Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Arc Gateway and what do they do?

A. Arc Gateway is a non-profit organization that serves children who have or are at risk of developmental disabilities as well as adults with developmental disabilities.


At Arc Gateway, we have pediatric professionals who care for infants and children and offer physical and occupational therapy in a fun learning environment. The organization also strives to help every adult with a developmental disability become as independent as possible. Adults can work in local businesses by training with job coaches, doing sub-contract work, tending a plant nursery, learning self-care skills, or gaining computer knowledge. We also have six group homes where adults with disabilities learn independent living skills in a safe, supervised environment. Support is also available for people who choose to live in their own homes. All of Arc Gateway’s programs help people become independent and active in the community while they make friends and enjoy life.                            

Q. What is the difference between small independent providers and agencies such as Arc Gateway?

A. Arc Gateway has stability and a proven track record. It has been a continuous community presence for over 50 years. Many independent providers have been around for less than five years. Arc Gateway must meet more rigorous standards for insurance and liability than independent providers. We must also meet higher standards with regards to the quality and content of our programs.  

Q. How do I get my family member approved for services?

A. To begin receiving services, you must call the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) Intake referral line at 1-800-452-3895, or locally contact Clarence Shorten at 833-3494.                   

Q. How can I arrange transportation for someone receiving services at Arc?

A. We provide transportation to and from our programs. To arrange for transportation, first contact your support coordinator. You can call Transportation Services at Arc Gateway at 438-0112. Transportation to other locations is available on a very limited basis. For mass transit information or support using the bus system, call Escambia County Area Transit (ECAT) at 595-3228.                         

Q. I am moving to the Pensacola area. How do we start getting services for an adult with developmental disabilities?

A. To receive services from Arc Gateway, you must have a referral from a state agency that sponsors and funds the service. If your family member is not eligible for services through a state agency, private pay and/or private insurance arrangements may be available.

If your loved one has a disability and needs assistance in seeking or maintaining employment, contact Vocational Rehabilitation at 850-595-8444 in Pensacola.

If he or she has a developmental disability (i.e. autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, mental retardation, Prader Willi syndrome, spina bifida) and need services to assist in daily living, employment, day training, respite, residential or other services, contact the Agency for Persons with Disabilities at 800-452-3895 and ask to apply for services. Locally, you may contact Clarence Shorten with APD at 850-833-3494.

If your child is a student in Escambia County, transition services may be available through the school district. Contact John Bouchard at 850-469-5593 about services funded through the Escambia County School District.

There is a waiting list for services and it could take as long as five years or more to receive support. For more information, you may want to speak to one of our directors about private pay for services.                     

Q. Do you have programs for summer school?

A. Arc Gateway does not have summer programs for school-aged children. However, we do serve our clients year round. 

Q. What is the local Social Security office number?

A. (850) 432-4625                                                

Q. What is the age criterion for the Senior Adult Program at the Bayview Senior Center?

A. The Senior Adult Program is Arc Gateway’s retirement option for individuals with developmental disabilities, who often exhibit age-related decline earlier than their peers. The program serves adults age 55 and older. However, exceptions may be made for younger persons who are experiencing a loss of skills, mobility or stamina and who require increased support to remain active in the community.                                                                                                                  

Q. Can people change from one day program to another? For example, can someone move from the work floor to a job in the community?

A. We want to make sure every participant we serve is happy in whatever environment he or she chooses. Clients certainly have the choice as to which program they want to join. They can also be in more than one program. A client may choose an option such as spending two days a week at the Pollak Training Center, a day working in the plant nursery, as well as time spent in a computer skills class. If the participant wishes to make any changes, contact Arc Gateway staff to begin the transition process.         


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© The Arc Gateway, Inc.
3932 N. 10th Ave., Pensacola FL 32503
P: 850-434-2638, F: 850-438-2180