Remaining dates for 2019 NCRA A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand online program announced

NCRA’s A to Z™ Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand online program offers the perfect opportunity for potential students to learn the alphabet in steno, write on a real machine, and decide if pursuing an education in court reporting or captioning is the right choice.

This free six-week program is a hybrid course combining both live online instructor sessions with videos and dictation materials for self-paced practice. The remaining dates for 2019 course offerings are listed below:

June 11 – July 23 — Asynchronous*

Aug. 21 – Sept. 25 — 8:30 p.m. ET**
Sept. 4 – Oct. 16 — Asynchronous*
Oct. 8 – Nov. 19 — 7 p.m. ET**

*Participants complete the program at their own pace during the six weeks
**Classes are held once a week for one hour over the course of six weeks

NCRA urges members to share this information with anyone who might be interested in pursuing a career in court reporting or captioning. For more information about the NCRA A to Z program, visit, or contact Ellen Goff, Assistant Director, Professional Development at You can also find more information at Frequently Asked Questions.

Connecticut offers NCRA’s A to Z with help from ProCAT

Kendra Jenkins, Jessica Lynn Sekellick and Megan Speed (yes, Speed!), Connecticut A to Z participants discovering the joy of steno

Kendra Jenkins, Jessica Lynn Sekellick and Megan Speed (yes, Speed!), Connecticut participants in NCRA’s A to Z program discovering the joy of steno

Andrea Kingsley, RPR, of Easton, Conn., first learned about NCRA’s A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program at the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo in Chicago when Nancy Varallo, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a firm owner from Worcester, Mass., presented the idea during a seminar. “I signed up [as a leader] right away,” says Kingsley. “It’s a brilliant idea.”

The A to Z program is a six-to-eight week presentation to a small group of participants considering court reporting as a career. During the program, the participants learn to write the alphabet and numbers in steno on an actual steno machine. The presentations are led by court reporters and captioners who have signed up with NCRA to volunteer and offer these sessions.

So far, Kingsley said she has had 11 people interested in her A to Z program. “I found people through the NCRA listserv that sends out contact info of interested participants by state. I sent out an announcement to our state membership, and I posted it in the library where I held the sessions,” says Kingsley, who just wrapped up a session earlier this week.  “The students all received a certificate and letter of recommendation. They all plan on attending an online school.”

The A to Z program is a unique way to give participants the experience of using a steno machine without investing in schooling or the cost of equipment, although becoming a court reporter will require a greater commitment. For the Connecticut-based A to Z program that Kingsley led, Tracy Gow, RPR, an official and freelance reporter from Middlebury, and a past president of the Connecticut Court Reporters Association (CCRA) reached out to ProCAT about providing machines for program participants. ProCAT offered to donate the machines; CCRA only needed to pay for shipping.

“We got 10 machines but didn’t need that many,” says Kingsley. “When I saw Renee Leguire’s request for machines on the listserv, I got in touch with her, and we were able to provide five machines to the Albany area A to Z.  Renee kindly split the shipping cost with CCRA.” Leguire, RMR, CRR, a firm owner from Latham, is hosting an A to Z program in New York.

“A huge thank you to Grace Molson and ProCat for lending the Connecticut Court Reporter’s Association 10 steno machines for use in A to Z Discover Steno programs,” says Kingsley.

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.

NCRA member shares about her career and how she became a court reporter

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyNCRA member Jessica Sheldon, RPR, CRR, Charlotte, N.C., was interviewed on radio station WBT 1110 AM about her career as an official court reporter, how she became one, and how the steno machine works. Sheldon also talked about the need for more court reporters and the various venues they can work in.

Listen here.

Court Reporting & Captioning Week recognized

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Feb. 12, Public reported that South Dakota’s Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Chief Justice David Gilbertson proclaimed the week of Feb. 10 as Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The proclamation recognizes the importance of court reporting and captioning professions and is intended to help raise awareness of the growing number of employment opportunities these careers provide.

Read more.

York County court reporter wants more people to have her job

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyThe York Dispatch posted an interview on Feb. 13 with NCRA member Christine Myers, RPR, an official court reporter from Abbottstown, Pa. Myers talks about her job, the technology behind it, and the employment opportunities available. She also offers tips on getting started in the field.

Read more.

Court reporter shortage impacts trials, hearings

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyKHSB TV, Kansas City, Mo., posted a story on Feb. 8 featuring NCRA members Cindy Isaacsen, RPR, an official court reporter from Olathe, Kan., and Chris Herndon, RPR, CRI, an official court reporter from Prairie Village. The article focused on the growing demand for more court reporters.

Read more.

Celebrate 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week and take the NCSA Challenge

State associations and NCRA members who celebrate the profession during NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which is Feb. 10-17, have the chance to win big if they also enter the fourth annual National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) challenge to promote the court reporting and captioning professions to the public.

The aim of the challenge is to encourage working professionals to reach out through career fairs and other activities to spread the word about the viable career paths of court reporting and captioning. NCSA will review and tally all submissions by members and state associations, and all entries will be eligible for prizes that include free webinars and event registrations.

“The NCSA Challenge is open and waiting on you,” said 2018 NCSA Chair Huey L. Bang, RMR, CRR, an official court reporter from Pass Christian, Miss. “How can you take part and compete? By sharing what we do and getting the word out about our wonderful profession. Grab your machine, your laptop, and a fellow reporter, and compete to make a difference in the future of court reporting,” he added.

Court reporters, captioners, state court reporter associations, and court reporting schools around the country have already been sharing how they plan to celebrate the week and the profession by hosting an array of activities, including visits to high schools to showcase the profession, Veterans History Project interviews, media outreach, and more. Professionals in the field will use these opportunities to demonstrate how the stenographic machine works to capture the spoken word and translate it into written text in real time.

NCRA members will also share their stories with the public about how they became involved in the profession, the interesting events they have reported on, and why their career choice has proven to be one of the best decisions they’ve made.

“Reflecting on more than 32 years in the stenographic reporting profession brings a profound sense of pride. Providing instant access to the spoken word and being involved in a multitude of cases involving topics from business to medical to intellectual property, products liability, and personal injury have been educational and rewarding,” said NCRA President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, an active reporter and owner of Willette Court Reporting in Wausau, Wis.

“Court Reporting & Captioning Week gives our profession an opportunity to showcase and share the skills possessed by stenographic reporters working in the judicial and captioning fields. Coming together as a profession to celebrate has become an annual event across the country that is not to be missed,” Willette said.

To help celebrate the week, NCRA has made available a vast collection of resources, including informational and marketing materials available on, which was launched to help promote the profession to high school students, career changers, and veterans.

NCRA will also support official legislative recognition of National Court Reporting & Captioning Week and rely on its social media outlets, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and blogs to reach thousands of people throughout the week to raise public awareness about pursuing a career in the field and the important role court reporters and captioners play in capturing the official record, preserving history, and providing vital services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.

Be sure to visit NCRA’s 2018 Court Reporting & Captioning Week resource center at The site has press release and media advisory templates, talking points, logos, brochures about the profession, PowerPoint presentations, quick links, and more.

Remember to share how you celebrate the week by sending information about and photos of your event to NCRA’s Communications Team at Everyone is also encouraged to share his or her activities on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverSteno.

‘Niche’ offerings boost Newton’s DMACC campus

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyOn Feb. 2, the Newton Daily News posted an article about the unique programs the Des Moines Area Community College offers, including its court reporting program.

Read more.

Schools gear up to celebrate Court Reporting & Captioning Week

By Ellen Goff

February is the month to celebrate! NCRA has declared Feb. 10-17 the sixth annual National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, an event designed to encourage members and students in the court reporting and captioning professions to celebrate by hosting special events within the community and more. Up-to-Speed shares what court reporting programs are doing to mark this year’s event.

NCRA encourages all schools to get involved in Court Reporting & Captioning Week by highlighting the contributions of stenographic court reporters and captioners to society. Court Reporting & Captioning Week is a perfect opportunity for students to share with friends, family, and members of the community what their careers will involve and why they chose this field. Events held this week promote the profession and showcase the career opportunities in the court reporting and captioning fields.

Updated resources are available to assist with planning and promoting activities during the week such as press release templates, posters, brochures, presentations, and more. Resources are available at and include materials tailored to members, schools, and state associations. Be sure to let NCRA know how you plan to celebrate by sharing your stories and photos via email at

Here’s a list of what some of the nation’s court reporting schools are planning to mark the event:

Cuyahoga Community College, Parma, Ohio

Court Reporting & Captioning Week will be widely celebrated at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). The students and faculty of the captioning and court reporting program will be hosting a panel of industry professionals for a discussion and Q&A session focused on encouraging students to “Envision Your Career!” Professionals will share their stories and advice about entering the field and building a career in court reporting and captioning.

Also during the week, Tri-C’s court reporting and captioning club will be conducting their annual Write-a-Thon fundraiser. Students will recruit sponsors who will pledge funds for every hour that the students practice their writing during the day. The Write-a-Thon will be held as a large group event in the main galleria on campus, so students will be able to show off their skills.

“We’re excited to hold our Write-a-Thon during Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2018,” says Todd Robie, president of the court reporting and captioning club. “This event is the cornerstone of our club’s efforts throughout the year to raise funding for our student members to attend professional events such as the NCRA Convention & Expo or the Ohio Court Reporters Association Annual Conference.”

Brown College of Court Reporting, Atlanta, Ga.

Brown College of Court Reporting is marking Court Reporting & Captioning Week with a week of games and prizes, guest speakers, and alumni to celebrate the profession and encourage students.

Monday: Grammar jam — Students will pick teams and go head to head in a Jeopardy!-style game show for prizes.

Tuesday: Financial literacy — A financial planner will be on campus to show students how to set themselves up for success.

Wednesday: Alumni event — Networking with fellow grads

Thursday: Guest speaker — Court reporter and mentor Debbie Kriegshauser, FAPR, RMR, CRR, CLVS, will be sharing advice on what it takes to be a successful reporter.

Des Moines Area Community College, Newton, Iowa

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is planning a field trip with current students to the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines. They hope to visit a number of courtrooms, speak with reporters and judges, and visit with the court administrator about official positions in Iowa.

On Feb. 17, DMACC will host an open house and information session at the Newton campus. The event will include realtime demonstrations, a panel discussion with court reporters, and a tour of campus for prospective students.

Atlantic Technical College, Coconut Creek, Fla.

The Atlantic Technical College (ATC) court reporting program will be celebrating Court Reporting & Captioning Week with the following activities:

  • ATC court reporting students will tour the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Members of the Broward County Schools Court Reporting Advisory Committee will visit court reporting classes as guest speakers. They will share information with students about court reporting careers and South Florida court reporting agencies.
  • Students from various programs throughout the campus will be invited to tour the court reporting program to learn more about the program and court reporting careers available upon graduation.
  • NCRA’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week will be featured on ATC’s Facebook page.
  • ATC court reporting students will be participating in NCRA student activities.

Key College, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Key College’s court reporting program announces a weeklong celebration of Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

  • Three $1,000 scholarships will be given to new students. Winners will be selected by Florida employers within the court reporting industry.
  • High school students will be offered free, four-week introductory classes.
  • Guest speakers from the industry will be captioned and streamed to online students.
  • Alumni guests will provide real-world experiences and insight into the different opportunities available for graduates.
  • A banquet will be held honoring graduates who achieved the National Honor Society distinction.

All activities, as well as a tribute to Court Reporting & Captioning Week, will be featured on the school website and advertising.

The College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind.

The College of Court Reporting (CCR) is planning to initiate and participate in several informative activities throughout Court Reporting & Captioning Week. First, CCR will focus on spreading the word about the court reporting profession to the community through fun competitions and seminars that will be held in local high school classrooms. CCR will also be posting to various social media platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) all week in order to share information about the field of court reporting and captioning. Finally, CCR will again participate in the Veteran’s History Project, which is a favorite of administrators and students alike.

“We believe that court reporting and captioning is worthy of national recognition and we are proud to take part in this national initiative,” said Nicky Rodriquez, admissions director at CCR.

Midstate College in Peoria, Ill.

Midstate College will be promoting a weeklong historical display about machine shorthand, starting with the Miles Bartholomew machine and ending with information about current machines and career options. Several machines and artifacts from a private collection will be part of the exhibit in the school’s library. In addition, a virtual display will be available at

Plaza College, Forest Hills, N.Y.

During Court Reporting & Captioning Week, Plaza College will be celebrating with some exciting on-campus events:

Admissions open house: Students interested in a career in court reporting will have the opportunity to tour campus, see a realtime demonstration on a steno machine, and speak to court reporters currently working in the field. Program Director Oscar Garzon will also provide an overview of the program and career opportunities for graduates.

Mock trial: The paralegal and court reporting students will be conducting a mock trial during College Hour for all interested students to experience.

Visits from agencies: Throughout the week, various agencies from the area will be visiting classrooms to speak to graduating students about career opportunities and provide some encouraging words to students in their early semesters.


Students, instructors, staff, and alumni of court reporting programs are encouraged to share their Court Reporting & Captioning Week activities on social media using the hashtag #DiscoverSteno. And please share any scheduled events and programs with NCRA by sending them to

Ellen Goff is NCRA’s Professional Development Manager. She can be reached at