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State affiliates gear up for 2016 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp

LBC_logo_1color_newState affiliates from across the country are making plans to participate in the 2016 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp being held March 20-22 at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Va. The event is sponsored by NCRA’s government relations department.

The schedule for this year’s event will include sessions that cover an introduction to politics, grassroots lobbying, effectively communicating with the press, understanding NCRA’s 2016 federal initiatives, building lasting relationships, and what to expect when participants visit Capitol Hill. Several sessions will also include mock hearings and role-playing exercises. Attendees will also learn how to promote the profession to external audiences and consumer groups and how to testify before legislators.

Lead presenters will include Adam Finkel, NCRA’s Director of Government Affairs, and Dave Wenhold, CAE, PLC, from Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies.

The two-day training culminates with a trip to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., where attendees will have the opportunity to meet with their respective legislators and their professional staff members, and gain experience in lobbying. Attendees will also have the opportunity to attend an event with one of NCRA’s legislative supporters.

During visits with lawmakers, Boot Camp attendees will be encouraged to urge their representatives to reauthorize the Training for Realtime Writers grants under the Higher Education Act passed by Congress in 2009. The Act created a competitive grant program to train realtime writers to provide both captioned information and communication access for the 30 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing. Programs established with past grants also aided working reporters in learning and polishing realtime skills.

NCRA member Rachel Erickson, RPR, CRC, a CART captioner from Minneapolis, Minn., said this year’s Boot Camp will be the first she has ever attended. She is looking forward to learning about issues that affect the court reporting and captioning professions.

“I would like to be well versed with the legislative and political information I need as well as role-playing to help better equip me to promote and advocate our profession effectively and intelligently,” added Erickson, who is preparing to become president of the Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters and Captioners.

“This will be my first time attending Legislative Boot Camp, and I am looking forward to learning additional tools I can use to promote our legislative interests and share the information with other reporters and students with common passions and interests,” said Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, who serves on NCRA’s Board of Directors.

“Meeting with legislators, especially from my home state, will definitely be highlight,” added Sati, who is also a court reporting educator and an independent captioner from Dayton, Minn.

Online registration is now open for the 2016 Legislative Boot Camp at The cost is $175 per attendee. For more information, contact Adam Finkel, NCRA Director of Government Relations, at

“The NCRA Legislative Boot Camp is one of the most important benefits of membership in the Association because it provides training in the skills needed to successfully advocate and participate in the legislative and regulatory processes when issues in either of those arenas arise that could hinder or help the future of the court reporting and captioning professions,” said NCRA President Stephen A. Zinone, RPR, an official court reporter from Pittsford, N.Y.

“If you are in the business of making the record and preserving history or providing valuable captioning services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, then you are in the business of protecting our profession,” said Zinone.