WORK ENJOYMENT: Nick Barrows, a Gatesway success story, works at a Gatesway workshop where he serves as an assembler for one of the agency’s long-time sponsor companies. Away from the job, he is involved in Special Olympics as a bowler.
The Broken Arrow-based Gatesway Foundation is celebrating 50 years of service to individuals with intellectual disabilities.
When Gatesway first opened its doors in 1963, about the only option a family had was to place a loved one in a nursing home, says Judi Myers. “There was simply no place for people with developmental disabilities in our society,” she says.
That scenario began to change the day Helen Gates was told her son, Ronnie, who was born with Down syndrome, would have to leave the state-supported school he was in and be placed in a geriatric nursing home. Gates first opened the doors in a rented house in Tulsa.”Then as now, our goal is to do everything in our power to help the people we serve acquire the living skills, vocational skills, and social skills necessary to become vital parts of their community,” Myers says.
Gatesway offers community residential facilities, group homes, intermediate care facilities and vocational programs including on-campus vocational training, work crews, and independent community employment opportunities.