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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.