Presented by Gateway to Learning

Gateway to Learning, a beacon of hope and empowerment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), celebrates a remarkable milestone this year as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. Gateway to Learning’s annual celebration of abilities and fundraiser, RockABILITY, will be held on April 19, where they will be kicking off their 50th year in celebration with community members, friends, and supporters. This year’s RockABILITY will take place at the IBEW Local 134 Hall from 6 to 9 p.m. The event promises an evening of celebration and anticipation of a future rocking everyone’s abilities.

At the event, Gateway to Learning will honor their “Inclusion Rockstar Awards” recipients as members of the community that not only support our mission, but who exemplify how their “rockstar” abilities include, engage, and value community members. The honorees represent the pillars of Gateway to Learning’s past, present, and future, starting with their five decades past made up of supportive founding families and staff.

A particular highlight of this year’s celebration is the attendance of Governor J.B. Pritzker, representing the State of Illinois, for their present and ongoing dedication to improving the developmental disabilities system.

In embracing the future, Gateway to Learning honors Salesforce as an example of innovation and inclusivity. Through meaningful employment opportunities for individuals with IDD, Salesforce exemplifies a commitment to highlighting the potential of every individual. Their partnership with Gateway to Learning embodies a shared vision of a future where abilities are celebrated, and opportunities abound.

Lifelong Learning for Adults

Founded by Dorothy and Roger Hough fifty years ago, the organization grew from a vision of inclusivity and opportunity. Refusing to accept the limited opportunities for their children, Dorothy and Roger embarked on a journey to create a space where individuals like their children could learn, grow, and build life skills.

As the landscape of IDD support evolved, Gateway to Learning expanded its horizons. Recognizing the need for continued support beyond the school years, the organization began offering lifelong learning programs for adults with IDD. Today, Gateway to Learning serves aged 22 and above to continue to learn, to be active, and to thrive in our amazing city.

Gateway to Learning recognizes each individual has unique interests and goals and provides support through a number of programs. Through a diverse range of programs such as Community Day Services, Self-Directed Assistance, Employment Services, and Wellness initiatives, the organization addresses the multifaceted needs of individuals with IDD. Programming focuses on equipping participants with essential life and job skills to foster wellness through art therapy.

Gateway to Learning’s Next Chapter

As Gateway to Learning commemorates fifty years of empowerment, its journey is far from over. With unwavering support from its community, the organization embarks on its next chapter—one defined by resilience, advocacy, and possibilities. As it looks ahead, Gateway to Learning remains steadfast in its mission to empower individuals with IDD and champion inclusivity for all.

Be sure to join the celebration on April 19 at IBEW Local 134 Hall from 6 to 9 p.m. You can purchase tickets at!