NCRA to pilot virtual live sessions at the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo

As online registration for the 2019 NCRA Convention & Expo in Denver, Colo. draws to a close on Aug. 7, NCRA is launching a new program: Select sessions will be broadcast live from the Convention on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, for people who are unable to attend. Participants in this pilot effort will be able to watch the speakers as they present, pose questions to the moderator, receive all support materials, and earn continuing education credits (CEUs).

Three sessions from the Friday line-up will be streamed live accessible to either NCRA members or non-members who have purchased access to this pilot program. The sessions are available only as a package of all three; however, participants will be able to access recordings of any of the three sessions for up to 30 days. Those who watch the sessions, whether live or as a recording, can earn up to 0.325 CEU. The sessions are:

  • Taking depositions internationally with Ian Hardy
  • Building your dictionary with Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI
  • How to promote steno reporting by the NCRA STRONG Task Force

“We are very excited to launch this pilot effort and make our education sessions available to people who can’t attend the Convention in person. This also gives us the opportunity to test an online platform to reach a wider audience,” says Cynthia Bruce Andrews, NCRA Senior Director of Education and Certification.

The three-session package is available for purchase for $150 for NCRA members and $225 for non-members and only for a limited time.

To ensure that the quality of the live-streaming sessions will be seamless for online participants, purchases must be made by Friday, Aug. 9, by 11:59 p.m. (ET) to participate.   

Bonus: Extra Savings     

For those who plan to watch the recordings of NCRA Convention sessions after the event, taking advantage of the pilot package of virtual sessions offers the added benefit of significant savings. These three sessions will be among those offered for post-convention viewing, but only at individual rates. The pilot package offers access to these three sessions both live and for up to 30 days after the event.

                Click here to purchase the Pilot Package of Virtual Sessions.

The sessions:

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. MT /3:30 – 4:45 p.m. ET

Ian Hardy

International Depositions 101 – Presenter: Ian Hardy

Designed for court reporters and legal videographers, this session addresses covering depos abroad, including: 1) a survey of the market for international depositions; 2) what clients want from reporters and videographers who cover their depos abroad; 3) the legalities of covering U.S. depos in foreign countries; 4) important visa and travel information; and 5) special tips on how to keep things from going wrong. This session is open to beginners as well as those experienced in international depos and includes fun, interactive exercises to facilitate learning.

3 – 4 p.m. MT / 4 – 5 p.m. ET

Anissa Nierenberger

Your Most Valuable Realtime Tool – Presenter: Anissa Nierenberger
Your dictionary is the most valuable tool you own. This session will address how to:

  • build it,
  • maintain it,
  • set up dictionaries,
  • and continually enhance it

so that you have the confidence to cover almost any curve ball that is thrown your way.

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. MT/ 6:15 – 7:15 p.m. ET

NCRA Strong on the Facts and Risks of Digital Recording – Presenters: Phyllis Craver-Lykken and Liz Harvey

Members of the NCRA Strong Task Force will share the tools that have been created to educate your clients about the facts and risks of digital recording and why a stenographic reporter remains the gold standard of preserving the record. You will leave with PowerPoints, handouts, and tips on how to present the material to your local bar associations and clients. By the end of the session, you’ll feel confident and ready to take on the role of steno advocate!

What you need to know:

  • The virtual sessions MUST be purchased by Friday, Aug. 9, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • The virtual sessions will be live streamed via Moodle; the preferred browser to use is Chrome.
  • These sessions will be included among the sessions offered for purchase after the Convention that will be available at the standard rate. Purchasing the pilot package before the Aug. 9 deadline offers a significant discount from standard pricing.
  • All those registered by the deadline will be invited to a test trial of the technology on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to ensure smooth execution of the event.
  • Details, along with a unique individual log-in information, will be emailed after purchase.
  • For more information, email schools@ncra.org or call 800-272-6272.

Click here to purchase the Pilot Package of Virtual Sessions.
You will be taken to a login page to enter or create your NCRA account.

Planning to test for an NCRA certification? Make sure you know about these changes

If you are plan to take a test for an NCRA certification, make sure that you have all of the most current information.

Preview words for online Skills Tests

Starting April 4, all RPR and RMR Skills Tests (SKT) will have preview words provided,
as they have been for the SKTs for the realtime certifications, the CRR and CRC.
Preview words are released prior to taking the test from the online Skills Test platform, and test candidates are expected to put the preview words in their dictionaries before starting the test. If a skills test has no preview words, candidates will receive a word list that will say “None.”

When to register for online Skills Tests

Starting in June, NCRA will move to a “block scheduling” cycle for online Skills Tests. Block scheduling should make registration easier and more efficient for test candidates. Registration will be open every other month, starting in June, with candidates registering in the first 20 days of the month. Test candidates will be able to choose their test day from the first 20 days of the month following the registration month. For the remainder of the year, the months for registering for the online Skills Tests will be June (for testing in July), August (for testing in September), October (for testing in November), and December (for testing in January 2020).

More information about the new block scheduling can be found online

New Job Analyses percentages incorporated into Written Knowledge Tests

Starting at the beginning of April, NCRA released new Job Analyses for the Written Knowledge Tests (WKTs) for the RPR (Registered Professional Reporter) and RDR (Registered Diplomate Reporter). The Job Analyses describe the domains, associated tasks, and knowledge essential for court reporters working in the field every day. The Job Analyses serve as the blueprint for the Written Knowledge Tests with the domain percentages equating to the number of questions in that area on the tests.

All RPR and RDR Written Knowledge Tests moving forward, including the April Written Knowledge Tests, to be held April 9-23, will be based on the new Job Analyses.


Q&A: Checking in with Joe Aurelio

Santo “Joe” Aurelio, FAPR, RDR (Ret.), has always had an attraction to the English language, first as a court reporter and later as a professor of English. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Harvard University, and a doctorate in education from Boston University. After he retired from reporting because of a hearing loss, he became a visiting professor at colleges in the Boston area. He teaches a variety of subjects, but mainly English grammar and medicolegal terminology. He will be teaching a live webinar, Homonyms & Pseudohomonyms: The Nemesis of Reporters, Part 3 on Jan. 30, 6-7:30 p.m. ET. The JCR caught up with him to find out a little more about his background and the reason behind his interest in this topic.

Tell us a little about your career.

I started night school at the Boston Stenotype Institute, and on the first night I met a girl, Josephine, who later became my wife.

I ranged all over Massachusetts during my career. During my 39 years, I had a wealth of experiences. I took some important cases (my first murder case was my first case in Korea!) I met some dynamic attorneys while working at the state labor department. My job at the federal agency was to travel around New England taking the testimony from disabled applicants for Social Security aid (some of that was sad). My first case in Superior Court was a criminal case (I was to take many of those). Other than some horrendous murder cases, possibly the two most important cases that I took in Superior Court: one involved the New England Patriots football team and the other, of course, was the Boston Strangler. In a sentence, I’ve had an interesting reporting career with fine memories and opportunities to meet and/or report important persons.

When did you become an NCRA member?

I became an NCRA member, I believe, in 1957. I did so because I believe in unity. When reporters gather together and unite, they have strength and can chart their future course or at least help to chart that course. When reporters join, their dues help to pay for professional advice and lobbying efforts. It’s patently unfair for unregistered reporters to have the benefit of all of the strides that their fellow registered reporters have worked hard for. I am solidly aligned with local, regional, and national unions!

What started your interest in learning more about language than just what you needed for court reporting?

Even as a little kid of 10 or so, I would fool around with language (I’ll be back in a flash with some cash in my sash). Later I remember saying such things as “She would feint a faint.” I was always very interested in homonyms (such as made/maid) and what I would call pseudohomonyms (accede/exceed). In short, I was interested in language many years before I started stenotype reporting. I remember when I was about 14, there was a manual typewriter at the train station where I used to sell newspapers, and I used to put in a quarter to unlock it so that I could type on it for 30 minutes.

If you remember your days from your master’s and doctorate, what did you find was the difference you brought to your studies as a court reporter?

I went back to school late. I was almost 50 when I started my serious studying. My bachelor’s was 1983, the master’s was 1985, and the doctorate was 1989. What I think I brought to my studies was a deep focus that I had to use as a reporter: listening very carefully to every word spoken. In other words, because I was so serious about listening to and capturing every single word in court, I think that that held me in great stead in listening to my professors.

Frankly, it was very difficult to earn three degrees at night while working full-time in a busy court. How’d I do it? By being very motivated because I saw the handwriting on the wall: my hearing loss was making my daily job hard to do. I only succeeded in performing a creditable job in court by having a lot of speed (I passed a 280) and knowing and liking a great deal of English. And that’s how I lasted until 1990. (I wanted to teach in college, and to do that, one needs a lot of degrees.)

You’ve given one seminar for NCRA members recently, and you’re planning another one. What do you hope court reporters and captioners learn from your sessions?

I’ve done one webinar, and soon I’ll do another. I know that a lot of people, including reporters, have great difficulty with English, especially homonyms and pseudohomonyms. Mistakes are being made daily, and the reporters who commit them are not even aware that they’re using the wrong word or spelling a word incorrectly or malpunctuating a sentence. Well, even though I haven’t touched a stenotype since 1990, I still consider myself a reporter, and I feel that it’s my duty to correct or to help correct those who make those types of errors — and I want to do that until I hang up my skates. What I hope reporters will learn from these webinars is that I’d like all of them to learn and use the correct word or punctuation always.

Is there some advice that you would like all reporters and captioners to take to heart?

My advice to all reporters and captioners is to have the highest respect and fealty to the art and profession of reporting. It is an honorable profession. Think of it: Reporters are responsible for taking and transcribing all of the words of everybody. What could be more important than that? I rest my case.

Mark your calendars with these exciting opportunities

Take a few minutes to mark these important dates on your calendars to keep on track with your professional goals through 2019. NCRA offers opportunities to earn CEUs in a variety of ways, from certification to webinars to live events. NCRA is your one-stop shop for your educational needs, whether you are working toward your next certification, your cycle-ending date, or another career goal.

Keep in mind that NCRA members can earn PDCs by passing the skills or written portion of certain tests, such as the RMR, RDR, CRR, or CLVS Exams.

Here is a short selection of dates and events (dates are subject to change):

Because of how important certification is to the profession, NCRA has designated May as “Celebrate Certification” Month. We celebrate all NCRA members as they show pride in the certifications they have earned, are working to earn, or are intending to earn. The month-long campaign is also designed to help encourage those who haven’t considered earning one of the Association’s many nationally recognized certifications to rethink their decision.

Court Reporting & Captioning Week (Feb. 9-16), Memorial Day (May 30), Flag Day (June 14), the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day (Nov. 11) are also all good opportunities to schedule Veterans History Project Days to earn PDCs, although members and students are invited to participate throughout the year. And don’t forget that online skills testing is available year-round.

In addition, NCRA is planning webinars throughout the year, which will be announced in the JCR Weekly and on the NCRA Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages as more information becomes available.

Watch for more information in the JCR, in the JCR Weekly, and on TheJCR.com for registration, deadlines, and other ideas to earn continuing education.








Make technology work for you with live webinars on apps and Windows 10

Technology shapes our lives each and every day. NCRA’s Technology Committee is sponsoring two live webinars to help you get a better grip on the tech that can save you time and make you more productive.

More about Windows 10
Pam Szczencinski, who has been a software trainer for more than 30 years, will offer a special session focused on how court reporters can get the most out of Windows 10. The 90-minute webinar (1.5 CEUs) will cover updates, including which ones are helpful and which ones to steer away from; lesser-known features of the operating system; and ways to customize your PC to work the best for you. This Nov. 29 session is filling up fast, so register right away!

Register for November 29 webinar: More about Windows 10

 

Apps for Court Reporters
Known technophile, court reporter, and chair of NCRA’s Technology Committee, Lynette Mueller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, will present a live webinar of her favorite apps and tech gadgets. “The smartphone has become an essential tool for every court reporter and eliminates the need for other gadgets one relies on,” says Mueller. “As our world and work environment is becoming more and more mobile, it’s important to be able to keep up with your calendar, billing, transcripts, and much more at the tips of your fingers. I’m excited to host this discussion about the most important apps I utilize every day to keep me productive and efficient.” The one-hour (1.0 CEU) live webinar will be offered on Dec. 3 and will include a plethora of ways to make you more productive each and every day.

Register for December 3 webinar: Apps for Court Reporters

 








Earn Professional Development Credits by offering pro bono CART services

NCRA members have the opportunity to earn Professional Development Credits (PDCs) by providing pro bono CART services under a collaborative program agreement with the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) that began in February. The program is intended to help HLAA chapters across the country provide quality CART for their monthly meetings in a more affordable way. The agreement will also help increase the awareness of CART captioning and its benefit for people with hearing loss.

Under the agreement, NCRA-certified captioners can earn 1.0 PDC as part of the 3.0 Continuing Education Credits required every three years. NCRA members who participate in the collaborative agreement program will be reimbursed the fee assessment by the HLAA chapter to register the PDCs.

“This partnership is another step that NCRA is taking to help people with hearing disabilities have their accessibility needs met. Captioning services provided by a certified captioner are the best and only product for people with hearing loss to be able to fully participate in HLAA chapter meetings,” said Matthew R. Barusch, NCRA’s State Government Relations Manager.

“By partnering with HLAA and offering NCRA-certified captioners this additional member benefit, we not only continue our support of our captioner membership, we can help provide this amazing community with a service they need and help one of our long-standing organizational allies grow and prosper,” Barusch added. “I would encourage all of our certified captioner members to reach out to HLAA and find a local chapter near you.”

Under the agreement, the HLAA national chapter coordinator will connect NCRA captioners to local chapters.

For more information about the collaborative agreement program or to sign up, contact Matthew Barusch at mbarusch@ncra.org.

 








Veritext November webinar series earns you NCRA credit

This November, Veritext is offering two opportunities to attend the complimentary webinar “A Collaborative Effort: Investing in the Future of Our Profession.” This webinar focuses on re-popularizing the reporting profession together with accessible resources and tangible opportunities, and it is worth one hour of complimentary NCRA credit.

Find out more.








Still need CEUs? Check out the newest NCRA e-Seminars

On September 30, NCRA’s 2018 education cycle will come to an end. NCRA members with cycles ending in 2018 have a number of quick and easy ways to earn CEUs in the time remaining including NCRA e-Seminars. Here are the 12 newest NCRA e-Seminars.

The Most Important Medical Terms, Part I
In the course of their duties, court reporters encounter a torrent of words. Don’t get stumped by these medical terms. In Part I of this two-part series, Dr. Santo J. “Joe” Aurelio gets you started exploring the world of medical terminology.

The Most Important Medical Terms, Part II
What is an oophorectomy? How do you pronounce ischemia? Dr. Aurelio brings his expertise in language and words to the realm of medical terminology in Part II of this popular series.

Homonyms and Pseudohomonyms
Homonyms are quite difficult to use accurately every single time. Capturing and transcribing with a score of 100 percent of all of the approximately 50,000 words that many reporters take every day is a formidable task.

Old Ideas Are New Again
Outfluence, with its focus on others, is not a new idea. It is an old idea for a new generation, and its time is now. Popular presenter Al Betz discusses 10 ways that you can bring positivity, inspiration, and vision into your work and your life.

The Strange Case of the Boston Strangler
Dr. Aurelio, a reporter on the DeSalvo case, discusses many salient aspects regarding DeSalvo, attorney F. Lee Bailey, and other principals (including a world-renowned psychic) in this strange case.

Maximizing Your Business Value
This webinar focuses on creating short-term profits and business value as avenues to maximizing long-term profitability and enterprise value at exit.

Have Writer Will Travel
An informational and humor-filled instruction outlining the dynamics of work in the international realm presented by court reporter Jason Meadors, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC.

How to Perform Under Pressure
Pressure at work and at home can be everyday occurrences. Learn how to harness pressure and rise above it to perform at your very best.

Redesigning Your Website without Crushing Your Google Rankings
At some point in time, every website will go through some form of a redesign. This seminar will show you how to avoid the most common problems when launching a redesigned website.

Tech Tips & Tricks
Veteran tech speaker Keith Lemons gives a presentation full of the latest tips and tricks for setting up realtime connections, troubleshooting equipment glitches, and packing your court reporting bag.

Mindful Communication in Today’s Workplace
Al Betz, a successful court reporter, author, and community leader, shares the essential principles of mindful communication, including how your body language and facial expressions can help or hinder your communication.

Be Your Clients’ Superhero with Expedite
Learn how the revolutionary Expedite app will mobilize legal support services, empower providers, and help us reclaim our profession.

 

Learn more ways to earn CEUs by September 30.

If you will not complete your CEUs by September 30, you may request a 4-month extension for your continuing education deadline from September 30 to January 31 of the following year. By September 30, complete the CEU Cycle Extension form and pay a $99 processing fee.

You can view your transcript or submit CEUs and PDCs online. If you have recently attended a seminar, submitted an individual request for credit, or applied for a cycle extension, the event may not yet be reflected on your transcript. Please allow 8-10 business days from the date of submission for credit to appear on your transcript. In cases where a third-party seminar sponsor reports attendance to NCRA, the sponsor may take up to 30 days after the event to submit credit.

If you have any questions, need assistance with identifying upcoming continuing education opportunities, or need assistance checking your CEU status, please contact our Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272 or continuinged@ncra.org.








You earned it! Now keep it!

Now that you have earned your certification, you need to maintain it by earning continuing education credits (CEUs). On September 30, NCRA’s 2018 education cycle will come to an end. NCRA members with cycles ending in 2018 have a number of quick-and-easy ways to earn CEUs in the time remaining.

  1. Watch the JCR Weekly and your email for information about upcoming live webinars and e-seminars. Webinars and e-seminars represent the most convenient way to earn CEUs when and where you need them. NCRA’s library of webinars and e-seminars is the easiest way to find the latest offerings. Webinars are live presentations from industry professionals on various professional and industry-related topics, and e-seminars feature recorded video and downloadable handout materials and allow you to access the best presentations from past NCRA events and webinars.
  2. Attend a pre-approved event, including state association conferences, and earn CEUs while catching up with old friends and making new ones during educational sessions and networking opportunities. Many state associations and other court reporter-related organizations are hosting conferences and seminars in September. Most events are one to three days, and many of them are in the first half of the month. Check out the full calendar of pre-approved events on NCRA’s website.
  3. Did you know that if you learn CPR or first aid, you can earn CEUs? The American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and other organizations often host seminars on CPR or first aid. Perhaps you can organize a few colleagues from your firm, court, or even your local area to team up for an event nearby. Court reporters and captioners have to be prepared for anything, so why not add safety to your list of skills?
  4. Transcribe an oral history for the National Court Reporters Foundation program. Members who participate in the Oral Histories Program through NCRF may earn Professional Development Credits for their time. Members can apply up to 1.0 PDC to their CEU requirement per cycle. Transcribe a 30- to 90-minute pre-recorded interview of an American veteran, Holocaust survivor, or attorney who has provided pro bono services through Legal Aid. Many people find participating in the Oral Histories Program to be especially rewarding. Learn more about the Oral Histories Program by visiting the NCRF page on the NCRA website.
  5. You may have already participated in activities that have helped you earn CEUs or PDCs during the last year, and the only thing you need to do is fill out the proper form to get credit. If you promoted the profession at a career fair, law school, or other event; provided pro bono services; served on a state association board or committee (including the United States Court Reporting Association); or participated in a formal mentoring program, you may qualify for credit for your volunteerism. To learn more, visit the Continuing Education page on the NCRA website.
  6. Finally, go through your records to see if any educational opportunities were somehow overlooked. Classes should be closely related to court reporting and not paid for by your employer. If the event was held in the past three years, it may be worth the time to see if it might be CEU-worthy.

 

Learn more about how you can keep that certification you worked so hard to earn by visiting the Continuing Education page on NCRA’s website.

 

 








Hit me with your best webinar

Since hitting the scene in the mid-1990s the popularity of webinars to share information has defied all communications trends. Their use has more than rapidly grown, thanks to the platform’s ability to allow presenters a cost-effective mode to reach large and specific groups of online viewers from a single location and offers participants the ability to interact with presenters.

Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR

NCRA offers a variety of both live and recorded webinars that members can use to earn continuing education units. But it’s not just the participants who benefit from the value of webinars; the presenters do as well.

“I love webinars,” says Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from San Antonio, Texas, who was tapped by NCRA to present in a webinar about promoting and recruiting for the court reporting and captioning professions. “I think they are so informative and educational. Court reporters’ and captioners’ schedules are so hectic that it is sometimes hard to get away to a convention. Webinars make a very convenient and flexible way to educate and earn continuing education credits,” Uviedo said.

Steve Lubetkin, CLVS

Steve Lubetkin, CLVS, managing partner of Lubetkin Media Companies in Cherry Hill, N.J., said he presented his first webinar for NCRA after a conversation with staff when he finished his CLVS practical test. The conversation, he said, was about how highly he thought of the program. Since then, he has produced and hosted three webinars for NCRA.

“I enjoy being able to share some of the practical experience I’ve gained producing video and managing my business. I’m proud of some of the tricks I’ve learned to streamline the work, and it’s rewarding to have peers say they appreciate the ideas as well,” Lubetkin said.

Uviedo agreed. “Lending your expertise to other reporters is one of the greatest givebacks you can contribute to the profession.  Many of us are self-employed and do not have an employer to guide and/or train us. Training and guidance via webinar is an excellent way to educate our professionals,” said the 23-year veteran of court reporting.

According to Lubetkin, depending on the topic, preparing and creating a webinar can take some work on the presenter’s part. “For my webinar on the deposition audio chain, I think I spent two or three hours shooting the b-roll I used to illustrate part of the one-hour program. For the others, I spent several hours each on screen shots and display materials,” he noted.

Uviedo encourages others to volunteer to host webinars for NCRA to help increase educational opportunities. “I would say that your webinar is imperative for the busy working reporters who are unable to attend conventions and also reporters who are looking for guidance on information throughout the year. You can just go to NCRA’s webinar website and look for the topic you need training on, and voila! It’s a win-win for both the reporter and NCRA,” she said.

“Webinars are great when people can dedicate the specific time period for the live learning, and engage in interaction with the instructor and participants, but they are also valuable as on-demand recorded programs that people can go back to over and over to review concepts and techniques,” added Lubetkin, who has been a legal videographer since 2014 and earned his CLVS in 2016.

NCRA is always looking for professionals to share their expertise with our membership. Presenting a webinar is a great way to build your résumé, gain a platform for your ideas, and contribute your knowledge to the NCRA Continuing Education library. Presenters may advertise their business at the end of their presentations and will be compensated. For more information, contact egoff@ncra.org.