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While at Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day on May 24, Project Coordinator Brie Kishel and Kids on the Block puppet Mark Riley spent some time with Zach Anner, host of “Rollin with Zach.”
New Exhibit Debuts at Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day
The Museum of disABILITY’s newest exhibit, “Continuum of Care: History of WNY Human Service Agencies” debuted at Developmental Disabilities Awareness Day (DD Day) on May 24, at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, NY. The convention is the largest of its kind in the United States bringing together the community’s agencies for the developmentally disabled, industry connected vendors and suppliers, direct support professionals and individuals with developmental disabilities.
The new exhibit, featuring the history of human service agencies in Western New York, is more than just dates of establishment or old street addresses – it is like a family saga. It is the story of PEOPLE who saw a need to help others to lead lives that would be meaningful and appreciated. Whether organizations had their roots in the faith – based community, a civic charitable organization or the Parent’s Movement, there are stories of struggle and triumph, serious work and serious joy to be told. And like any “family tree,” there are certainly some colorful figures who helped to shape the vision of “what could be” by engaging the community, businesses and the media. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street in Buffalo from May 29 to August 31. For more information, call 716.629.3626.
The keynote speaker at DD Day was Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network star, Zach Anner from “Rollin’ With Zach!” Anner is a comedian and cultural satirist born in Buffalo. He has cerebral palsy, which he calls the “sexiest of the palsies.” After graduating from high school with honors and a GED, Zach attended college at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Bully” to be Featured Movie at disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series
The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. will host the 8th Annual disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series on Thursday, October 4, at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts. This year’s film will be the highly anticipated “Bully.”

Following five kids and families over the course of a school year, the film confronts bullying’s most tragic outcomes, including the stories of two families who lost children to suicide and a mother who waits to learn the fate of her 14-year-old daughter, incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. While the stories examine the dire consequences of bullying, they also give testimony to the courage and strength of the victims of bullying and seek to inspire real changes in the way society deals with bullying as parents, teachers, and children and as a whole. Through the power of these stories, “Bully” aims to be a catalyst for change and to turn the tide on an epidemic of violence that has touched every community in the United States – and far beyond.

Studies have shown that children with disabilities are more vulnerable and at a greater risk of being bullied than children who do not have a disability. The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. are proud supporters of a community outreach project called Kids on the Block of WNY, a disability awareness program. Brie Kishel, Kids on the Block project coordinator, is currently in the beginning stages of developing an anti-bullying curriculum that is scheduled to premiere in 2013.
For more information about the disABILITIES Film Festival and Speaker Series, call 716.629.3626. Stay tuned for more information in the upcoming months!

State Senate Approves Disability History Curriculum Legislation
As reported in the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) “News & Views” e-newsletter, this week the New York State Senate approved S.2352 to promote greater awareness and understanding of people with disabilities. Sponsored by Senator Mark Grisanti (Erie, Niagara), the legislation, if enacted, will require the New York State Education Department to make curriculum materials available to secondary schools which aid in the instruction on the understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities. Current statute requires the availability of the curriculum materials in elementary schools. According to the sponsor’s memo, pilot programs in schools located in Western New York have demonstrated the effectiveness of the curriculum in the classroom. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly (A.8466) by Assemblyman Michael Cusick (Richmond). More information will be announced soon about the Museum of disABILITY History’s and People Inc.’s involvement with the Disability History Curriculum.

CEO of Hunter’s Hope Foundation Tours Museum of disABILITY History
Recently, Jacque Waggoner, chief executive officer of Hunter’s Hope Foundation, received a personalized tour of the Museum of disABILITY History from Douglas Platt, curator and Brie Kishel, project coordinator. Jacque shared, “It is a wonderful thing you are doing.”

According to Douglas, Ms. Waggoner was impressed with the content and design of the Museum of disABILITY History. They spent time talking about the Museum’s inaugural exhibit, which is the “Birth of Newborn Screening” and it was mentioned that an exhibit about Krabbe disease could be developed in the future at the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute. Douglas shared that the Museum of disABILITY History would be happy to collaborate on the project as the Museum has an abundant amount of information about newborn screening, which has deep roots in Western New York.
L-R: Brie Kishel, project coordinator; Jacque Waggoner, CEO of Hunter’s Hope Foundation; and Douglas Platt, curator.

New Website Coming Soon
A new and improved website for the Museum of disABILITY History will be launched soon! The website will have a whole new look, a more interactive experience and improved navigation. Stay tuned!

Updated Blog Posts
The Museum of disABILITY History has a blog at blog.museumofdisability.org and includes articles and information relating to disability history, awareness and education. The newest blog article is called “The World as it Could Be – Part One” about the movie “Bully.” Check it out and leave a comment!  


The Blue Rose
You are invited to attend…
“The Blue Rose”
By Gerda Weissmann Klein, adapted for the stage and directed by Darleen Pickering Hummert
Theatre for Change
Wednesday, May 30, 7 p.m.
Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart
3860 Main Street, Amherst
Admission is free. Donations gratefully accepted.
The Museum of disABILITY History is pleased to be part of this event by providing education to students about disabilities.
The event is sponsored through the generous financial support of the Daigler Family Scholarship Fund, as administered by the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo in collaboration with The Blue Rose Foundation.

Curators Corner
Two interesting recent additions to the growing Museum of disABILITY History collection include a set of modified action figures and a short series of newsletters.
The “Purple Heart Action Figures” were a donation made to the Museum by a person who thought they needed an appropriate home that would allow the public to view them and reflect upon their significance.  These eight G.I. Joe and Barbie dolls were dressed in military fatigues and bore the wounds that had earned them the right to wear The Purple Heart. Each of these figures has a Combat File Sheet which details their rank, motivation to serve in the military, circumstance of their injury, after action report and Purple Heart certificate. These items were donated after the debut of the Museum’s most recent feature exhibit “War and disABILITY.”
Additionally, five issues of “Madness Network News: A Journal of the Psychiatric Inmates’ Liberation Movement” have been added to the research library. This tabloid style newsletter was generated by former recipients of psychiatric services. They contain compelling articles relevant to the disability rights movement and the formation of groups of “Survivors” of mental health treatment that emerged in the 1970s.

Become a Member
Want to support the Museum of disABILITY History? Membership opportunities are now available! With five different levels to choose from, you can choose the one that is right for you. All supporting membership levels are good for one year.

The top three reasons to become a member are:
1. Unlimited free admission
2. Invitations to exclusive events and exhibit openings
3. 10 percent discount in the Museum of disABILITY History store. 
For more information, click on the flyer and registration form.

For more information about the Museum of disABILITY History,
call 716.629.3626 or visit www.museumofdisability.org.

3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14226
Museum of disABILITY History Store online: store.museumofdisability.org

1219 North Forest Road | Williamsville, NY 14231 US

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