Holiday shoppers looking for unique gifts may want to check out a one of a kind museum, in Amherst. As WBFO's Chris Caya reports - the store inside the Museum of disABILITY History is offering special discounts during its holiday sale and book fair Saturday.
The Museum of disABILITY is devoted to telling the history of people who have disabilities.
"In the 60s, approximately one quarter of a million people in the United States were institutionalized. So it's a huge number of people whose lives really are not remembered in any way," said
David Mack-Hardiman. He's an Associate Vice President with People Inc., which opened the museum several years ago in the former Eggertsville Hose building, 3826 Main Street, between Eggert and Bailey. Exhibits include a rare three wheeled InvaCar for World War II veterans.
"So that if they became disabled during the war they could essentially slide into the car and use their hands to drive instead of their feet," Mack-Hardiman said.
It's so popular with kids - a local author wrote series of children's books about Ivan the Invacar. But People Inc's Assistant Director for Marketing Communications Nicole Forgione says, their top seller is Olivia the Bully.
"It's a children's book that tells a story about bullying and how she interacts with students in class and teachers. And there's a positive outcome at the end. And the author will be here during our holiday sale," Fogione said.
For adults - there's recent books on the former Buffalo State Hospital and the J.N. Adam Hospital.
"This was a hospital for people in Buffalo who had tuberculosis. They were sent down to the Southern Tier to be cured. And it became later an institution for people who had developmental disabilities," Mack-Hardiman said.
There's also hand crafted items by participants in People Inc's Day Habilitation Program - including wooden pens and wine stoppers, hand painted wine glasses, jewelry and CDs.
"So lots of items here in our museum store for all ages, for kids and adults. There's something here for everyone," Forgione said.
The holiday sale at the Museum of disABILITY History Store is 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 30.