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 CLEVELAND, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- His book, "Executive Guide To Grammar," is a best-seller, with more than 100,000 copies in print. He has taught probably more adults how to write than has any other educator who ever lived.
 Mention Albert Joseph's course, "Put It In Writing," at AT&T, Boeing Airplane Company, JCPenney, General Motors, Ford -- or any number of other Fortune 500 and smaller companies -- and legions of employees will agree that it put them on the way to a better job or career.
 Now, as has become its custom, Joseph's company, the International Writing Institute, has introduced a new way of teaching the fundamentals of writing. The Cleveland-based company recently teamed with IBM Corporation to produce a writing course that uses CD-ROM, a new computer technology, in teaching students and adults how to improve their communications skills.
 IBM, a major "Put It In Writing" user for its own employees, has produced a computer-interactive Self-Study Edition of the program. The program is designed for use on Sony Corporation's new CD-ROM player, smaller than a laptop computer, which integrates a standard CD-ROM XA drive, a PC compatible microprocessor, liquid crystal video display, keyboard, and speaker. The new "Put It In Writing" CD-ROM software is sold by IBM, Sony and IWI.
 The CD-ROM version of "Put It In Writing" is essentially the same program available from IWI on videocassette -- but with a notable difference. "Because the CD-ROM version is interactive, it talks to the user," said Joseph. "It gives different people different learning advice, depending on their writing skills."
 He estimates that since his company's inception in 1965, close to 1 million people have taken "Put It In Writing." It is the most widely used business writing course in the English-speaking world.
 "IWI is simply responding to a growing need in our society," said Joseph. That need is clear: of the 404 executives of Fortune 500 companies responding to a recent survey by Fortune and Allstate Insurance, 36 percent said their companies currently offer courses to improve basic education skills, including writing.
 "Our schools simply aren't producing students who can write well," said Joseph. "As a result, businesses are forced to teach employees skills they should have developed years earlier."
 The executives surveyed by Fortune concur: over half reported their companies have difficulty finding new employees with good basic education skills. And 46 percent said their companies' productivity suffered because of poor basic education skills in their work force.
 Until recently, most corporate in-house writing courses were for engineers, accountants, and other professionals. Now, almost every large company and government agency has ongoing programs to teach all upper-level employees how to write effectively.
 At AT&T, more than 60,000 employees participated in "Put It In Writing" over a 20-year period. Xerox Corporation and MCI Telecommunications have been using the program for over a decade. Said Lynn Schmidt of MCI: "The change in writing skills truly gratifies a good trainer. And bosses see the difference."
 The nation's largest employer -- government -- also understands the impact a trained work force has on productivity. Said Lane Mayberry, training officer of the State of California Franchise Tax Board: "Managers applaud 'Put It In Writing' because it enhances the image of our department. Employees like it because it makes it easier for them to do their jobs well."
 The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is among federal government agencies that have used "Put It In Writing." Joseph was the CIA's writing consultant for 11 years, from 1972 to 1983.
 While consulting for the CIA in Washington, Joseph developed a solid network of government clients that included the Social Security Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. He also began to apply his interest in effective writing to the language of the law.
 "A number of legal scholars, writers and linguists were fed up with gobbledygook in the legal documents that govern people's lives. We decided it was time for the public to tell lawyers to write laws and contracts in plain English," said Joseph. In 1972, he helped found the consumer advocacy group Plain Talk and, as a result, was instrumental in getting approval for some state laws calling for clearly worded legal documents.
 The field that especially interests Joseph is public school education. In recent years, government and industry leaders have proposed education reform programs. Joseph is working with the Ohio Department of Education, stressing the need for change in language arts instruction to help students in the world after academia. He also works with other education groups to improve writing training in the schools.
 Joseph's interest in public education was his primary reason for getting involved with IBM and its efforts in CD-ROM educational software. IBM has long considered education a major market. "Our entry into CD-ROM publishing reflects the potential of this technology to significantly change the way information is delivered and learning takes place," said Lucie Fjeldstad, vice president and general manager of IBM Multimedia.
 IBM already has made impressive inroads in educational computer software, particularly through its successful remedial reading program, PALS.
 "Interactive computer software obviously will be an important component in the future of education," said Joseph. "I doubt that this first CD-ROM venture will be very profitable to IWI, but I'm glad we did it, and I hope we can do more. It's exciting to be out on the cutting edge, and to be a soldier in the battle to help America's schools."
 At an age when most people are at least thinking about retirement, Joseph is working on still better ways to teach writing -- and to give greater clout to the English teachers of the U.S. "With the America 2000 emphasis on drastic reform of basic skills education, the need for strong writing skills is greater than ever," he said. "If academia is asking for partnerships to help solve a national problem, IWI wants to be in the front ranks. And I want to be part of the fun."
 -0- 12/22/92
 /NOTE: Photographs of Albert Joseph can be obtained from the International Writing Institute, 415 Hanna Building, 1422 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115. Phone: 216-696-8100 Fax: 216-696-8101
 CONTACT: Jan Vohnout of the International Writing Institute, Inc., 216-696-8100/

CO: International Writing Institute, Inc. ST: Ohio IN: PUB CPR SU:

SM -- CLFNS2 -- 9032 12/22/92 07:34 EST
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Date:Dec 22, 1992

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