Supporting Literary, Visual & Performing Artists With Special Needs


The Emergent Institute

The Mission of The Emergent Institute is to support literary, visual and performing artists with special needs, contributing to their enablement as they pursue self-sufficiency through their chosen educational, employment and entrepreneurial ventures. And, to serve as a business incubator providing technical assistance and financial support to for-profit entities that are developing or have developed innovative, adaptive/assistive solutions to enable persons with disabilities to overcome obstacles as they strive to improve the quality of their life.
The Emergent Institute (TEI) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation founded June 5, 2006 by Don Whittecar of Stevensville, MT.

The Emergent Voices:

The Emergent Voices ("TEV") is the only certificed training partner for Nuance Communications' providing One-on-One training via telecommunitions for Dragon Naturally Speaking and Dragon Dictate voice recognition software products. TEV provides this specific, individualized training on a global basis having served clients throughout the U.S., Canada, England, Germany, France, South Africa, New Zeland and Australia. Currently, TEV is also developing webinar and DVD training options for these voice recognition programs. To purchase voice recogonition software or arrange for a training session, visit us at:

The Emergent Access

The Emergent Access (“TEA”), in conjunction with TEV, is currently writing voice command modules for many graphic arts, photography and cinematography software programs. By utilizing voice command modules to control these computer programs, rather than requiring their keyboard and mouse manipulation by hand, substantially more PWDs’ will be able to compete with their non-disabled peers on a more level “playing field” for employment in the arts and graphic arts professions.

Recently, both TEI and TEA have joined in a cooperative venture with the New Directions Program, and its Director Dr. James Laskin, in the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science at the University of Montana. This joint venture seeks to design, develop, produce and distribute a wheelchair that will be economical, require little if any maintenance and allow its users to safely move off of the usual hard flat surfaces. This is intended to impact users, not only in the USA, but perhaps more significantly, those in third world countries.

Over the past 2 years TEI has been actively involved with VRD Products in its development of a safe, low-cost wheelchair for students grades K through 16 pursuing participation in wheelchair basketball. TEI provided the resources for the prior art search in the patent process and the construction of the proof of concept prototype.