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Celebrating Court Reporting and Captioning Week the STRONG way!

By Liz Harvey with contributions from other members of the NCRA STRONG Committee

Members of the NCRA STRONG Committee gleefully joined in the celebration of 2022 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Here’s a brief recap:

The Washington Court Reporters Association (WCRA) kicked off the week with a town hall that was attended by reporters from around the country. NCRA STRONG Committee member Liz Harvey, RPR, a freelance court reporter from Seattle, Wash., gave an update to the attendees. She stressed that the committee only has 11 members so it’s crucial that everyone join in the effort to promote steno and educate other legal professionals and the public about the superior service stenographic court reporters provide.

Harvey also shared that in the past few months the NCRA STRONG Committee members have presented or worked with several groups on highlighting the advantage stenographic reporters bring. They were happy to meet with members of the California Court Reporters Association, Maryland Court Reporters Association, Illinois Court Reporters Association, as well as members from Nebraska, Arizona, and other states. Members of the STRONG Committee will also be participating in upcoming events with Steno in the City and other state and professional associations. Be sure to mark your calendar for the NCRA STRONG webinar What’s STRONG with us?!? scheduled for April 20. More information and registration details can be found at the NCRA Learning Center.

Harvey and NCRA STRONG Committee member Lisa Migliore Black, a freelance court reporter and agency owner from Louisville, Ky., also attended seminars hosted by the New York State Court Reporters Association (NYSCRA) during Court Reporting & Captioning Week that addressed voice recognition software and the topic of dialects and accents and how these differences in culture can lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication.

Margaret Turner, RPR, a freelance court reporter and agency owner from Mobile, Ala., and member of the NCRA STRONG Committee, attended the Alabama Court Reporters Association convention and reminded everyone that even if you are in a state where court reporting is regulated, it’s more important than ever to be aware of actions that may undermine the protections your state has.

NCRA STRONG Chair Stacey Raikes, RMR, CRR, an official court reporter from Cape Coral, Fla., had an opportunity to pop on to the “Court Reporting as a Career” seminar hosted during Court Reporting & Captioning Week by the New Jersey Certified Court Reporters Association President Jennifer Billstein-Miller, RMR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Mantua, N.J. The session featured court reporters from all facets of the profession and was well attended. The hope is that even if one student is recruited from the event, it would be well worth the time and effort. Raikes said that with recruitment key in these crucial times, it was refreshing to hear the enthusiastic questions from prospective court reporters.

Raikes also popped in to say a quick hello at one of the Florida Court Reporters Association’s mixers held via Zoom during Court Reporting & Captioning Week which also included reporters from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago.

Finally, Raikes also served as a panelist on “Associations and Advocacy,” a session hosted by NYSCRA as part of its list of Court Reporting & Captioning Week events. Raikes took the opportunity to briefly peruse the STRONG Resource Library housed on NCRA.org with the audience and reminded them that advocacy comes in all shapes and sizes. “From a PowerPoint presentation to a flyer on a background screen to a 30-second elevator pitch, we can all advocate for our profession in a way that is natural to us and that honors our personal style, and the STRONG Resource Library is a good place to start,” she said.

Members of the NCRA STRONG Committee also want to remind everyone about the resources available on the STRONG Resource Library. One of the attendees at the WCRA Town Hall relayed how she was able to use a flyer to answer client questions about why stenographic reporting is better than alternative methods, said Raikes. “But we also realized that many of our members aren’t aware of what’s available. New information is added and updated, so if you haven’t looked at the library for a while, please take another look. You’ll find flyers, PowerPoints, letters, articles, and videos to help you become a better advocate for our profession,” she added.

There were so many other wonderful events that happened during Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Being a part of the celebrations and interacting with our peers from around the country and the world is truly what matters most. A week just doesn’t seem like enough time.

While the 2022 Court Reporting & Captioning Week has come to a close, we should continue to share our enthusiasm for our profession. Let’s celebrate ourselves and the magic that is steno every day! Continue to spread love and steno everywhere you go throughout the year and revel in your victories both big and small.

Remember, we are strongest together!

Liz Harvey, RPR, is a freelance court reporter from Seattle, Wash., and a member of NCRA’s STRONG Committee. She can be reached at epharvey@aol.com.

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