|Wizdom Education Gives Rides in a Totally Restored 1946 Piper J3 Cub
Wizdom founder Dennis Wisnosky owns a fully
restored 1946 Piper Cub A few years ago we were
asked to donate rides for fundraising events.
The results were better than anyone expected.
We continue to donate rides to help raise money
for organizations supporting education.
Examples include: Little Friends, the Council
for Exceptional Children, the Illinois
Association of Administrators of Special
Education, the Naperville Public Library, and
The donation process is initiated through a
silent auction, a live auction or a raffle. All
of the proceeds go to the organization.
Please visit the Wizdom Education Website for more details! »
|What will I do? Where will I live? What will I do in my free time?
Wizdom had the pleasure of presenting
"Transition Planning, Independence and Beyond"
to the PACER Center national conference this
past August. PACER, a national Parent Advocacy
Coalition for Educational Rights, is based in
"PACER held this conference to give our Parent
Fellows, Mentors, staff and Minnesota families
the opportunity for a hands on look at the
latest thinking and the latest technology
available to them," said Deborah Leuchovius,
PACER National Transition Coordinator. "Wizdom
added a unique dimension. Their message is
simple and their software is powerful." For this
Conference, PACER assembled presenters and
associates from as far away as Hawaii and
Philip Vitkus, Wizdom Director of Instructional
Services and Dennis E. Wisnosky, Wizdom founder,
demonstrated that using web-based technology,
Wizdom TransPlanner! can simplify the transition
Wizdom's Transition Planning Process session
showed some things that web-based technology can
Directions - A web based online survey
identifies all of the goals and preferences of
Possibilities - A Knowledge Base of school and
community service providers is maintained by the
service providers and automatically contains
their information in a common format. (Patent
Methods - Software that matches the
and Possibilities and generates a 1, 2 or 3 year
Transition Plan that is unique to the student.
"The response from those who took advantage of the
hands-on demonstration was outstanding," said Dennis
E. Wisnosky. "Our goal was to reach a wider audience
than we have ever had at a single session, we
achieved this goal."
About the PACER
Founded in 1977, PACER Center
was created by parents of children and youth with
disabilities to help other parents and families facing
similar challenges. Today, PACER Center expands
opportunities and enhances the quality of life of
children and young adults with disabilities and their
families. PACER is staffed primarily by parents of
children with disabilities and works in coalition with 18
Please read more about Wizdom and PACER Center »
|Assistive Technology tools that perform far better and costs far less
Historically, assistive tools and technologies
targeted to individuals with "clinically
related to visual, auditory or physical
thankfully, better diagnostic tools and
lead to a broadened awareness of the numbers of
people who could benefit from assistive
Of course, all the great technology in the world
nothing if it costs too much for widespread use.
Effectively, "if its not affordable, then its not
accessible." For far too long, software vendors
accessibility market, have made a specific point of
charging premium prices for their products. They
that serving a "specialty / limited"
Affordability has multiple dimensions: school /
institution, home and workplace. For
severe challenges, there are government and not-for-
profit agencies that can provide some levels of
subsidies. However, there are no subsidies for the
growing universe of individuals classified as
disabled. They are truly caught in "no man's
to fend for themselves.
With continuing budget crises nationwide,
and especially Special Education is often the
reduction. Schools are left with programs that they
cannot afford; individuals can't afford to have
assistance in their personal lives, and businesses
cannot afford to make assistive technology
for employees with special needs.
The time is now for radical changes.
To maximize the greatest good for the greatest
of people, assistive technologies must become
tools". They must be same tools that are used
everywhere by individuals every day, no matter
they are, in school, at home or on the job. Common
tools used across multiple environments can help
individuals with challenges achieve the degrees of
independence that every person wants and needs,
regardless of their personal situations. This
can only be
achieved when there is the right balance between
technical maturity and affordability.
The Premier Approach
We have many historical examples of how
breakthroughs often come from newcomers who
approach existing problems with radical new
proactive concepts that knock "old thinking" off of
dead center. It is exactly that kind of
Premier Assistive has brought to the assistive
technology marketplace over the last several
course, new ideas without real-world implementation
are also worthless. Again, Premier Assistive
money where its mouth is." We are now
solid technologies within a framework of liberal
licensing practices. Combined with our aggressive
product pricing and grant programs, we can
more schools, businesses and individuals than ever
before can truly afford the reading and writing
technologies they need so desperately. These
innovations that will meet the expanding special
in our society.
By Kenneth Grisham, President / CEO of Premier
Assistive Technology, Inc.
|Tell Us Your Story
Do you have a story that you think would be of
interest to our readers? Is there a topic that
us to cover? Questions that you'd like us to answer?
We'd love to hear from you.
|For All the Right Reasons:
A Note from Dennis Wisnosky
"Son, I don't know if that is such a good idea."
"Why Mom?" I said.
"Because you are too emotional," she replied.
Mom is certainly correct about the emotional side, but
that's perhaps one of the reasons why there is now
My first college degree is in Education - BsEd Physics
Mathematics, California University of Pennsylvania
(CUP). Back then it was California State Teachers
College. - I had the training, did the student teaching,
etc. But, I'd always wanted to be an engineer.
My family situation required that I attend the closer-to-
home CUP for a Bachelors Degree and
then required that I start earning money immediately -
which led to degrees in engineering.
So it happens that, engineering has been my career.
Through luck and hard work, I was given the
opportunity to launch a program for the US Air Force
that revolutionized manufacturing in the Aero Space
industry - at least that is what one of my award
citations says. What we did must have been pretty
good because I was invited to testify before
subcommittees of the US Senate and House about how
to apply what we learned to all of American Industry.
After that I went on to the Private Sector and
developed automation technology for the automotive
and other industries world- wide. A highlight of this
2nd phase of my career was being named a "Hero of US
Manufacturing" by Fortune Magazine.
The third phase, Special Education (SE) - began in
when Wizdom Systems, Inc. (founded in 1986) was
awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
contract to research the Transition Planning Process
(TPP) as part of the Individualized Education Program.
(IEP). We thought that perhaps our
knowledge about automation could be applied in Special
Education to ease the administrative burdens. Among
other things, we learned that the overhead cost in
SE is 3 times that of RE and climbing - clearly there
was an opportunity here.
The SBIR was successful - not because it confirmed
our hypothesis, but because we learned that some of
the same technology that we had developed for
managing other highly complex and litigious
environments could be used in SE. So, it seemed to
our people that we had accomplished our objectives -
end of story.
Then I visited our initial pilot sites.
These visits were filled with emotion that I had not
expected - not in the least. It is one thing to observe
and interact with the most involved children. But, that
is an emotion that one can walk away from, however
hard it may be. It' is an entire other thing to observe
and to work with the people in SE who do these jobs
every day of their lives - because they want to do
them. These are the people who I truly believed must
be unburdened from non-essential tasks so that they
can focus on the needs of the children. But, would
they see it that way?
Yes! One person who I told would most likely have his
job eliminated because of our technology said to
me, "Dennis, I know that your software can do it better
than I can," "Don't worry about me, work for the
children," "I can easily find another job." Wow, that is
emotion unbridled and with the proper focus.
Today, Wizdom Education is helping the children and
the parents and the schools and the community service
providers. Our estimate is that we can eliminate about
25% of the administrative costs. But this is not the
goal - our number one goal is to help the children.
Mom, I am dedicated to this - and all of its emotion.
Dennis E. Wisnosky is the founder of Wizdom
Education. Recognition for his pioneering work in
business in the government and private sectors
includes the International Engineer of the Year Award,
testimony before the U.S. House and Senate on
productivity and quality of work life issues, Crain's
Illinois Business High Tech Entrepreneur Award,
California State University's Medallion of Distinction
lifetime achievement award and the USAF Meritorious
Civilian Service Award. In May of 1997, Wisnosky was
recognized by Fortune Magazine as "One of the Five
Heroes of Manufacturing"
A multi-engine, instrument rated pilot, Mr. Wisnosky
holds a bachelors degree in Physics and Mathematics,
and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering and
To contact Dennis E. Wisnosky directly: firstname.lastname@example.org