Court reporters, captioners, CART providers, and court reporting schools around the country are making plans now to celebrate the 2014 National Court Reporting & Captioning Week scheduled for Feb. 16 – 22. Celebrations to mark the week-long event will range from securing official proclamations recognizing the occasion to hosting open houses, Veterans History Project Days, and media outreach, as members of the profession band together to help promote this unique and rewarding career. In addition, NCRA’s government relations department has been working with national lawmakers to ensure the week earns an official proclamation that will be presented on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“National Court Reporting & Captioning Week is NCRA’s way to spotlight for the public the importance of what court reporters and captioners do,” said NCRA President Nancy Varallo, RMR, CRR. “Court reporting, captioning, CART – these careers are part of the lifeblood of law and culture in our society. I encourage everyone in this profession to take this opportunity to celebrate this fulfilling career and to let their enthusiasm inspire a student to explore this profession.”
To mark the week, Varallo said she plans to write an article about what a great option court reporting school is compared to a traditional four-year college degree program, as well as describe the profession and the correlation between musicians and court reporters for distribution to area high school music Boosters Clubs. She will also send along a donation from her firm, The Varallo Group. The clubs will then distribute the articles to the parents of all music students.
In Wisconsin, where Court Reporting & Captioning Week has been celebrated statewide since 2007, the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association has appointed a special Court Reporting Week Committee to brainstorm ideas to market the national event, such as sending out cards from its board to legal professionals including the director of state courts, district court administrators, the state barn chief justices, larger legal firms, and the local media to publicize the week. “In addition, we are also encouraging our members to offer realtime demonstrations at schools and other venues to showcase what it is we do,” said Karla M. Sommer, RMR, CRR, CBC, president of WCRA.
Other state associations have indicated that they will mark National Court Reporting & Captioning Week in a variety of ways. For instance, in Michigan, the state association plans to partner with a local court reporting school to host a special activity to market the event, and in Georgia, the state association plans to conduct a Veterans History Day project.
“Court reporters work hard every day to help people access the U.S. legal system, while CART providers and captioners give access to conferences, calls, educational classes, and television broadcasts to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is in their honor that NCRA has declared a national week to champion their ongoing efforts,” said Jim Cudahy, NCRA’s executive director and CEO.
“Throughout the week, NCRA will highlight the career options available to those who graduate from a court reporting program, work to secure interviews of its members by the media, recognize the activities going on at the state and local levels to mark this event, and actively rely on its social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help boost public awareness of stenographic court reporting, captioning, and CART careers,” he added.