June 17, 2019

Gatepath and Abilities United Finalize Affiliation Agreement

Two Bay Area nonprofits join forces to become the largest provider of services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities on the Peninsula

Redwood City, CA – Gatepath, headquartered in Redwood City, and Abilities United of Palo Alto are pleased to announce the signing of an Affiliation Agreement effective July 1, 2019. These two nonprofits combined will be the largest provider of services to children, youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities based on the Peninsula.

“This strategic alliance will better position us to continue investing in our incredible staff and the quality programs we deliver to the families, children and adults we serve,” said Bryan Neider, Gatepath’s Chief Executive Officer. “In all ways, we are better together, and stronger against the impact of an everchanging political landscape and economy.”

In making this announcement, the leadership teams of both organizations agree that the affiliation will be advantageous for Bay Area children and adults with developmental disabilities and ensure that important services continue to thrive and grow.

Gatepath and Abilities United proactively pursued this merger opportunity as an important action to help mitigate some of the challenges posed by the increasing costs of doing business in the Bay Area, coupled with more than
$1 billion in funding cuts to California’s disabilities system over the last decade. The resulting economic pressures have created a systemwide crisis seriously impacting some of California’s most vulnerable residents.

Gatepath and Abilities United provide a lifespan of support services to thousands of children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and their families in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties collectively for more than 150 years.  Together, they will offer services at 13 program sites that span the Peninsula from Daly City to Sunnyvale.

“The mission of our two organizations and the services we both provide to the community are very much aligned, which made the affiliation decision a natural fit,” said Jennifer Wagstaff-Hinton, Abilities United Board President.  “With this merger, we will achieve our goal of ensuring that the individuals and families we serve can count on us for continuity in their programs being delivered.”

Both organizations share a common vision for the future: ensuring individuals with developmental disabilities achieve their full potential and are included in all aspects of our community – from the classroom to the workplace.  “Jointly, we are in a better position to make this vision a reality for our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Elaine Cohen, Chair, Gatepath Board of Directors. “We have an exciting and bright future together!”


Gatepath has been a cornerstone of our community for more than 99 years, providing a lifespan of support services to individuals with developmental disabilities in the greater Bay Area. Our mission is to empower people with developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential through innovative, inclusive programs and community partnerships. With educational, therapeutic, vocational and family support services, we are distinctive in providing support to an individual throughout his or her lifetime. We collaborate with businesses, third party providers, local nonprofits and various organizations to bring the highest quality services to the children, youth and adults in our programs. Together, we are creating a world where people of all abilities are fully accepted, respected and included in all aspects of life – in the classroom, the workplace and in our communities.


Founded in 1963 by 12 Palo Alto families whose children had intellectual disabilities, Abilities United serves a diverse group of individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area who have developmental (autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and intellectual disability) and physical disabilities or are at risk of a developmental delay. Abilities United advances advocacy, inclusion, and independence for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Since its inception, Abilities United has offered people of all ages and abilities educational, therapeutic, recreational, and vocational experiences to help them lead meaningful lives as well as resource connections that make it easier for them to lead the lives they chose. Abilities United sees a world where people of all abilities live, learn, work, and play together. Although Abilities United primarily serves people with developmental disabilities and their families, people without disabilities can benefit from services as well.

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