Celebrate the Season with Universal Mind

Thursday, December 3 at 5 pm

Get your tickets soon for an evening of fun, food and dancing with the amazing musicians known as Universal Mind.  This group of talented musicians have their own story of overcoming disabilities to share their love of music for the entertainment of others.  We will also have a great Christmas themed basket raffle.


Kevin Kling Live

Wednesday November 18th at 7pm

Kevin Kling joins us from Minnesota to cast a spell on his audience through storytelling.  Kevin Kling is an American commentator for National Public Radio and acclaimed storyteller. Kevin Kling grew up in Osseo, Minnesota and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1979 with a B. A. in Theatre. He built his reputation in the Twin Cities during the 1990s with his groundbreaking plays “21A” and “Fear and Loving in Minneapolis.” His one-man show “Home and Away” premiered at Seattle Repertory Theatre and then moved to Second Stage Theatre under the direction of David Esbjornson. Esbjornson, former Artistic Director of Seattle Rep, commissioned Kling to create a piece with Minneapolis-based accordionist and singer Simone Perrin. “How? How? Why? Why” was born. As of 2009, Kling and Perrin are in Seattle performing their second collaborative work “Breakin’ Hearts and Takin’ Names.”


The Seer and the Scholar

Book Premiere and Signing

Featuring local author and anthropologist Rosanne Higgins, PhD

Friday, November 6, 2015, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The stories of real people have inspired the writing of the Orphans and Inmates book series, which tells the tale of three sisters who were orphaned on their way from Ireland to Buffalo and sought refuge at the Erie County Poorhouse. The Seer and the Scholar takes place during the cholera epidemic of 1849. Martha, the youngest of the Sloane sisters and a student in the Medical Department at the University at Buffalo, takes in an orphaned child who is deaf. Woven through the child’s story are Bishop Timon’s attempts to establish a school for the deaf and some details on the education of children who are deaf during the nineteenth century.

There are several other characters who have experienced life altering injuries or illnesses earlier in the series. Those debilitating experiences resulted in their need to seek assistance at the Erie County Poorhouse. The presentation will include their stories and how these characters have progressed through the three books. The facts and fiction of various historical themes in the story will also be discussed.

The presentation is ideal for:   

  • Fans of historical fiction and the Orphans and Inmates book series
  •  Historians
  • Human service employees
  • Students and writers

About Rosanne   

Rosanne Higgins is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses largely on the nineteenth century’s Asylum Movement and its impact on disease specific mortality. In the spring of 2012, she was invited to join the Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery project, undertaken by the Department of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo. This project, paired with a longstanding desire to tell a side of the ‘Poorhouse story’ that was accessible to more than just the scholarly community, resulted in her novel, Orphans and Inmates. The book is the first in a series chronicling fictional accounts of poorhouse residents inspired by historical data. The series’ second installment, A Whisper of Bones, was released in October 2014. The third book, The Seer and the Scholar, will debut at this event.


Adults – $6.00

Students, Seniors, and Human

Service Employees – $3.50 Museum Members – FREE

People Inc. Employees – FREE

*Event fee includes admission to the Museum of disABILITY History.


Night of a Thousand Stars

Saturday, October 3 at 7 pm

Join us for fun evening celebrating the opening of the museum’s GoFundMe campaign to raise much needed funds for upcoming museum projects.  RSVP to Doug Farley, Director, at 716.629.3626.  Can’t attend?  Be sure to visit our campaign site: GoFundMe/musedisability


They Did Not Harm: Alternative Medicine in Niagara Falls, NY

Friday, October 16th at 7 pm.

Featuring Museum of disability History founder and author, James M. Boles, EdD. The book, They Did No Harm, describes how medicine was primitive in the 1800s. Physicians often were untrained and licensing was not yet organized. In the same period, healing facilities and health products ranging from medicinal mineral water, patent medicine, food and devices were developing in Niagara Falls, NY as alternatives to traditional medicine. With good marketing and common wisdom, these enterprises used a variety of colorful methods, mostly harmless, to help their customers.


Meet the Author!

Mubu the Morph book series

Author: Stephen Nawotniak and illustrator: Jeff Perdziak

Wed 9/30, 2:30-3:30 00pm – reading and book signing at the  Highpoint Hospital on Michigan’s Children’s Unit

Sat/Sun 10/17-18 Buffalo Comicon at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center

Fri 11/6, 6-8pm Book Signing at Clarence Barnes and Nobles near Eastern Hills Mall

Sat 11/14, 11-3pm Book Signing at the Clarence Public Library

Sat 11/28, 10:30-11am Reading and Book Signing  at Monkey See, Monkey Do

Wed. 12/2 at Buffalo Historical Museum

Thurs 12/3, 5-7pm Reading and Book Signing at Museum of disABILITY History’s holiday party

Sat 12/12, 2:30 – 5:30pm Reading and Book Signing, Mubu Holiday Event at Museum of disABILITY History


The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and display of artifacts relating to the history of people with disabilities. The mission is to tell the story of the lives, triumphs and struggles of people with disabilities as well as society’s reactions. The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main Street in Buffalo, NY, offers educational exhibits, programs and activities that expand community awareness.


We recently received this neat You-Tube post from a UB Professor who assigned a visit to the museum as part of her course work.  One of her students responded to the visit by creating this short video.  I hope you enjoy it.





Museum of disABILITY History Featured in “Homework Hotline Move to Include”

The Museum of disABILITY History docents and curator were interviewed for three “Homework Hotline Move to Include” segments. Homework Hotline is a live, statewide call-in show where kids receive help with homework problems right on the air. The hotline has teamed up with the Golisano Foundation to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. Click here to watch the videos.

Aired: November 19,2014 (Charles  Degraffenried)   http://www.homeworkhotline.org/mti/assistive-technology

Aired: January 21,2015 (Maria Bell)   http://www.homeworkhotline.org/mti/institutionalization

Aired: January 14,2015 (Israel Cruz)  http://www.homeworkhotline.org/mti/americans-disabilities-act


The Museum of disABILITY History will now be open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10:00am-2:00pm on Saturday! Please stop in for a tour of our unique collection!


The highly anticipated “Abandoned Asylums of New England: A Photographic Journey by John Gray” is now available for purchase at the museum store! The book offers the work of photographer John Gray, who has captured the final throes of the once majestic monuments of medical treatment. This photographic journey into the world of urban exploration documents the state of some of New England’s storied temples of control, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with disabling conditions.

The Museum of disABILITY History provides a historical context for these asylums that heightens the degree of entropy into which these feats of architectural grandeur have fallen. From the gigantic Kirkbride campuses to the airy tuberculosis hospitals, Gray’s photography reveals through its compositions the poignant echoes of the lives lived, and sometimes lost, at these disappearing asylums. Click on the Museum Store tab and get your copy today!