Every Vote Counts—Yours Matters

An Accessible Voting Training Event

Free Community Event!

Monday, June 1, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Museum of disABILITY History

3826 Main Street, Buffalo

Learn how to use machines that make voting possible for those who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise unable to mark a traditional ballot. Feel comfortable casting your vote with a machine provided by the Erie County Board of Elections!

11am: Jessica Smith-Overholt, Erie County Board of Elections, explains accessible voting machines

11:30am: Mock debate with self-advocates B.J. Stasio and Darren Jackson

Noon: Attendees determine debate outcome by using accessible voting machines

Refreshments will be served

Registration encouraged. 716.629-3626


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.



Libraries, Ledgers and Graveyards: Unearthing the Facts Behind Historical Fiction

Featuring Author Rosanne Higgins, PhD.

Friday, May 29, 2015:  7 – 8:30 p.m.

The Dialogues on disABILITY Speakers Series presentation will focus on Rosanne Higgins’ Orphans and Inmates book series and the research that shaped its creation. It will also highlight Higgins’ involvement with the University at Buffalo’s Erie County Poorhouse Cemetery Project, and how it inspired her second novel, A Whisper of Bones. Additionally, Higgins will discuss the relationship between poverty and disability in the nineteenth century.

About Rosanne:

Rosanne Higgins, an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University at Buffalo, was born in Enfield, Connecticut, but spent her youth in Buffalo, New York. Her experiences traveling in both the United States and in Europe as a child resulted in a love of history from an early age. In 1998, she went on to earn her PhD in anthropology from the University at Buffalo. Her studies focused largely on the nineteenth century’s Asylum Movement and its impact on disease specific mortality in Erie, Niagara and Monroe County Poorhouses.

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.


Museum Members – FREE

People Inc. Employees – FREE

Adults – $6.00

Students, Seniors, and Human

Service Employees – $3.50

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



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!