Court Reporters, Captioners, Videographers, Scopists, Proofreaders, Associate members, and other professionals who support our industry:
I wanted to update everyone as to where we stand and what is in the works from the NCRA Board of Directors and leadership and staff for all things court reporting and captioning related.
1) On Monday, March 16, NCRA hosted a videoconference seminar with affiliate state and regional association leadership and convention planners. As many of you know, most state and regional associations hold their conventions from late winter into early summer, and the COVID-19 crisis is negatively impacting those planned events, with most canceling or rescheduling to later dates. It has the potential to seriously impact our affiliate members financially, and NCRA, via this seminar and other assistance, is doing everything we can to negate the damage and fallout for our affiliates. We want our affiliate associations to be empowered with the appropriate information they need to weather this situation.
2) The response to the live webinar led by NCRA Director Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR, and Immediate Past President Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, and NCRA Vice President Debra Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, addressing the nuts and bolts of getting started offering your services remotely via Zoom or other video/teleconference capabilities was so overwhelming that we added two additional sessions to accommodate everyone who signed up. Our Zoom capacity maxed out for all three offerings at 1,500 participants (500 per session) and have stretched the resources of our esteemed colleagues to be able to give the seminars live over and over again. I am thankful for what they have volunteered to do. They truly are consummate professionals, and we are fortunate to have them as part of our professional family!
3) The aforementioned seminar was video recorded, and it will be offered after April 1 for those individuals who were unable to sign up for or attend the live offering. There is a small administrative fee of $10 for members and $30 for nonmembers. It will become part of the NCRA bank of eseminars that we have available for viewing.
4) The NCRA Board of Directors is working on seminars that will offer more advanced training on videoconferencing and teleconferencing work. One will focus specifically on high-end issues and capabilities with videoconference remote feed for captioning, and the other will focus on the same things for judicial reporting. We are planning to offer both presentations in about two weeks.
5) The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, currently being debated in the U.S. House and Senate, includes a section that addresses independent contractors/self-employed individuals. NCRA Government Relations is monitoring the situation, and as we have more information regarding the act in its final form and as it becomes law, we will update you as to the impact it will have on our industry and on you as individuals. We will address this more during NCRA Town Hall on Saturday, March 21. Register using this link
6) Since NCRA has canceled the NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp due to the continuing crisis, we are working on a one-day videoconference live stream webinar. We are approaching it as encompassing leadership development, as well as knowledge/skill development for reporters and captioners — a Stenopalooza of sorts!
7) We are holding off on making any decisions about the 2020 NCRA Conference & Expo in August until late May/early June. I assure you, we will err on the side of caution, but we do not want to react too quickly. We have time to readjust and make decisions as we get closer.
I promise and assure you, the NCRA Board of Directors, staff, and volunteer leadership members are working hard and doing our very best in managing these issues. Many of the NCRA Board and volunteers are, in addition, managing their own personal businesses in reporting and captioning, as all NCRA board members are still working professionals; and NCRA staff is doing a tremendous job managing the day-to-day issues on top of the fantastic job they already do on a daily basis while working remotely.
We are going to get through this together. I would encourage everyone to remember, it costs nothing extra to offer kindness, compassion, and understanding to one another. Be safe, be smart, be informed, and make fact-based decisions grounded in reasoning and knowledge.
On behalf of the NCRA Board and staff, I send our best wishes to all of you and your families!
Max Curry, RPR, CRI