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Diana Katovitch, Author and Syracuse University Assistant Director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher, Launches New Book

Publication focuses on first school for children with intellectual disabilities in the United States

Diana Katovitch, author of Beautiful Children: The Story of the Elm Hill School and Home for Feebleminded Children and Youth, will conduct a presentation on Wednesday, October 5, 2016, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at The Jacquet Education Commons, Syracuse University Huntington Hall, 804 University Avenue, Syracuse. The book is published through the Museum of disABILITY History and the presentation is part of its Dialogues on disABILITY Speaker Series.

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, Katovitch will review her research, the progressive nature of early special education and the importance of disability history. A question and answer session will also be held.

The free presentation is ideal for those with an interest in the history of special education, including parents, Syracuse University staff members, staff, K-12 teachers and university students. The softcover book will be for sale at the event for $9.95.

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).

To register for the presentation, complete the Syracuse University School of Education online form at or call the Museum of disABILITY History at 716.629.3626.  The Commons is wheelchair accessible and has an accessible restroom. For additional accommodations to attend this event, contact Diana Katovitch at or 315.406.6945.

Established in 1998, the Museum of disABILITY History, located in Buffalo, NY, is the only one of its kind in the United States and is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum’s exhibits, collections, publications, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery.

Western New York 1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231 | Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

Rochester 1860 Buffalo Road | Rochester, NY 14624 | Phone 585.441.9300 | Fax 585.441.9398

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