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Museum of disABILITY History appoints Douglas Farley as museum director

by jmaloni

Press release

Fri, Jul 26th 2013 02:40 pm

Former director for Erie Canal Discovery Center and Niagara County Historical Society

Ten new goals and a passion for history - that is the emphasis for the Museum of disABILITY History's new director. The Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc. have announced historian Douglas Farley has been appointed to the position of director of the Museum of disABILITY History.

Most recently, Farley was the director for the Erie Canal Discovery Center and director of development for Niagara County Historical Society.

As the Museum of disABILITY History moves in new directions, so does Farley. With a 30-year career as owner of a local retail business, Farley realized it was time to analyze his career path when he moved to his most recent positions, which he held for nearly 10 years at the Erie Canal Discovery Center and Niagara County Historical Society.

"I learned a lesson after working over 30 years in one career to analyze my situation more frequently," Farley said. "I loved my job at the History Center, but I realized I needed one more move to finish up my career on the highest possible plateau. The move to the Museum of disABILITY History and People Inc., Western New York's largest nonprofit human service agency, will give me that sense of excitement that primes my pump to keep going ever upward."

As Farley recalled, "Part of what convinced me to take the job at the History Center was the sense of urgency in the situation. Now, I have accomplished much of what I had set out to do there and am very pleased with the result."

He hopes for the same results with this next chapter: "I feel that same sense of urgency and need at the Museum of disABILITY History. They need a strong leader that will help them move to the next level. Also, I am very interested in the mission and feel this is a way I can give something back to folks that were dealt a tough hand in life."

Farley's expertise will be invaluable as has been charged with 10 goals that are shared by James M. Boles, president of People Inc. and founder of the Museum of disABILITY History. Farley's main mission is to improve the museum's sustainability. Along with his team of three staffers, Farley is working on more than 30 solutions to current challenges.

Upcoming projects for Farley at the Museum of disABILITY History include an increase of tours, membership drive, creating new volunteer opportunities and hosting events.

"I think I am most excited about helping the museum create a visitor's center and helping to make the museum more experiential with interactive, hands-on exhibits and a virtual reality sensory experience," he said.

A resident of Newfane and a native of Niagara County, Farley did his undergraduate studies at the University at Buffalo. His community activism includes: board of directors for Lockport Community Television; committee member for the City of Lockport Tourism Task Force; and current chairman and former committee member for the Erie Canal Task Force. Farley has been recognized with prestigious awards, including Eastern Niagara United Way - Gold, Silver and Bronze awards presented for work associated with successful United Way campaigns; and the Lockport Union Sun and Journal Unsung Hero Award presented for acts of unselfish kindness, courage and generosity.

The Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., 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. The Museum of disABILITY History, located at 3826 Main St., in Buffalo, offers educational exhibits, programs and activities that expand community awareness.

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