Mike Mobley Reporting celebrates 40 years in business

Mike Mobley Reporting, based in Cincinnati, Ohio,  announced that the firm is celebrating 40 years in business providing court reporting and other legal support services throughout Southwest Ohio and surrounding regions in a press release issued Jan 28.

Read more.

You can effectively communicate with difficult people: Learn how

Dr. Wendy Patrick

Ever wish you could communicate better with challenging individuals? Attend NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit being held Feb. 1-3 in San Diego, Calif., and learn how to effectively communicate with difficult people. Registration is still open online or onsite at the beautiful Manchester Grand Hyatt, which is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

Led by Dr. Wendy L. Patrick, this interactive session will teach attendees how to use specific communication techniques designed to communicate with challenging individuals in order to enhance your ability to effectively converse with a wide variety of difficult people.  

Patrick is a career trial attorney and has been recognized by her peers as one of the 2015 Top Ten Criminal Attorneys in San Diego by the San Diego Daily Transcript. She was also named the 2014 Public Lawyer of the Year by the California State Bar Public Law Section. Her legal experience includes having completed more than 160 trials ranging from hate crimes to domestic violence to first-degree murder. She is also a faculty member at San Diego State University where she teaches upper division business ethics in the Management Department of the College of Business Administration, both on campus and abroad.

According to Patrick, when you understand your audience, you are better able to understand their basic needs and communication style, which will maximize the productivity of your communication, business or social.  In her session, attendees will learn how altering the way you perceive and respond to temperament and behavior can aid you in accommodating the most challenging personalities.  During her presentation, Patrick will apply the techniques and methods discussed in two of her books, Reading People and Red Flags, to the art of communicating with difficult people in a variety of settings in order to maximize successful communication.

See who else is joining you at the 2019 Business Summit

While at the NCRA Business Summit, don’t miss the chance to rub shoulders with representatives from sponsors of the event, including: Elite Reporting; Esquire (Super Bowl Party Sponsor); Translation by Design; Remote Counsel; Global Interpreting Network; Mercer; YesLaw; LitUp; Thomson Reuters; NCRF; and Veritext (Opening Reception Sponsor).

NCRA is so excited about this year’s slate of cutting-edge sessions that it is not raising the price of onsite registration. In addition, the host hotel, the beautiful Manchester Grand Hyatt, is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

Don’t miss this special offer to attend the one-of-a-kind event designed to help you boost your business. Register today.

Check out some of the other cutting-edge sessions planned

Understanding common issues all business owners face

Join a panel of experts representing a cross section of leaders from the court reporting and captioning professions. Whether you are a firm of 1 person or 1,000, the challenges and opportunities you face are likely shared with others in the industry. This panel discussion will touch on many of the issues faced by businesses throughout the industry, regardless of size. Topics to be discussed will include working with millennial reporters and lawyers, managing generational differences in your workforce, the ways various systems and technologies can streamline your production, common HR issues, the pros and cons of succession planning, protecting your website and data, how to identify great talent, and more. This valuable seminar is designed to provide you with “aha” moments and takeaways for efficiency and profitability.

How storytelling can boost your business

Ann marie Houghtailing, entrepreneur, storyteller, and business coach, will present her Storytelling & Business Development session. Houghtailing, who launched her practice as a business development expert in 2009 with only $5 in her pocket, a MacBook, and a truckload of tenacity in the worst economic climate of her life, developed the Corporate Alliance Partner for the Institute for Sales and Business Development at the University of San Diego, Calif., just one year later. Today, she holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on narrative leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting process.

Court reporting in the 21st century

Speaker and past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. As a follow-up to his Tough Love sessions, which have been held at national and state conferences throughout the United States, Miller will lead a seminar called “Tough Love Part 2,” which will challenge the most sacred beliefs about the business of court reporting with a focus on why being stuck in 1985 isn’t going to alleviate any of the issues faced by agencies and reporters in the 21st century.

Simple shifts can lead to extraordinary outcomes

Also on the schedule is Eunice Carpitella, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will serve as keynote speaker. She will address the practical idea that simple shifts in our routine patterns of interaction and mindset make it possible for business leaders to include, engage, and unleash everyone in solving problems, driving innovation, and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Community engagement and how it helps your business

A session titled “Civic Best Practice: Corporate Community Engagement,” led by Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Rosalie Kramm, RPR, CRR, of San Diego, Calif., will explore why corporate community engagement is considered one of the best practices in today’s business environment and how to be successful at it. Find out more about the benefits businesses gain by integrating community engagement into their business plans, such as boosting employee commitment and recruitment. Gains also include raising awareness of the services and products the companies provide and securing reputations as leaders in the community. The session will culminate with a special Veterans History Project (VHP), as an example of just one of many wonderful ways to showcase the services and skills your business provides while giving back to those in the community.

A live interview will capture the story of Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.) for the VHP. In addition to serving 31 years in the U.S. Navy, Froman was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest. In her last Navy job, she also served as the director of ashore readiness for the chief of naval operations, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget. As a change agent, Froman’s careers have spanned the military, public, private, and nonprofit businesses.

Super Bowl LIII: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams

Get your game on during the Super Bowl Party that will close out this year’s event – another great reason to stay overnight Sunday for an extra few days to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. This is a great chance to relax and network with fellow business owners.

Make plans to attend now

The 2019 Business Summit, formerly the Firm Owners & Executives Conference, promises to engage attendees with content, insight, the latest in business trends, and networking opportunities that will all result in boosting business. This year’s informative and cutting-edge sessions have been chosen specifically to provide the freelancers, firm owners, and managers attending with the latest tools and techniques for growing their business. And finally, plan on staying later to enjoy what beautiful, sunny San Diego has to offer in February.

Remember, onsite registration rates are not being raised, making this one-of-a-kind event more accessible to everyone who wants to attend. Plus, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

2019 Business Summit: Too good not to share

If you’re the owner of a court reporting or captioning business of any size, NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit being held Feb. 1-3 in San Diego, Calif., is the event for you. NCRA is so excited about this year’s slate of cutting-edge sessions that it is not raising the price of onsite registration. In addition, the host hotel, the beautiful Manchester Grand Hyatt, is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

Don’t miss this special offer to attend the one-of-a-kind event designed to help you boost your business. Register today.

Read more about the sessions and speakers below:

Understanding common issues all business owners face

Join a panel of experts representing a cross section of leaders from the court reporting and captioning professions. Whether you are a firm of 1 person or 1,000, the challenges and opportunities you face are likely shared with others in the industry. This panel discussion will touch on many of the issues faced by businesses throughout the industry, regardless of size. Topics to be discussed will include working with millennial reporters and lawyers, managing generational differences in your workforce, the ways various systems and technologies can streamline your production, common HR issues, the pros and cons of succession planning, protecting your website and data, how to identify great talent, and more. This valuable seminar is designed to provide you with “aha” moments and takeaways for efficiency and profitability.

How storytelling can boost your business

Ann marie Houghtailing, entrepreneur, storyteller, and business coach, will present her Storytelling & Business Development session. Houghtailing, who launched her practice as a business development expert in 2009 with only $5 in her pocket, a MacBook, and a truckload of tenacity in the worst economic climate of her life, developed the Corporate Alliance Partner for the Institute for Sales and Business Development at the University of San Diego, Calif., just one year later. Today, she holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on narrative leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting process.

Court reporting in the 21st century

Speaker and past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. As a follow-up to his Tough Love sessions, which have been held at national and state conferences throughout the United States, Miller will lead a seminar called “Tough Love Part 2,” which will challenge the most sacred beliefs about the business of court reporting with a focus on why being stuck in 1985 isn’t going to alleviate any of the issues faced by agencies and reporters in the 21st century.

Simple shifts can lead to extraordinary outcomes

Also on the schedule is Eunice Carpitella, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will serve as keynote speaker. She will address the practical idea that simple shifts in our routine patterns of interaction and mindset make it possible for business leaders to include, engage, and unleash everyone in solving problems, driving innovation, and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Community engagement and how it helps your business

A session titled “Civic Best Practice: Corporate Community Engagement,” led by Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, of Minneapolis, Minn., and Rosalie Kramm, RPR, CRR, of San Diego, Calif., will explore why corporate community engagement is considered one of the best practices in today’s business environment and how to be successful at it. Find out more about the benefits businesses gain by integrating community engagement into their business plans, such as boosting employee commitment and recruitment. Gains also include raising awareness of the services and products the companies provide and securing reputations as leaders in the community. The session will culminate with a special Veterans History Project (VHP), as an example of just one of many wonderful ways to showcase the services and skills your business provides while giving back to those in the community.

A live interview will capture the story of Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.) for the VHP. In addition to serving 31 years in the U.S. Navy, Froman was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest. In her last Navy job, she also served as the director of ashore readiness for the chief of naval operations, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget. As a change agent, Froman’s careers have spanned the military, public, private, and nonprofit businesses.

Super Bowl LIII: New England Patriots vs. Los Angeles Rams

Get your game on during the Super Bowl Party that will close out this year’s event – another great reason to stay overnight Sunday for an extra few days to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. This is a great chance to relax and network with fellow business owners.

Don’t wait. Make plans to attend now

The 2019 Business Summit, formerly the Firm Owners & Executives Conference, promises to engage attendees with content, insight, the latest in business trends, and networking opportunities that will all result in boosting business. This year’s informative and cutting-edge sessions have been chosen specifically to provide the freelancers, firm owners, and managers attending with the latest tools and techniques for growing their business. And finally, plan on staying later to enjoy what beautiful, sunny San Diego has to offer in February.

Remember, onsite registration rates are not being raised, making this one-of-a-kind event more accessible to everyone who wants to attend. Plus, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is keeping the special rate room block open until rooms sell out.

Aptus Court Reporting Adds Industry Veteran to Sacramento Team

California-based Aptus Court Reporting announced in a press release issued Jan. 17 that Marj Walker will join the Aptus Court Reporting team in Sacramento to enhance the West Coast footprint of the rapidly expanding company.

Read more.

Idaho facing court reporter shortage

The Associated Press reported on Jan. 16 that an official with the Idaho courts system says the state is facing a shortage of court reporters — and needs $340,500 to boost salaries for its 45 court reporter positions.

Read more.

Catch the savings on registration for NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit before it ends

Act now and save! Online registration savings for NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit being held Feb. 1-3 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in beautiful San Diego, Calif., ends Jan. 20, and onsite registration and pricing starts Jan. 21. In addition, the hotel room block is still available on a first-come, first-serve basis so be sure to book now!

The 2019 Business Summit, formerly the Firm Owners & Executives Conference, promises to engage attendees with content, insight, the latest in business trends, and networking opportunities that will all result in boosting business. This year’s informative and cutting-edge sessions have been chosen specifically to provide the freelancers, firm owners, and managers attending with the latest tools and techniques for growing their business.

Here’s a glimpse of what’s happening onsite at this event:

Community engagement and how it helps your business

A session titled “Civic Best Practice: Corporate Community Engagement” will explore why corporate community engagement is considered one of the best practices in today’s business environment and how to be successful at it. Find out more about the benefits businesses gain by integrating community engagement into their business plans, such as boosting employee commitment and recruitment. Gains also include raising awareness of the services and products the companies provide and securing reputations as leaders in the community. The session will culminate with a special Veterans History Project, as an example of just one of many wonderful ways to showcase the services and skills your business provides while giving back to those in the community who have served their country. The live oral history will capture the story of Rear Adm. Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.). In addition to serving 31 years in the U.S. Navy, Froman was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest. In her last Navy job, she also served as the director of ashore readiness for the chief of naval operations, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget. As a change agent, Froman’s careers have spanned the military, public, private, and nonprofit businesses. Rear Adm. Froman will be interviewed by Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, of Minneapolis, Minn.

How storytelling can boost your business

Ann marie Houghtailing, entrepreneur, storyteller, and business coach, will present her Storytelling & Business Development session. Houghtailing, who launched her practice as a business development expert in 2009 with only $5 in her pocket, a MacBook, and a truckload of tenacity in the worst economic climate of her life, developed the Corporate Alliance Partner for the Institute for Sales and Business Development at the University of San Diego, Calif., just one year later. Today, she holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on narrative leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting process.

Court reporting in the 21st century

Speaker and past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. As a follow-up to his Tough Love sessions, which have been held at national and state conferences throughout the United States, Miller will lead a seminar called “Tough Love Part 2,” which will challenge the most sacred beliefs about the business of court reporting with a focus on why being stuck in 1985 isn’t going to alleviate any of the issues faced by agencies and reporters in the 21st century.

Simple shifts can lead to extraordinary outcomes

Also on the schedule is Eunice Carpitella, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will serve as keynote speaker. She will address the practical idea that simple shifts in our routine patterns of interaction and mindset make it possible for business leaders to include, engage, and unleash everyone in solving problems, driving innovation, and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Don’t wait. Register now and save

Remember, online registration for the 2019 Business Summit closes Jan. 20, 2019, and onsite registration and pricing starts Jan. 21, 2019. And don’t forget, also making a comeback is the Super Bowl Party to close out the event – another great reason to stay overnight Sunday for an extra few days to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. And finally, plan on staying later to enjoy what beautiful, sunny San Diego has to offer in February.








Don’t Miss Out: Register for the Business Summit Today

Register for NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit being held Feb. 1-3 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in beautiful San Diego, Calif. The hotel room block closes on Jan. 9, so you can still save money by booking your hotel now.

The schedule is filled with insightful, informative, and cutting-edge sessions designed to provide the freelancers, firm owners, and managers attending with the latest tools and techniques for growing their business.

Community engagement and how it helps your business

A session titled “Civic Best Practice: Corporate Community Engagement” will explore why corporate community engagement is considered one of the best practices in today’s business environment and how to be successful at it. Find out more about the benefits businesses gain by integrating community engagement into their business plans, such as boosting employee commitment and recruitment. Gains also include raising awareness of the services and products the companies provide and securing reputations as leaders in the community. The session will culminate with a special Veterans History Project, as an example of just one of many wonderful ways to showcase the services and skills your business provides while giving back to those in the community who have served their country. The live oral history will capture the story of Rear Admiral Ronne Froman, USN (Ret.). In addition to serving 31 years in the U.S. Navy, Froman was the first woman to serve as commander of the U.S. Navy Region Southwest. In her last Navy job, she also served as the director of ashore readiness for the chief of naval operations, responsible for nearly 90 Navy stations and bases around the world with a $7 billion budget. As a change agent, Froman’s careers have spanned the military, public, private, and nonprofit businesses. Rear Admiral Froman will be interviewed by Jan Ballman, FAPR, RPR, CMRS, of Minneapolis, Minn.

How storytelling can boost your business

Ann marie Houghtailing, entrepreneur, storyteller, and business coach, will present her Storytelling & Business Development session. Houghtailing, who launched her practice as a business development expert in 2009 with only $5 in her pocket, a MacBook, and a truckload of tenacity in the worst economic climate of her life, developed the Corporate Alliance Partner for the Institute for Sales and Business Development at the University of San Diego, Calif., just one year later. Today, she holds the reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on narrative leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting process.

Court reporting in the 21st century

Speaker and past NCRA Director Mike Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, is a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas. As a follow-up to his Tough Love sessions, which have been held at national and state conferences throughout the United States, Miller will lead a seminar called “Tough Love Part 2,” which will challenge the most sacred beliefs about the business of court reporting with a focus on why being stuck in 1985 isn’t going to alleviate any of the issues faced by agencies and reporters in the 21st century.

Simple shifts can lead to extraordinary outcomes

Also on the schedule is Eunice Carpitella, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, who will serve as keynote speaker. She will address the practical idea that simple shifts in our routine patterns of interaction and mindset make it possible for business leaders to include, engage, and unleash everyone in solving problems, driving innovation, and achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Don’t wait.

Register now for NCRA’s 2019 Business Summit. Remember, online registration for the 2019 Business Summit closes Jan. 20, 2019, and onsite registration and pricing starts Jan. 21, 2019.

The 2019 Business Summit schedule features additional experts who will not only inspire your business development but also will become a part of your network to help bolster your company into the future. The event will also include compelling panel discussions on topics critical to the growth of the profession and even more networking opportunities than in previous years.

Also making a comeback is the Super Bowl Party to close out the event – another great reason to stay overnight Sunday for an extra few days to really get to know this one-of-a-kind city. And remember, February is the perfect time to enjoy the beauty, sunshine, and numerous attractions San Diego has to offer.








NCRA member shares technology finds from Consumer Electronics Show on NCRA’s Instagram

NCRA Technology Committee member Kelli Ann Willis, RPR, CRR, has taken over the NCRA Instagram account, @ncraofficial, this week from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nev. We talked to her about what she is planning.

JCR Weekly | Tell us about yourself.

KAW | I am an international realtime court reporter. I have been reporting since 1983 and realtiming since 1994. I have been a techie since my teens.

JCR Weekly | What interests you about the CES?

KAW | CES is the Super Bowl of the tech world!  It is the place where all new technology is showcased. I have been watching reports from the CES floor for years!

JCR Weekly| What are you hoping to find?

KAW | I cannot wait to see the new TVs, computers, and anything else that catches my eye! I am going to be on the search for anything techie that can help court reporters.

JCR Weekly | What new technology do you think will be interesting to NCRA members?

KAW | Computers, cell phones, and AI will be a focus.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram at @ncraofficial to see what Willis finds.








Cicayda announces partnership with Naegeli Deposition & Trial

Cicayda, Nashville, Tenn.,  announced in a press release issued Jan. 4, that it has teamed up with Naegeli Deposition & Trial to combine its eDiscovery software and services with Naegeli’s court reporting and trial support services.

Read more.








Actor Tom Hanks ‘hearts’ captioning

Photo by David Kindler

NCRA member Jo Gayle, RPR, CRR, CRC, a freelance captioner from Chicago, Ill., recently earned a shout-out from actor Tom Hanks for her captioning skills during an event held by the Chicago Humanities Festival. The JCR Weekly reached out to Gayle to find out more about being recognized by an international celebrity for her skills. The JCR Weekly also reached out to Brittany Pyle, director of production and audience experience for the Chicago Humanities Festival, to learn more about the benefits captioning brings to audiences.

NCRA member Jo Gayle, RPR, CRR, CRC

JCR | How did you connect with the Chicago Humanities organization?
JG | I was asked by a captioning company to caption some of their events.

JCR | How long have you been captioning for them?
JG | Three years, since fall of 2015.

JCR | What types of events do you caption for them and how often?
JG | I started out just captioning a few events, but this fall I did 15 events as well as a day-long marathon of interviews that I split with a remote captioner. The events are either interviews or lectures, and the Humanities Festival chooses which ones will be captioned based on audience interest and accessibility requests.

JCR | What do you enjoy most about working with this organization?
JG | They are extremely accommodating when it comes to making sure I have a comfortable and accessible work space. Also I’ve enjoyed the diversity of events and the famous people I’ve been able to caption: Alan Alda, Gloria Steinem, Al Gore, and James Comey, just to name a few.

JCR | What were you captioning when Tom Hanks gave you a shout-out?
JG | He was doing an interview with Peter Sagal of NPR to discuss his love of writing and his collection of short stories, Uncommon Type.

JCR | Did you know he was going to do that?
JG | What happened was they did not know the event was being captioned and only discovered it when they looked at the screen behind them that was going to display audience questions.

Here’s the back and forth from the transcript:

PETER SAGAL: We have a couple of questions from members of the audience who submitted them earlier. We selected a few. We’ll put them up on the screen.
TOM HANKS: Oh, really?
PETER SAGAL: Yes.
TOM HANKS: I thought this was a temporary graphic.
I just realized that. Has that gone on? So you get to say I read the best interview with Tom Hanks. Anybody deaf that is actually doing it? Anybody hearing-impaired?
PETER SAGAL: Hello, I am the person typing the captions.
THE CAPTIONER: That’s me.
(Laughter and applause.)
TOM HANKS: Let’s hear it — are they up here or back there?
THE CAPTIONER: I’m up here.
(Laughter and applause.)
PETER SAGAL: That’s great.
We actually do have some questions for you so we can put them up.
TOM HANKS: That is hilarious. I’m sorry. That is just fantastic. I’m sorry, that is truly fantastic.
“Which character in your book do you love the most and why,” says Jill. There you go. We want Jill’s name up there twice. I think that’s fabulous.
(Applause.)

JG | I felt I had to insert myself in there so they would know it was an actual person doing the captioning and not voice recognition or artificial intelligence.

JCR | What was your reaction?
JG | I got a big kick out of it, but I was overwhelmed when I received this email from him through the Humanities Festival:

You tell Jo Gayle that she made our night! A personality to go with those magic words! It was an honor to share the stage with her! Tell her that, or better yet, send her a text one word at a time … It was a grand night,
Tom Hanks

JCR | Did you get to meet him?
JG | No, unfortunately.

JCR | Have you met any other celebrities through this work?
JG | Alan Alda is the only celebrity I’ve met.

JCR | How long have you been a captioner?
JG | I’ve been a court reporter since 1980, and I transitioned into CART in 2004. I don’t do broadcast captioning, only CART captioning. Transitioning into CART was the best career move I ever made!

JCR | How did you learn about the court reporting/captioning profession?
JG | After four years of college and two years of grad school, I couldn’t find a job in what I majored in (mass communications), so my father, who was an attorney, told me about the court reporters he worked with and actually found a reporting school for me. I looked into it and found my niche.

This whole experience has been unreal. From getting the shout-out from Tom Hanks to having the event posted on both the NCRA and Illinois Court Reporters Association Facebook pages and in an email from the Chicago Humanities Festival to their subscribers has been beyond my wildest dreams! And the recognition from my colleagues is the topping on the cake!

 


Captioning provides accessibility

Here is what Brittany Pyle, director of production and audience experience for the Chicago Humanities Festival, said about the benefits that captioning brings to audiences.

JCR | How long have you offered captioning services to your audiences?
BP | We implemented open captions at our events in fall 2015.

JCR | What prompted your organization to begin providing captioning of your events?
BP | The Chicago Humanities Festival is committed to accessibility for all audience members. Back in 2015, I was learning a lot from my involvement with the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC). Based on audience feedback, I sensed that many people in our audience identified as being hard of hearing, and some audience members were deaf but ASL interpretation was not their preference. Being able to understand what a person is saying on stage is the primary value of our events. It became clear to me that making realtime captions available and visible to everyone in the room was going to be a clear benefit to our audience’s experience.

JCR | How long have you used the services of Jo Gayle?
BP | We’ve worked with Jo Gayle since the beginning of utilizing live event captions in 2015. We also work with a few other talented captioners in Chicago. We have so many events running at one time that we often need more than one captioner on a given day!

JCR | You mentioned that she is your go-to person for captioning services. Why is that?
BP | Jo has amazing accuracy. I’m very impressed by how she can listen to a fast talker rattle off complicated terminology and get it perfectly right on the screen. She works very hard to prepare for our events. She and I work together in advance to make sure she has everything we know about a particular speaker, words they might use, the correct spelling of names. Jo does a lot of prep work on her own, looking up videos of that person, learning their speech cadence, things they often talk about when they’re giving a presentation. If our audience members can spot her in a theater, they will flock to her after an event to thank her for how much her captioning helped them get more out of the event.

JCR | What would you say to other organizations considering offering captioning services to their audiences?
BP | It is so worth budgeting for this accessible service. I find captions to be beneficial to a wide audience. It makes our events inclusive of people who are deaf or hard of hearing but also elevates an experience that could be less than ideal, say, in an acoustically challenging church or helps aid understanding if a speaker has a heavy accent. I would also urge other organizations to aim for open captions (as opposed to closed captions on a device) so that they are integrated into the entire experience, and someone can see them from any seat in the house without having to self-identify. I would also urge organizations to make it easy and transparent for a person to request the service of open captions from your organization.

JCR | Please feel free to add any additional information you think would be helpful for the article.
BP | The Chicago Humanities Festival is a guest in over 40 venues per year, producing roughly 130 events per year. We try to make our events as accessible as possible by showcasing how to request accessible accommodations on our website when buying tickets, and our audience services representatives are trained to ask each ticket buyer if they require accessible accommodations as part of their order when speaking to people on the phone. While we haven’t been able to afford to caption all 130 events just yet, we do budget for requests, pre-schedule captioning in venues that would benefit from them, and we are always fundraising and applying for grants hoping to increase the number of events with open captions. I also think it would be a logistical challenge to get realtime captioners at 130 events, since a demand at that volume would certainly exceed the number of qualified captioners in Chicago! I would love it if more colleges and trade schools provided a pipeline into this growing field of realtime captioning for accessibility.