Our History

Cantalician Center for Learning is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1956 by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix (The Felician Sisters of North America) as a day school program for children with disabilities. It was officially incorporated in 1974. At that time, the school was supported by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Buffalo and a minimal tuition charge to the parents. Cantalician Center for Learning provided special education programs for children from 6 to 16 years of age, who displayed a wide range of developmental disabilities. The school opened with only twelve children, but rapidly expanded and now totals over 200. Cantalician Center also has a program for preschool children who have been diagnosed as having a disability.

In 1968, the agency leased a 4,000-square-foot building adjacent to the school property to be used as an experimental sheltered workshop for the older students, the first in the area.  The "work activities center" was instituted to meet the needs of young adults of working age with disabilities and was an extension of the school program.

Today, Cantalician Center's School Age, Daycare and Preschool operates out of its Academic Campus on George Urban Boulevard in Depew, New York, serving more than 290 children annually. Its Community and Day Services is thriving, serving more than 200 adults annually through Medicaid Service Coordination and at various community centers throughout Western New York. The vocational and employment services were one of the first in New York State to transform into a growing integrated light-manufacturing and packaging workforce operating as Diversified Labor Solutions, a division of Cantalician Center (DLS) out of its facility in Tri-Main Center, serving more than 260 people annually.

Cantalician Center continues to provide children and adults with disabilities person-centered compassionate services that promote independence and offer meaningful opportunities. We look forward to continuing to provide progressive and innovative opportunities for individuals with disabilities within the greater Western New York community for years to come.

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