Photo of Zachary Rossetti

Zachary Rossetti

Associate Professor

Dr. Zachary Rossetti is an associate professor of special education at BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Dr. Rossetti’s research focuses on social inclusion and belonging of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), specifically the contexts and dynamics of friendships and how educators and parents can facilitate friendship opportunities between students with and without IDD. His research also examines the experiences of families with children with IDD by centering on participation and language access in IEP meetings, family-professional partnerships of culturally and linguistically diverse families, family advocacy, community participation, and sibling roles and relationships. Central to all of his research is the context of inclusive education for students with IDD.

Dr. Rossetti’s research has been published in top journals including Exceptional Children, Remedial and Special Education, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and Journal of Special Education. He is an associate editor for Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, Remedial and Special Education, and the Journal of Education, and he is on the editorial board of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, and TASH’s practitioner journal, Inclusive Practices.

A former elementary school special education teacher and inclusion facilitator from New Hampshire, Dr. Rossetti remains personally and professionally motivated by his brother Todd, who loved Boston sports and was extremely social, though he could not speak and needed constant support due to his cerebral palsy.

Pronouns: he/him

PhD, Special Education, Syracuse University

CAS, Disability Studies, Syracuse University

MEd, Special Education (Concentration: Severe Disabilities), University of New Hampshire

BA, Sociology, Middlebury College

SED SE 250 Disability, Education, and Public Policy

SED SE 480 Teaching Students with Disabilities

SED SE 512 Students with Disabilities and the Law

SED SE 533 Families of Children with Disabilities

SED SE 534 Classroom and Behavior Management

SED SE 535 Understanding Autism

SED SE 706 Introduction to Special EducationSED SE 805 Special Education Doctoral Seminar

Principal Investigator, Spencer Foundation, Large Research Grant, Project Civic LeAdS: Enhancing Civic Engagement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families and Students with Disabilities: Legislative Advocacy in Special Education. $500,000 (10/1/20-9/30/24)

Principal Investigator, Spencer Foundation, Small Research Grant, Enhancing Civic Engagement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Parents of Children with Disabilities. $50,000 (1/1/18 – 12/31/18).

Principal Investigator, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, Friends Matter! Increasing and Improving Social Interaction Opportunities between Students with and without Intellectual Disabilities. $142,522 (1/1/17 – 12/31/19).

Principal Investigator, American Educational Research Association, Education Research Service Projects, Examining Latinx Families' Language Access and Participation in their Children's IEP Meetings. $4,400 (4/1/17 – 5/31/18).

Rossetti, Z., Lehr, D., Shaheen, T., Baulier, K., Burnette, K., & Taub, D. (2023). Parent perceptions of remote instruction for students with extensive support needs. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 48(1), 41-58. https://doi.org/10.1177/15407969231154166

Therrien, M. C. S., Rossetti, Z., & Østvik, J. (2022). Augmentative and alternative communication and friendships: Considerations for speech-language pathologists. ASHA Perspectives, 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_PERSP-22-00105

Kim, J. H., Hughes, O., Demissie, S., Kunzier, T., Cheung, C. W., Monarrez, E., Burke, M. M., & Rossetti, Z. (2022). Lessons learned from research collaboration among people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 60(5), 405-415. https://doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-60.5.405

Burke, M. M., Rossetti, Z., & Li, R. (2021). The efficacy and impact of a special education legislative advocacy program among parents of children with disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-05258-4

Rossetti, Z., Burke, M. M., Hughes, O., Rivera, J., Schraml-Block, K., Rios, K., Aleman Tovar, J., & Lee, J. (2021). Parent perceptions of the advocacy expectation in special education. Exceptional Children, 87(4), 438-457. https://doi.org/10.1177/0014402921994095

Sauer, J. S., & Rossetti, Z. (2020). Affirming disability: Strengths-based portraits of culturally diverse families. Teachers College Press. https://www.tcpress.com/affirming-disability-9780807763292

Rossetti, Z., Burke, M. M., Rios, K., Rivera, J., Schraml-Block, K., Hughes, O., Lee, J. D., & Aleman Tovar, J. (2020). Parent leadership and civic engagement: Suggestions for the next Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) reauthorization. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 31(2), 99-111. https://doi.org/10.1177/1044207319901260

Rossetti, Z., & Keenan, J. (2018). The nature of friendship between students with and without severe disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 39(4), 195-210. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932517703713

Best, M., Hughes, O. E., Johnston, A., Khanna, R. M., Burke, M. & Rossetti, Z. (2023, June). Perspectives on advocacy by parents and transition-aged youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Issue Brief presentation at American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) 147th Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA.

Rossetti, Z. (2023, March). Friends Matter: Developing authentic social relationships. Webinar presented during the Meaningful Lives Spring 2023 Webinar Series, TASH New England, virtual. https://tash.org/meaningful-lives-spring-2023-webinar-series

Baulier, K., & Rossetti, Z. (2022, December). A cultural-historical activity theory perspective on inclusive school culture. Concurrent session at 2022 TASH Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Conley, T., Rossetti, Z., Handler, N., & Tekwani, S. (2022, March). Sibling grief and loss. The Sibling Leadership Network Podcast, Episode 10, Sibling Leadership Network. https://siblingleadership.org/2022/03/14/sln-podcast-10-sibling-grief-and-loss

Rossetti, Z. (2021). All kids need friends. Good Things in Life for Kids with Disabilities Podcast, Good Things In Life, Ontario, Canada. https://goodthingsinlife.org/117-2

Rossetti, Z., Cheung, C. W., Kim, J. H., Demissie, S., & Kunzier, T. (2021, December). Research partnership with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 2021 TASH Conference- Virtual Edition.