“When the need for something becomes imperative, you’re forced to find a way to achieve it.”
The idea of creating better accessibility for himself and other little people has always been on Matt Roloff’s mind. For those who know Matt or have watched him on TLC’s Little People Big World, you know he likes to dream up things and tinker in his shop.
Matt had already created a crude version of his final stool design to accommodate himself and his then-wife Amy. All little people modify their living spaces to some degree and most have multiple reaching tools and stools throughout their home to make life easier. But Matt, never content to settle for a makeshift solution, wanted to create the best-built stool for little people. One that he knew would make his family comfortable and keep them safe doing the everyday things every person does. So that is what Matt set his course on doing. Eventually coming up with the Roloff Stool you see today and has been shown on TLC’s Little People, Big World. But like for all little people, it is being outside the comfort of the modifications and accommodations in your own home, that accessibility becomes a bigger challenge.
Traveling has always been a part of Matt’s life, but not so frequent until he became a top sales producer at a software company in the early ‘90s. Business trips and client meetings criss-crossing the country became common and, with that, life became more challenging. Matt wanted to be as comfortable during his out of town stays and he was in his own home, or as close as he possibility could anyway. Plus, comfort aside, he was equally, if not more, concerned about being able to maneuver in his hotel rooms safely. What options does a little person have? Shipping your own stool and accessibility tools to the hotel is cost prohibitive and simply unfeasible. And when alerted to the situation, unfortunately, the solutions many hotels come up with when a little person reserves a stay with them, can create even more reaching and safety issues.
Being involved in Little People of America and having many other little people friends, Matt knew his concerns about safe accessibility when at home and traveling were not just his own. He needed to get the Roloff Stool out for all little people, and that meant, getting hotels on board with his vision.
As Matt introduces the Roloff Stool to the hospitality industry, he first must convince the hotel purchaser that even if only one little person, per year, stays at their property, it is important to safely and comfortably accommodate that little person while they enjoy their stay at the hotel. He explains to the purchaser that little people are travelers and when they find a hotel that accommodates them, they come back and will share that satisfaction with others.
Recently joined by his son Zach, getting Roloff Stools available to all little people in their home and when traveling continue to be the goal. But especially when traveling. One hotel at a time, it is Matt and Zach’s aim to get at least one Roloff Stool accessibility kit in every hotel and motel across the nation, and of course knowing Matt, eventually, that means, around the world.