Sunday, August 14, 2011

Opening set for ‘War and disABILITY’ exhibit at Niagara Falls museum

From The Niagara Gazette:

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — An antique prosthetic leg, possibly from the Civil War era, donated by the Niagara County Historical Society, will be among the artifacts in a new “War and disABILITY” exhibit at People Inc.’s Museum of disABILITY History.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. August 18 at the museum, 3826 Main St., Buffalo. The evening’s keynote speaker will be Steve T. Banko III, retired field office director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and a Vietnam War veteran.

The exhibit focuses on the social perception, care and treatment of veterans who are disabled throughout history. It examines the American military and disability experience in terms of medical and military technology, legislation regarding veterans, the psychiatric effects of combat, pop culture and disability, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury and the contributions of individuals with disabilities in times of national need.

The prosthetic leg, which was found along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Hartland in 1984 and donated to the historical society, appears to be at least 100 years old, according to Douglas Platt, museum curator and a Niagara County resident. Platt said the artifact appears to be similar to the type of prosthetic leg used by a soldier who had a leg amputated.

Also included in the exhibit are items from the Disabled American Veterans, rehabilitation books, postcards, and a litter like those used in the military to transport wounded off the battlefield.

The exhibit will be open to the public to view from Friday to Dec. 31. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 629-3626 or visit   Walk-ins are also welcome.