To encourage independence and provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities that will enable them to live and work in the community and improve their quality of life.
WHO WE ARE
Gatesway is a non-profit Oklahoma agency that provides opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Since 1963, Gatesway has provided opportunities for independence to thousands of people with intellectual disabilities in Northeastern and Central Oklahoma through a full array of residential and vocational options. By adapting to the needs of those they serve, Gatesway has remained on the cutting edge in offering innovative services to our clients. The Gatesway goal is to assure that the people we serve acquire the life skills, vocational skills and social skills necessary to help them live and work as independently as possible and become a vital part of their community.
The options for people in Oklahoma with intellectual disabilities in 1963 were very limited. These facilities were often large and impersonal that provided very little in the way of training opportunities and growth.
Helen Gates was notified by the school system that her son, Ronnie, who had turned 20, would have to be transferred to a state institution or to a geriatric nursing facility. Ronnie had Down syndrome.
In 1963, at the corner of 71st and Lewis in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mrs. Gates rented a farmhouse where Ronnie and five other individuals were able to live. Families and volunteers were essential to the success of this group home as at that time there was no funding available to subsidize food, clothing, shelter, and staff for services to people with intellectual disabilities living in the community.
In 1972, government funding became available and land was donated in Broken Arrow where an intermediate care facility was built.
Today, with more than 350 staff members and numerous volunteers, the Gatesway Team continues to serve its many residents “one individual at a time.”
Today, Gatesway’s dedicated Board of Trustees; C.E.O. and its caring and trained staff continue to provide and improve the well-balanced, individualized programs and services offered to each person served by Gatesway.
Gatesway’s goal is to assure all people served acquire the living skills, vocational skills, and social skills necessary to help them become a vital part of their community. Of course, the ultimate goal for Gatesway and the people served is that each person will reach a level of independence that allows them to no longer require services from Gatesway. And, although we are realistic in knowing that some people served will not be able to live and work independently, we do realize that they are all capable of developing skills to move into a less restrictive environment.
Since its founding in 1963, Gatesway has touched the lives of thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Through continued evaluation and education, Gatesway strives to improve and expand the continuum of programs and services for persons with intellectual disabilities, while never losing sight of our mission to encourage independence and provide opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities that will enable them to live and work in the community and improve their quality of life.