VIDEO: Thinking Positive Panel Event Highlights Area Professionals in Berkeley, CA

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Empowering presentations for young adults with Autism and LD, their parents, and the professionals who support them.

CIP's National Circuit of Thinking Positive About the Future panels events offer insight into the key stages of transition and community integration for young adults with Autism and other Learning Differences.

Dr. Michael McManmon, EdD, Founder of College Internship Program

Dr. McManmon is the founder of College Internship Program and author of Made for Good Purpose and Autism and LD: An Active Learning Teaching Toolkit and the upcoming Mploy - A Job Readiness Workbook. Dr. McManmon has an M.S. in Counseling, an M.A. in Human Development, and an Ed.D. in Special Education. He is also a licensed psychologist. In 2001, his staff first diagnosed him with an autism spectrum disorder and later he was formally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Bonnie Whitcomb, Case Management Supervisor - Regional Center of the East Bay

Bonnie has a Master of Arts in Special Education and has worked for the Regional Center of the East Bay for over 25 years. She started as a case manager, and became a case management supervisor supporting children, families and adults. Bonnie has also served as the Training Coordinator for case management staff and service providers. Bonnie has worked hard to follow the mission of RCEB to promote choice, independence and community inclusion. 


David Platzer, Phd Candidate, Johns Hopkins/Facilitator, Autism Job Club

David Platzer is a PhD Candidate in Medical Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. His research focuses on employment for adults on the autism spectrum, both in the United States and globally. He is also a lead facilitator of AASCEND's Autism Job Club, which meets the second Saturday of each month in San Francisco. While his research aims to understand why autistic adults have so often been excluded from the labor force, in his work with AASCEND he aims to implement his findings towards finding adults on the spectrum work and helping them to maintain it.


Lori Kotsonas, Director of Supported Employment Services, Project SEARCH

Lori took over as Director of Employment Services is 2002. During her time with EBI, Lori has almost doubled the number of people EBI supports to work in jobs in the community. In addition to Employment Services, Lori also coordinates EBI’s Employment Services Transition Project which assists high school students with disabilities to identify a career and helps them to find employment shortly after leaving school.


Will Sanford, Executive Director, Futures Explored

Will Sanford is the Executive Director of Futures Explored, Inc., a community-based organization that provides life skills and work related training to over 700 individuals with disabilities each year. Futures Explored is also working in collaboration with HireAble, a new venture spearheaded by a triumvirate of local nonprofits including East Bay Innovations and Contra Costa ARC, who are joining forces to boost job prospects for the disabled. 

Sheryl Meeuwsen, CIP Alumna Ambassador

About College Internship Program

The College Internship Program is a comprehensive transition program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum and with Learning Differences. Our Mission is to inspire independence and expand the foundation on which young adults with Autism, ADHD, and other Learning Differences can build happy and productive lives.