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 900*. Cantalician Center now also offers preschool services children in the community and 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.

Today, Cantalician Center's School Age, Daycare and Preschool services operate out of its Academic Campus on George Urban Boulevard in Depew, New York. Its Day Habilitation Services is thriving by serving people at various community centers across Western New York. The 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.

Cantalician Center continues to promote independence and offer meaningful, integrated opportunities through individualized services to children and adults with disabilities. The organization looks forward to continuing to provide progressive and innovative opportunities for people with disabilities for years to come.


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