Beautiful Children Book Launch, Wed. Oct. 5 @ 4pm

The Jacquet Education Commons, Syracuse University

Special congratulations to author Diana Katovitch, on the completion of her latest book, “Beautiful Children.” The Elm Hill School was the first school for children with intellectual disabilities in the United States, founded in 1848 in Barre, Massachusetts. The school was known for its innovative methods and its long history of teaching students previously thought to be incapable of learning. During her discussion, author of Beautiful Children, Diana Katovitch will review her research, the progressive nature of early special education and the importance of disability history.

Diana “Dee” Katovitch is the coordinator of the Peer2Peer Project and assistant director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education. She worked for 21 years as a special education teacher in New York state public schools. What began as a personal research project on post-secondary education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities resulted in her book, The Power to Spring Up: Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Students with Significant Disabilities (Woodbine House, 2009). She is a graduate of Syracuse University (B.S. School of Education ’90; Certificate of Advanced Study in Disability Studies, ’14) and SUNY Cortland (M.S. in Reading ‘95).



Chris Burke Award for Excellence in disABILITY  Advocacy to be Presented at the Annual Fall Fundraiser.

An actor with Down syndrome, Chris Burke played Corky on the television show, Life Goes On. He has earned numerous awards and is a Goodwill Ambassador to the National Down Syndrome Society.  An award will be presented by the Museum of disABILITY History to one person for outstanding work in the disability community.  See attached file for guidelines and nomination form.

The Chris Burke Award will be presented at the museum’s Annual Fall Fundraiser, on Thursday, October 13.  Click for more info.


Museum of disABILITY History Fall Fundraiser and Auction

You are cordially invited to attend the Museum of disABILITY History’s Fall Fundraiser and Auction. The evening will include h’ordeuvres, wine, beer and desserts, auction and an awards presentation. The Museum of disABILITY History will present its inaugural Chris Burke Award for Excellence in Disability Advocacy next month. Chris Burke, an actor with Down syndrome, played Corky on the television show, “Life Goes On.” He has earned numerous awards and is a Goodwill Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society. The annual fundraiser will benefit the Museum of disABILITY History’s educational programming.

Thursday, October 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Museum of disABILITY History

3826 Main Street, Buffalo

Costs: Tickets: $25 each or two for $40

Additional Event Support Options:

– Chris Burke Award Benefactor $500: Includes four tickets and recognition at the event

– Chris Burke Award Supporter $100: Includes two tickets and recognition at the event

RSVP/Info: 716-629-3626 or email Doug Farley,





Throughout 2016:

“In Celebration of Down Syndrome,” an addition to the Museum of disABILITY History, recognizes individuals who have Down syndrome in a fascinating new exhibit. The exhibit explores medical history, myths and facts, as well as success stories and popular culture.

For More Info:



New Exhibit – Extended:  Suitcases from a State Hospital Attic.


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.


You-Tube Post

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)

Aired: January 21,2015 (Maria Bell)

Aired: January 14,2015 (Israel Cruz)


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!