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Cara Streit, EdD, MSW

"Ernst is a skilled and dedicated professional with decades of experience working with individuals with autism and learning, developmental, and intellectual disabilities, and their families. He has extensive networks in educational systems at the K-12 and postsecondary level and in associated social services for adults with disabilities. Ernst has expertise navigating complex systems and developing collaborative relationships with families and service providers. Families who are looking for support with educational planning for youth and young adults with disabilities would find a strong partner in Ernst!” 

Cara Streit, EdD, MSW (She/Her)            

Director of Student Accessibility Support at Brandeis University; Founding President & CEO, Embark Inclusive Travel

Fred R. Volkmar, MD

"I have known and worked with Ernst for many years.  He is extremely knowledgeable and effective and is a fantastic clinician as well as administrator I recommend highly!"


Fred R Volkmar, M.D.


Irving B. Harris Professor Emeritus
Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine
Emeritus Editor in Chief, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Editor, Encyclopedia of Autism

Adam S.

"The VIP Program that was offered from NYIT was a terrific opportunity to make new friends and taught me about how to succeed. In my Travel Training class, I’ve studied on taking public transportation to and from New York City including airport travel. Since then, I’ve been taking the Long Island Railroad independently, and have traveled all over the world without my parents.


For finding a job, I got my career started at Modell’s Sporting Goods. I was a part-time associate, putting security devices on clothing being delivered. After the height of the Covid pandemic, I started a new chapter for Amazon, which I am currently at now at doing grocery shopping for online Customers at Whole Foods. Market. It’s the best job I have.


Dr. VanBergeijk taught me about managing our bank accounts on how we go over our bank statements and budgeting when we are doing purchases. He also taught me about exercising and to eat healthy. I continue this to this day to stay in great shape!"



Adam S.

New York Institute of Technology Vocational Independence Program

Class of 2013

Paul Cavanagh, Ph.D.,M.S.W.

"I have known and worked with Ernst for nearly thirty years.  First and foremost, he is a  compassionate professional who has dedicated the majority of his professional life to improving the lives of individuals with a disability in all facets of their life.  He is as knowledgeable about the ever-changing resources and best-practices to assist individuals as they grow into adult lives in the community as any professional I know. His approach is informed by his extensive research background but grounded in the practical realities of a professional who has spent real time, with real people, solving difficult problems.  I know of no better advocate for individuals with a disability and their families than he.” 

Paul Cavanagh, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Director Workforce, Education and Business Partnerships 
Career and Employment Options, Inc.

Daisy C.

"While at VIP Dr. Ernst Vanbergeijk helped me is great Deal. He was always extremely supportive, encouraging and understanding. He helped advocate for me in times I couldn’t . He helped me navigate difficult situations such as getting bullied and many others. He helped me learn and perform at my greatest potential. He talked me thru situations I had to conquer on my own by helping my find solutions or helping me find the confidence to speak up for my self. He helped me navigate different countries in the many international trips that we took as a school trip."

Daisy C. 

NYIT/VIP Class Of 2010

Phyllis & Tom Osterman

"I have known Ernst, a/k/a Dr. Ernst VanBergeijk since 2016 when he was appointed Director & Professor of the Threshold Program at Lesley University, which one of my children with neurodiversity attended. Under his leadership, Threshold’s staff of over 30 provided the skills and training to enable my daughter, despite her psychological and intellectual challenges, to find and maintain employment, and learn to live independently.

Ernst is intelligent, knowledgeable, dedicated, approachable, and caring. He has worked with neurodiverse children of all ages (infants to young adults) and created specialized programs and services for them from coast to coast.

For us, the proof is in the pudding. During Ernst’s tenure at Threshold, our child who had been physically and sexual abused prior to age three and suffered from learning disabilities, became certified as a Child Development Associate, and learned how to begin to navigate through life’s challenges. She acquired self-esteem, and the skills necessary to live independently. Since graduating in 2017, she has taught young children and is now a head teacher working with preschoolers.


With Ernst at the helm, our daughter exceeded her own… and our dreams."

Phyllis & Tom Osterman–––

Michele Somerville

"Ernst VanBergeijk is a talented and inspiring educator. While enrolled at Threshold, a social skills and transition program for young adults at Lesley University, my son Jack was lucky enough to draw Ernst as his advisor. I was often struck by how much my son enjoyed his interactions with Ernst, and by Ernst's knack for getting Jack to take responsibility for challenging himself. Ernst is not just well-trained in the field of education, but he is also a natural teacher. He respects his students and cares about the work of helping them gain autonomy and independence. I was grateful to observe, up close, Ernst's high regard for my son and for Ernst's expansive way of fully recognizing the needs, charms, talents and minds of all of his students."

Michele Somerville 
November 28, 2023

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