March 2016 Program

Institutions New York State

"Understanding Historic Institutions for the Disabled in New York State"

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2016

Location: Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14226
(near Snyder/Buffalo border)

Institutions New York State

Program Schedule:
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Welcome and Presentations

Free for WNYGS members and $6 (museum admission) for guests.
>> Advanced Registration Required. See instructions below.

Join us on Saturday, March 19th as we travel to The Museum of disABILITY for a special two-part program.

In part one, Douglas Platt, Museum Curator, will provide an overview of historic New York State institutions for the disabled [mental health, developmental disability, physical disability, chronic illness] and the resources available to researchers in the Museum’s archives. During the second half of the program, David Mack-Hardiman, Associate Vice President at People Inc., will discuss privacy considerations and best practices when researching ancestors. He will also discuss his book, Of Grave Importance, and his experiences with coordinated institutional cemetery restoration across Western New York.

As an added bonus, Museum Director Douglas Farley will provide a personal introduction to the museum, and attendees will have access to the museum's exhibits immediately following the presentations.

Seating for this special event is limited, and advanced registration is required. To attend this program, please RSVP by emailing or by calling (716) 550-2439. All reservations must be received no later than March 11th. Please remember to include your name, WNYGS member number (if applicable), email address, and telephone number.

Click here to download a PDF version of the event flyer.


About the Museum:
Logo Museum of disABILITY History
Established in 1998 by Dr. James M. Boles, president and CEO of People Inc., The Museum of disABILITY History is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. The Museum’s exhibits, collections, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery.

About Our Presenters:
Douglas Farley is the Director of The Museum of disABILITY History in Buffalo, NY, the only brick and mortar museum dedicated to disability history. The museum is an affiliate of People Inc., WNY’s largest human service agency. Before beginning this position in July 2014, Mr. Farley helped to create the award-winning Erie Canal Discovery Center and served as its director for ten years. Prior to that, he owned and operated his own retail business for over 35 years.

David Mack-Hardiman, Associate Vice President at People Inc., has worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities for nearly 40 years. As an Occupational Therapy Intern, he worked at Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Buffalo General Hospital. Employed at People Inc. for 30 years, he oversees training for 3,500 employees and the Museum of disABILITY History. For the last 10 years, he has coordinated institutional cemetery restoration work in four Western New York counties. He wrote Of Grave Importance and, was a contributing author of Buffalo State Hospital - A History of the Institution in Light and Shadow. He regularly assists families who are seeking genealogical information for patients of state institutions.

Douglas Platt, curator of the Museum of disABILITY History, has been a People Inc. employee since 1985 and with the Museum since November of 1999. In his current position, he helps to create museum exhibits, acquire, catalog, and store artifacts, conduct research, and contribute to publications. He is a graduate of the State University College at Fredonia, (1985) with a B. A. in Studio Art, magna cum laude.

Last updated: February 15, 2016