Celebrate 2019 Court Reporting & Captioning Week with NCSA Annual Challenge

2019 NCRA Court Reporting & Captioning Week

Support and promote the court reporting and captioning professions by taking part in NCRA’s National Committee of State Associations’ (NCSA) Fifth Annual State Challenge and earn a chance at winning the grand prize of a free registration to the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo. The first-prize winner will receive five free NCRA webinars.

The NCSA challenge calls on all state associations and individuals to spread the word about the benefits of a career in court reporting or captioning. The challenge will culminate during NCRA’s 2019 Court Reporting & Captioning Week being held Feb. 9-16. The aim of the challenge is to encourage working professionals to reach out through career fairs and other activities to spread the word about the viable career paths of court reporting and captioning.

“You never realize just how much difference one presentation at a high school can make. There are so many people (students) who do not realize our profession even exists and the various types of reporting there are: official, freelance, and CART and broadcast captioning. You do not have to be perfect or a pro at public speaking to pull off a presentation. All you need is your machine and your laptop and the ability to do a realtime demo. Anything else is icing on the cake. The students will be in awe of what you can do — while at the same time showing them how you can kick Siri’s butt in translating the spoken word. Get out there and participate in Court Reporting & Captioning Week and the NCSA Challenge!” said NCSA Chair Huey L. Bang, RMR, CRR, an official court reporter from Pass Christian, Miss.

“With the shortage of reporters in the field, it’s more important than ever to let the public know what a reporter actually does and that you can make a good living while doing it. We need more people entering the field, and the only way to make that happen is to spread the word and do a demonstration at your local schools,” he added.

To help members and state associations celebrate the 2019 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, NCRA has available resources on NCRA.org/Awareness that includes press release templates, media advisories, activity ideas, and more. Other available resources include templates for official proclamations recognizing the week, flyers and logos, and materials for schools to use to help celebrate as well. This year’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week will mark the seventh year the Association has hosted the event.

“Court Reporting & Captioning Week is a great opportunity for us all to really take a little time to introduce our great profession to the world. Whether it’s a presentation at a local high school, a brief segment on the local news, or even discussing amongst friends what it is we do as court reporters and captioners, you could make a difference in someone’s life who would love this career path,” said NCSA Vice-Chair Carol Naughton, RPR, an official court reporter from Virginia Beach, Va.

“It’s always exciting to hear the different and unique ways states are getting involved and making a difference. I’m sure this year will be no different,” added Naughton, who is also immediate past president of the Virginia Court Reporters Association (VCRA).

“While doing an actual demonstration at a college or high school may be the quickest way to get someone into our profession, I encourage my state association and any individuals who can to get their state legislature to have a proclamation passed recognizing the week,” said Bang. “Whether it’s on the state level or your municipal level, it just gets people talking about what we do,” Bang added.

According to Naughton, VCRA is planning a social media challenge to celebrate the 2019 week. “While I’m not at liberty to share what’s up our sleeves, I can say that your state association may be called upon to meet our challenge. We may even challenge NCRA! So you better be ready!”

To learn more about NCSA’s State Challenge or to participate, visit NCRA.org/StateAssociations.

What did you do to make a difference for Court Reporting & Captioning Week?

By Debbie Kriegshauser

I must share with you all that I had a “peach of a time” visiting the Brown College of Court Reporting in Atlanta, Ga., during Court Reporting & Captioning Week. I was beyond impressed with the school. The classroom layouts, the labs, the faculty, and the administration were just amazing – not to mention the best students in the United States. There are 41 daytime students, 32 evening students, and 125 online students. That is phenomenal! We certainly can’t take a chance of losing this program.

We all remember those days of the dreaded “guest speaker” when we were in school, but I must say we had a fantastic time. Several of the students who chose to sit in the back of the room were dancing in the aisles and happy-go-lucky when they left. Oh, yes, we had attendance prizes, Valentine’s Day candy bags, and some good ole fun and enjoyment. They love those wonderful reference books the NCRA Store has for sale, plus I rewarded the student I mentor there with a convention registration for being the main reason I went to Brown College of Court Reporting in the first place. Thank you, Kimesha Smith Stallworth, for arranging this opportunity!

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my life and work experience with the students. I’m currently a federal official in St. Louis, Mo., and have been for 15 years. But I had done 25 years of freelance work before that, not to mention two years of CART reporting for a deaf student studying Agricultural Science, some dabbling in the captioning side of life, and providing media coverage for a Senior PGA Tournament on top of the freelance work. Needless to say, I had a lot to share with the students. I could have consumed the entire day. I also went into my professional memberships and covered an array of committees I have served on to show the students that involvement in your professional organizations is priceless!

We all have some experiences we can share with students as well as prospective students across the country. I challenge each and every one of you to share a bit of your court reporting or captioning experience with our schools. You can make a difference. You have to “just do it!” Did I mention the school YouTubed the entire evening presentation while it streamed it to the online students?

And the best part of this college visit: I got invited back! I also received the nicest “thank you” card. Thank you, Brown College of Court Reporting, especially Mark Green, Jr., director of career services, and Marita Carey, director of administration!

Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CRC, CLVS, is an official court reporter at the federal level from St. Louis, Mo.

Court Reporting & Captioning Week celebrated big across the nation

NCRA’s Board of Directors kicked off the seventh National Court Reporting & Captioning Week with a video encouraging everyone to celebrate and showcase the profession by sharing with the public what they do. The video was taken during a development meeting held earlier this month at the Association’s headquarters in Reston, Va., and was posted on NCRA’s Facebook page and other social media outlets, where it earned more than 3,200 views.

The South Dakota Court Reporters Association posted this photo of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and Chief Justice David Gilbertson proclaiming Court Reporting & Captioning Week

Also at the national level, the 2018 weeklong celebration marked the first time two U.S. representatives recognized the event with official proclamations. The first was made on the floor of the U.S. House by Rep. Bradley Byrne from Alabama, who delivered a one-minute floor speech recognizing Court Reporting & Captioning Week on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. ET. In addition, longtime supporter U.S. Rep. Ron Kind from Wisconsin also proclaimed the week in a statement he submitted for the official record. Rep. Kind’s wife, Tawni Kind, RMR, CRR, CRC, is an official court reporter and a member of NCRA.

Official proclamations were also reported at the state and local levels, including in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Texas, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

“Wouldn’t it be great if every week was Court Reporting & Captioning Week? Wow! What an incredible display of the pride we have for our professions. From proclamations to radio and television interviews to demonstrations and more, it was a fantastic week from beginning to end,” said NCRA President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, a firm owner from Wausau, Wis.

“Each year, I am in awe of the dedication and creativity of those who participate. Congratulations on our success, and thank you all for sharing your passion! Don’t let it end now. Let’s keep it alive,” she added.

Social media was abuzz

Jeaninn Alexis shows off the Court Reporting & Captioning Week photo frame

Throughout the week, members and students took to social media to help spread the word about the opportunities a career in court reporting or captioning can offer using the hashtag #DiscoverSteno. Among the many posts were a number of videos showcasing the profession, including one that explains what stenography is by writing on a white board, which was posted by NCRA Director Christine Phipps, RPR, a firm owner from West Palm Beach, Fla. NCRA Director Max Curry, RPR, CRI, a firm owner from Franklin, Tenn., also posted a video celebrating the profession on social media created by students at Gadsden State Community College’s court reporting program.

For the last day of the weeklong celebration, NCRA member Richard Scire, RPR, an official court reporter from Sarasota, Fla., posted a video tour of the courtroom where he works.

Michael Hensley says hello to NCRA’s Instagram followers during his takeover

On Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, NCRA’s Instagram was taken over by members Mike Hensley, RPR, a freelance reporter from Evanston, Ill., and Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC, a captioner from Murrieta, Calif., respectively. The two posted photos, shared their favorite gadgets, hosted live videos, and more.

Also recognizing the week on social media was Leah M. Willersdorf, president of the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters. “It’s okay to love what you do and shout about it from the rooftops,” she said.

Several members posted blogs about their profession and shared why the career choice was a meaningful one to them, including Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Memphis, Tenn., who penned Lessons Court Reporters can Learn From Olympians. Another blog post explained Why Court Reporters are the Backbone of Courtrooms and was written by the firm OrangeLegal, based in Orlando, Fla.

School visits

Students from Humphreys University participated in NCRA’s Olympic-themed speed competition

Members and court reporting students also took time during the week to participate in career fairs to talk about the many opportunities the profession offers as well as provide demonstrations of realtime. In addition to launching its first A to Z Machine Steno Writing program, several members of the Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters & Captioners represented court reporting and captioning at several high school career fairs and at a state homeschoolers association career fair. Nicole Bulldis, RPR, an official court reporter from Pasco, Wash., took the opportunity to visit an elementary school and introduce students to the steno machine.

Other career days where court reporting and captioning were showcased took place in San Antonio, Texas; Scranton, Pa.; and Olathe, Kan. On Feb. 16, court reporting students from the Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin traveled to two local high schools to share with students more about how the steno machine works and why a career in the court reporting or captioning fields is attractive.

Students from the Des Moines Area Community College toured the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa

Court reporting students also received visitors to their own programs. Those attending San Antonio College in Texas were able to meet Melinda Walker, RPR, CMRS, chief reporter for the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, former president of the Florida Court Reporters Association Rosa Naccarato, from Hollywood, and president-elect Sharon Pell Velazco, RPR, from Miami Lakes, spent the day with students at Atlantic Technical College.

And of course, there was media coverage

As always, national and local outreach generated an increase in media attention covering the court reporting and captioning professions. Among those stories were:

NCRA wants to thank everyone who participated in the 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week and encourages everyone to begin planning now for the 2019 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which is scheduled for Feb. 10-16.

Court Reporting & Captioning Week recognized

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyOn Feb. 12, Public reported that South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Chief Justice David Gilbertson proclaimed the week of Feb. 10 as Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The proclamation recognizes the importance of court reporting and captioning professions and is intended to help raise awareness of the growing number of employment opportunities these careers provide.

Read more.

NCRA Board of Directors kicks off Court Reporting & Captioning Week

NCRA’s Board of Directors took time from their development meeting held this past weekend at the Association’s headquarters in Reston, Va., to mark the start of the 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week with a video encouraging everyone to celebrate.

The video, which was posted on NCRA’s Facebook page and other social media outlets, has more than 3,200 views. In the video, Board members shared the following message:

We encourage everyone to join us as we celebrate our wonderful profession from Feb. 10 to 17 during the 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week. No activity is too small to celebrate all that we do, in each day, in our professional careers. From capturing the record and preserving history, to providing captioning for broadcast news and live sporting events, to providing CART services for schools, churches, public events, and even theater productions, to ensuring that those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have equal access to important information: We are court reporters and captioners; and what we do, we do proudly. So let’s come together and celebrate our wonderful and rewarding profession. Let’s share with others the vast opportunities that exist when they chose this career path. Reach out to your legislators and ask for an official proclamation. Attend a career fair and introduce potential students to the world of steno and where our profession can take them. Demonstrate how realtime can benefit your judge or a friend’s judge. Mentor a court reporting student and let them know that the hard work in school is worth it. Join us, your Board of Directors, in celebration, and let’s make this the best Court Reporting & Captioning Week celebration ever.

Members can use the Court Reporting & Captioning Week Facebook frame when they post photos to the social media platform this week. The frame is an easy way to celebrate the week, perhaps with a steno selfie or a photo of you and some of your colleagues.

For the first time ever, NCRA is expecting official national proclamations recognizing the week from two lawmakers. Rep. Bradley Byrne from Alabama is slated to deliver a one-minute floor speech recognizing Court Reporting & Captioning Week on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. ET. The speech can be viewed on CSPAN. NCRA will also post a link to the speech on its social media outlets.

In addition, longtime supporter U.S. Rep. Ron Kind from Wisconsin will honor court reporters and captioners in a statement he will submit for the record. Rep. Kind’s wife — Tawni Kind, RMR, CRR, CRC — is an official court reporter and a member of NCRA.

Reports continue to come in about the activities happening around the country as members of the court reporting and captioning professions celebrate their chosen careers with pride. Members of the Georgia Shorthand Reporters Association will visit their state capitol and request an official proclamation from lawmakers on Feb. 15. They will also host a meet-and-greet and hand out doughnuts to their supporters and state senators and representatives.

The California Court Reporters Association is calling on its members to celebrate the week by sponsoring a student to attend its Boot Camp event in honor of Farryn Ashley Nelson, a U.S. veteran and court reporter who passed away at 27 years old.

Court reporters in San Antonio, Texas, also report having received an official proclamation from lawmakers in that city. The proclamation was presented to several members during a small ceremony on the courthouse steps on Feb. 13. Also, on Feb. 19, the chief reporter for the state’s House of Representatives will visit with students in the court reporting program at San Antonio College.

Need more ideas on spreading the word during Court Reporting & Captioning Week? Check out the e-seminar Promoting the Profession. This e-seminar is for teachers, court reporters, and firm owners who would like to get more involved in promoting their profession. Veteran reporters Carolyn Ruiz Coronado, RPR, and Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, CRC, share how they use resources like career days, social media, state-wide recruiting networks, Google docs, and A to Z programs to spread the word about the court reporting and captioning professions. Uviedo, from San Antonio, Texas, is the 2016 and 2017 winner of the annual National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) Challenge. The presentation lasts one hour and forty-one minutes and is worth 0.15 continuing education units.

The aim of the NCSA Challenge is to encourage working professionals to reach out through career fairs and other activities to spread the word about what viable career paths court reporting and captioning are. NCSA will review and tally all submissions by members and state associations, and all entries will be eligible for prizes that include free webinars, event registrations, and more.

NCRA members promote the profession on Good Day Tulsa

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyGary Woodson and Allison Hall, RMR, CRR, official court reporters from Tulsa and Bristow, Okla., respectively, appeared on Good Day Tulsa on Feb. 12 to discuss court reporting and captioning careers, provide a steno machine demonstration, and address the need for more qualified people to join the profession. Woodson is a director for the Oklahoma Court Reporters Association.

Watch here.

Court reporting firm offers scholarships through its mentoring and internship division

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyIn a press release issued Feb. 12, Planet Depos, based in Washington, D.C., announced that it will offer three scholarships to qualified students and recent graduates of the nation’s court reporting schools in recognition of NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Read more.

Kansas Supreme Court observes National Court Reporting & Captioning Week

The Wamego Times reported on Feb. 8 that the Kansas Supreme Court has issued a proclamation recognizing Feb. 10-17 as National Court Reporting & Captioning Week and has encouraged all Kansans to join the state court system in its observance of the week.

Read more.

Celebrate 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week and take the NCSA Challenge

State associations and NCRA members who celebrate the profession during NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which is Feb. 10-17, have the chance to win big if they also enter the fourth annual National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) challenge to promote the court reporting and captioning professions to the public.

The aim of the challenge is to encourage working professionals to reach out through career fairs and other activities to spread the word about the viable career paths of court reporting and captioning. NCSA will review and tally all submissions by members and state associations, and all entries will be eligible for prizes that include free webinars and event registrations.

“The NCSA Challenge is open and waiting on you,” said 2018 NCSA Chair Huey L. Bang, RMR, CRR, an official court reporter from Pass Christian, Miss. “How can you take part and compete? By sharing what we do and getting the word out about our wonderful profession. Grab your machine, your laptop, and a fellow reporter, and compete to make a difference in the future of court reporting,” he added.

Court reporters, captioners, state court reporter associations, and court reporting schools around the country have already been sharing how they plan to celebrate the week and the profession by hosting an array of activities, including visits to high schools to showcase the profession, Veterans History Project interviews, media outreach, and more. Professionals in the field will use these opportunities to demonstrate how the stenographic machine works to capture the spoken word and translate it into written text in real time.

NCRA members will also share their stories with the public about how they became involved in the profession, the interesting events they have reported on, and why their career choice has proven to be one of the best decisions they’ve made.

“Reflecting on more than 32 years in the stenographic reporting profession brings a profound sense of pride. Providing instant access to the spoken word and being involved in a multitude of cases involving topics from business to medical to intellectual property, products liability, and personal injury have been educational and rewarding,” said NCRA President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, an active reporter and owner of Willette Court Reporting in Wausau, Wis.

“Court Reporting & Captioning Week gives our profession an opportunity to showcase and share the skills possessed by stenographic reporters working in the judicial and captioning fields. Coming together as a profession to celebrate has become an annual event across the country that is not to be missed,” Willette said.

To help celebrate the week, NCRA has made available a vast collection of resources, including informational and marketing materials available on DiscoverSteno.org, which was launched to help promote the profession to high school students, career changers, and veterans.

NCRA will also support official legislative recognition of National Court Reporting & Captioning Week and rely on its social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and blogs to reach thousands of people throughout the week to raise public awareness about pursuing a career in the field and the important role court reporters and captioners play in capturing the official record, preserving history, and providing vital services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

Be sure to visit NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week resource center at NCRA.org/Awareness. The site has press release and media advisory templates, talking points, logos, brochures about the profession, PowerPoint presentations, quick links, and more.

Remember to share how you celebrate the week by sending information about and photos of your event to NCRA’s Communications Team at pr@ncra.org. Everyone is also encouraged to share his or her activities on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverSteno.

2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week kicks off in just over a week

NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, Feb. 10-17, kicks off in just over a week, and state associations, individual members, and schools around the country are finalizing their plans to celebrate. From contests to open houses to showcasing realtime at courthouses and at career fairs, the quest is in full swing to raise awareness about the career opportunities available in the court reporting and captioning professions.

Students go for the gold

In celebration of the week, NCRA’s Student/Teacher Committee is sponsoring an Olympic-themed speed test open to all students at varying test speeds. The tests consist of five minutes of dictation at a speed level that each individual student is either currently working on or has just passed. In order to be eligible to win, students must pass the test with 96 percent accuracy. One Literary and one Q&A test will be offered, and the faculty at each school will be responsible for dictating and grading the material.

All students who pass a test are eligible for prizes; winners will be drawn at random for first (gold), second (silver), and third (bronze) prizes. Prizes will include a copy of NCRA’s RPR Study Guide ($125 value) for the gold medal winner, a choice of a one-year NCRA student membership ($46 value) or one leg of the RPR Skills Test ($72.50 value) for the silver medal winner, and a $25 Starbucks gift card for the bronze medal winner.

All students who participate in the contest, even if they don’t pass a test, will have their names and schools published in the Up-to-Speed student newsletter and the JCR. For more information about the rules and registration, please contact Debbie Kriegshauser or Ellen Goff.

Events around the country

To mark this year’s event, the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA) is hosting its second annual virtual run, which is themed Peace Love Steno. The run is open to all court reporting and captioning runners, walkers, and exercise enthusiasts. Once participants sign up and register, they can plan their 5K walk/run, which can be completed on a treadmill, around their neighborhood, at a local park, or at the office. TCRA asks that all participants post pictures of themselves completing their walk or run on its Facebook page. The cost to register is $25, and those who complete the 5K earn an antique gold medal with bright psychedelic colors and a purple ribbon.

Theresa Reese, RMR, Honolulu, Hawaii, an official court reporter for the First Circuit Court, will be hosting an event that will include an information kiosk at her courthouse to raise awareness about the profession and the role court reporters play in the judicial system.

In Kansas City, Kan., a court reporter shortage at the Wyandotte County Courthouse has prompted official court reporter Rosemarie A. Sawyer-Corsino, RPR, to plan a meet-and-greet at the courthouse to raise awareness about the need for qualified professionals.

Members and states compete in the annual NSCA challenge

Everyone who participates in an event to celebrate 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week is also encouraged to enter NCRA’s National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) fourth annual challenge.

The aim of the challenge is to encourage working professionals to spread the word about what viable career paths court reporting and captioning are. NCSA will review and tally all submissions by members and state associations, and all entries will be eligible for prizes ranging from free webinars to event registrations. More information about the NCSA Challenge is also available at NCRA.org/government.

Still planning? Check out NCRA’s resources

Be sure to visit NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week resource center at NCRA.org/Awareness. The site provides numerous resources including:

  • press release templates that state associations, schools, and individuals can use to help promote the week and the profession
  • media advisories to announce specific events
  • talking points
  • social media messages
  • a guide to making the record
  • information on NCRF’s Oral Histories Project, including the Library of Congress Veterans History Project
  • downloadable artwork, including the 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week and DiscoverSteno logos
  • brochures about careers in court reporting and captioning
  • a quick link to NCRA’s DiscoverSteno site that includes more information about the free A to Z Intro to Machine Steno program
  • and more

In addition, the 2018 resource center includes an updated, customizable PowerPoint presentation. The presentation is geared toward potential court reporting students and the public in general to bring awareness to the ample opportunities available in the profession.

Remember to share how you celebrate the week by sending information about and photos of your event to NCRA’s Communications Team at pr@ncra.org. Everyone is also encouraged to share his or her activities on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverSteno.