation and collaboration to help create more inclusive communities and is a dynamic public speaker, presenting at national conferences on topics related to accessibility and inclusion.
Jane E. Sleeth
Best Selling Author
The Human Factors and Ergonomic Principles in Designing and Building Inclusive Residential Spaces for A Lifespan
Where would you like to live out your final decade of life? Is it possible for you to remain in your home if you were challenged with a medical condition or mobility issue? The reality of living in a community assisted facility, living with a hundred other residents, might be where you will end up. But Why?
In the Province of Ontario and in Canada, currently 22% of our population has some type of disability. Baby Boomers are growing older and our population is aging at an accelerated pace.
The problem with these demographic realities, is that the current designs of our dwellings, means we most likely will not be able to stay in our homes as we age and develop disabilities. The ugly truth is that our housing stock is not designed for an entire lifespan.
As my good friend and associate Jason Chiles reminds audiences “you are all temporarily abled” and I would add to that “you are all temporarily young”.
In this talk, Jane Sleeth will describe the reason we have challenges with our residential built environment and the lack of inclusive design in our Building Codes. She will address why architects and interior designers need to consult with experts when designing for disability and aging. Jane will identify the experts in disability and aging and speak to the value of developing a team that includes Physiotherapists, Geriatricians and Geriatric Psychologists, or Ergonomists/Human Factors Design experts and what they bring to the project. Today far too many misconceptions and misperceptions about the actual costs associated with developing designs for Aging in Place / Living in Place within the home and condo continue to exist. This means new condos and homes continue to be built across Canada every day without accessibility in mind, preventing homeowners and renters alike from remaining safely and comfortably in their homes well into their life. As an industry expert Jane will present a brief case study of an Access Plus Condo Audit and Report that she and her team developed for a newly built Condo in downtown Toronto.
Jane Sleeth, is Founder and Sr Consulting of OPC. Jane is a Best-Selling Author and has published 3 books on the topics of design for mental health; design for prevention of back and neck injuries, and design as applied to the prevention of injury and disability in the workplace with Thompson-Carswell.
A former professional tennis player who sustained a spinal fracture & a Physiotherapist, Jane was one of Canada’s first Professional Ergonomists & Accessibility Consultants. Her work with companies such as RBC, BMO, Holiday Inn and several Condominiums in Ontario, has led to outstanding results & enhanced accessibility practices.
With more than 30 years of experience in the application of Ergonomic/Human Factors and Inclusive Design for workplaces and homes, Jane leads the OPC consulting team in Auditing Built Environments in a variety of settings from offices, to home offices as well as private homes and condominiums.
Jane and her team sit on the National Build Code development Committee and the BIFMA (Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association) Ergonomic design committees.
Home Modifications Expert
MJM Consulting & Project Management Ltd./Owner
Accessibility Modifications: Retrofit vs. New Construction
Attendees will learn how to better understand the person with a disability, their families and their caregivers. The talk will touch on how I assess the functional abilities of a person using my knowledge of the various medical conditions and injuries that can affect someone’s ability to partake in normal daily activities without aids or assistance from others.
Learn about how I assess a home that requires modifications to meet the needs of the person with a disability and the pros and cons of an accessibility modification project compared to constructing a “purpose-built home.”
Understand what levels of accessibility are achievable in a retrofit scenario and how the various modifications will impact the person, family, and caregivers. Attendees will also learn more about the benefits (and detriments) of constructing a purpose-built home for a person who needs one and the importance of having an OT and/or PSW on your team.
Mitchell Moshenberg: I am the founder of MJM Consulting & Project Management Ltd. I work primarily for personal injury lawyers, medical malpractice lawyers, Insurance Companies & Consumers. I assess and modify/construct homes for people with disabilities. I provide Assessment, Consulting & Construction Services focused on returning the person with an acquired disability to their homes and ensuring the claimant obtains fair compensation for their losses.
B.A., D.I.D., B.I.D. OWNER and PRINCIPAL, SCHULMAN DESIGN INC.
Optimizing the Aging Brain by Design – Creating Longevity at Home
Learn how to curate the aging spirit through interior design that maps behaviour to complement lifestyle. Understand how to celebrate and enhance life by creating space and environments that enable those with memory loss or physical impairments to live life to the fullest. This session will address significant questions and provide insightful solutions for creating longevity in the interiors for older adults that are experiencing memory loss and/or physical impairment. Good design for our aging population is good design for everyone.
Margot Schulman, B.A., B.A.A.,I.D. is an entrepreneur, interior designer an sociologist (Gerontology) for more than 20 years. Her full serviced interior design firm, Schulman Design, transforms commercial, hospitality and residential spaces and spearheads change for those with mobility or cognitive challenges. She offers innovative design solutions that celebrate aging and independence. Margot is passionate about caring for people and is committed to shifting cultural paradigms through advocacy, accessibility design, education and strategic partnerships.
Anne Marie Wright
Partner and Co-Founder. YouAreUNLTD
Digital Director. YouAreUNLTD.
Aging is a Powerful Market Driver
We Talk About Ageism as a Barrier to Success – The Broader Story is Really About How to Succeed in this New Aging Economy.
We all know that the population is aging – but do we understand how it is transforming our society and our business?
A new variety of aging consumers (45 to 70) are and have arrived at their later years with unprecedented diversity in terms of tastes, demands, aspirations, and expectations for their own lives—all of which go well beyond what older consumers put up with even a generation ago. Aging in Place or Living Well at Home? Words matter to this consumer.
Every industry—automotive, financial services, retail, insurance, entertainment, leisure, healthcare, and more—needs to develop innovations that truly excite and delight the new aging consumer.
Why? Because this is the largest and wealthiest audience in history. Their expectations will not be dampened by age, especially as they come to recognize the power of their unprecedented numbers and control (to the tune of 70 percent) of global consumer spending.
This 30-minute engaging and forward-looking session will introduce you to new insights and thinking to inspire fresh ideas that build competitive advantage. We’ll look at global trends and insights; who exactly this new aging consumer is (you’ll be surprised!); barriers to success such as issues around ageism and smart strategies that others have used to win in this dynamic marketplace.
Anne Marie is a Partner and Co-Founder of YouAreUNLTD, a purpose driven brand and content network, disrupting and redefining what it means to get older. YouAreUNLTD is a fresh voice to provide people with the inspiration and resources to age powerfully. Through content strategies that bust myths, educate and inform, YouAreUNLTD connects businesses and brands with the most valuable and influential demographic in history – the aging consumer.
Before YouAreUNLTD, Anne Marie established her career as a brand-focused, global business builder accomplished in growing and transforming healthcare organizations. With more than 30 years of Marketing, Sales and Business development experience in health technology start-ups, global pharmaceuticals, retail healthcare and CPG brand management, she is a champion of innovation, developing and leading healthcare solutions
that drive multi-million-dollar revenue gains, “next level” growth and build business value.
Cass Enright has spent his career innovating brands and disrupting the status quo. He has helped some of the world’s most recognizable brands create award-winning marketing campaigns that stand out and make a difference. He is also an entrepreneur in the craft beer world, creating nationally recognized event and festival properties. Cass has been part of the UNLTD team since the early days and has made a significant contribution in bringing this emerging brand to life and driving new perceptions about aging.
MBA, P.Eng., LC, AssocIALD
Principal, Gottesman Associates
Sharyn Adler Gitalis
Colour and Light for a LivABLE Future
As we age, our perception of colour and light changes. Understanding these changes is important; they can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health that can affect our ability to live independently.
Join us as we navigate through the latest research into colour and the aging eye, and the impact of light on human health. Relevant studies can lead us to meaningful solutions to improve the environment for a livABLE future.
Deborah Gottesman has a unique contextual understanding of lighting from all perspectives; her career spans over 30 years in all facets of the lighting industry, including design, engineering, management, education, and manufacturing. Since establishing Gottesman Associates in 1999, Deborah’s creative, rigorous, and client-driven approach have brought award-winning advanced lighting intelligence to a wide range of clients.
An electrical engineer with an MBA in Real Property, Deborah has successfully worked on projects in many sectors, and has taught lighting at all levels to a wide audience from students at colleges and universities to senior architects.
Sharyn Adler Gitalis experience as an artist, colour consultant, lighting designer and educator informs her insightful perspective on design. As Associate Lighting Designer with Gottesman Associates and Principal with Colour + Light, she explores and applies the nuances of colour and light with scientific enquiry and creative understanding. Sharyn’s professional interests include urban streetscape, and projects related to community, sustainability, health and wellness.
She shares her passion for light and colour by teaching at various institutions including OCAD University, Ryerson University, and Artbarn School. She also holds colour and lighting seminars and workshops for designers.
Stay Tuned For More Speakers!
All ticket holders will be entered in our draw to WIN a motion chair by Elran (valued at $1500)