Skip to content


Browse the latest People Inc. and affiliate news, updates and press releases.

Weather-related or other closing updates for programs/services are available. Learn more

"African Americans and the Disability Experience" Exhibit

Jan 26, 2011

"African Americans and the Disability Experience" Exhibit Debuts at People Inc.'s Museum of disABILITY History

BUFFALO, N.Y., January 26, 2011: People Inc.'s Museum of disABILITY History is pleased to unveil its newest exhibit called, "African Americans and the Disability Experience." An opening reception, to coincide with Black History Month, will be held on Thursday, February 3, 2011, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Museum of disABILITY History, 3826 Main Street in Amherst. The keynote speaker will be Ellen Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R.

The one-of-a-kind exhibit chronicles the perspective of African-Americans in relation to their experiences with disability from colonial times, desegregation, advocacy and achievement. The goal is to bring awareness and attention to uncover the history of African Americans experiences with disabilities covering the first African slaves brought to colonial America, Brown vs. Board, civil rights, and medical accomplishments. It took three years for the Museum's researcher to uncover buried history to make a valuable and respectful exhibit. "This is a part of American history that has been mostly ignored. It is just now starting to receive attention from scholars," said Researcher Reid Dunlavey.

From her health and educational background, Dr. Grant was instrumental with guiding the Museum's staff to help complete the exhibit. "The information is heart wrenching in many respects, but it is important that we force our eyes to look at it and be reminded of one's treatment of man to man," Dr. Grant shared. "The good news is that we continue to overcome and build bridges where once there were fences and walls."

Dr. Grant provides management of the Buffalo City Mission's Women and Children's Shelter. She is managing partner of her consulting firm First Advantage Consulting. Dr. Grant began her career as a nurse at Erie County Medical Center. She was vice president and administrator of Buffalo General Hospital's Community Health Center. She was the first African American to be appointed Erie County Mental Health Commissioner and was the former chief executive officer of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Grant serves on numerous boards and has earned many awards for her accomplishments.

The exhibit will be open to the public to view from February 4 to April 22. Educators, students, community groups, religious leaders, and medical and human service professionals are encouraged to visit. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 716.629.3626. Walk-ins welcome.

The Museum of disABILITY History 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. Located in the Amherst/Buffalo border and at, the Museum offers educational exhibits and activities that expand community awareness.