October 7th, 2010 – The scaffolding is going up, marking the beginning of a long-awaited project which aims to not only restore this landmark historical building in Lee, Massachusetts, but provide a new site for the CIP Berkshire Center.
Founded in Lee, Massachusetts in 1984, the College Internship Program (CIP) originally served as a community-based alternative to institutions for students with Learning Disabilities. The program was founded to supply a transitional apartment program for individuals to learn the skills necessary to live independently. From the beginning, the program served as a psycho-educational alternative to traditional “medical model” facilities.
The founder, Dr. Michael McManmon, was profoundly influenced by the work on “Normalization” by Wolfensberger. The belief is that students with learning differences must live, learn and work in environments which duplicate normal real-life conditions.
“In order to provide as normative an experience as possible, those with Learning Differences must live in environments where they learn to do all the things a typical adult does: shop, cook, clean, pay bills, etc. All teachings take place in environments that will generalize to life experience afterward.” -Dr. Michael McManmon
With help from a growing list of National Professional Advisory Board Members, CIP has developed comprehensive curriculum specifically for Asperger’s syndrome, high-functioning autism, nonverbal learning differences, ADD and other learning differences.