The Cantalician Center for Learning was founded in 1956 by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix (Felician Sisters) as a day school program for the mentally handicapped. 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. The Center also has a program for preschool children who have been diagnosed as having a disability.
In 1968 the agency leased a 4000 sq. ft. building adjacent to the school property to be used as an experimental sheltered workshop for the older students - the first in the area. The workshop was instituted as a work activities center to meet the needs of physically and mentally handicapped young adults of working age and was an extension of the school program.
Today, Cantalician Community Services is thriving, serving over 200 adults annually in our 65,000 sq. ft. facility on Hertel Ave. in Buffalo and in various community settings. Supported Employment, Prevocational training, and Day Habilitation programs are offered to all individuals. The "workshop" has now become a growing Contract Sales and Production Workforce that affords individuals the opportunity to become productive and contributing members of their community.
The history of the Cantalician Center is one of progress with many improvements seen over the years in the care of and service to individuals with developmental disabilities.
After reflection on such a history of dedication, compassion, and service, we look forward to continuing to provide progressive and innovative opportunities for individuals with disabilities.