The 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo is the place to earn new certifications

Professionals seeking to add nationally recognized certifications to their résumés can choose from several opportunities to work toward them at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, in New Orleans, La.

This year’s scheduled event is all-inclusive, offering workshops, sessions, and Learning Zones sure to appeal to anyone working in the court reporting, captioning, or legal videography professions, and offering added opportunities for attendees to mingle and network.

Go for that certification

For those interested in learning how to pass the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR), a three-hour-long boot camp is available on Aug. 2. The CRR is recognized in the industry as the national certification of realtime competency. Taught by Kathryn Sweeney, FAPR, RMR, CRR, who helped develop the boot camp program, the course has enabled many to successfully pass the test on the first take. Sweeney is a freelance reporter and agency owner from Acton, Mass.

In the course, Sweeney explains the testing requirements, covers NCRA’s What is an Error?, discusses what is not an error, and talks about the new online testing process. She also offers tips for self-preparation, including what to have on test day, what to do and not do on test day, and how and why candidates fail. Participants in the session should bring their equipment with them so they can take a couple of practice tests and learn how to adjust their system settings and dictionary entries. Skills testing for the CRR is offered online.

Going for the Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification? There’s a 10-hour Workshop for this being held Aug. 2 and Aug. 3, and it’s the first step toward earning the CRC. The workshop will help prep you to be ready to take the Written Knowledge Test being offered at this year’s Convention & Expo. The required Skills Test can be taken anytime online.

Leading the CRC workshop are Carol Studenmund, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a broadcast captioner based in Portland, Ore., and Heidi Thomas, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a CART captioner from Acworth, Ga.

Attend the Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS) Certification Workshop on Aug. 4 for an overview of what it means to be a legal videographer. The workshop also includes a hands-on segment to help candidates better prepare to take the mandatory workshop offered online and the required in-person production exam held twice a year at NCRA Headquarters in Reston, Va.

The CLVS program sets and enforces standards for competency in the capture, use, and retention of legal video and promotes awareness of these standards within the legal marketplace.

Learning Zones

This year’s schedule also features an array of Learning Zones designed to appeal to attendees across the board. For example, current CLVSs are encouraged to attend the sessions Deposition Audio – Teamwork between the Court Reporter and Videographer, Market Yourself, and Adding PIP to your video deposition.

Students who attend will have the opportunity to participate in a Steno Speed Dating session, a special meet and greet with NCRA’s Board of Directors, an online skills testing prep, and hear from the perspective of a new professional what they didn’t learn in court reporting school.

Other Learning Zones feature business-related sessions such as Financial Wellness in the Gig Economy, Ethics Jeopardy, and Secrets to Success as a Freelancer.

NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is the largest annual gathering of court reporters, captioners, scopists, legal videographers, trial presenters, students, and other legal services professionals.

Register now for the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo before July 23 to avoid late fees. Reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans using NCRA’s special discount rate by July 6 and get a free breakfast on Friday and Saturday (a $75 value).

To jazz things up even more, check out this party playlist of songs selected by NCRA staff to get everyone excited to meet in New Orleans!

For more information about the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs at mpetto@ncra.org.

 

 

NCRF announces new Trustees

The NCRA Board of Directors has elected the following individuals to serve on the 2018-2019 National Court Reporters Foundation Board of Trustees:

  • Mary P. Bader, RPR, Eau Claire, Wis.
  • Michael A. Bouley, RDR, Tucson, Ariz.
  • Catherine J. Phillips, FAPR, RMR, CMRS, Ocala, Fla.

The newly elected Trustees will begin their three-year terms on Aug. 4 after being inducted into service at the Foundation’s annual Board of Trustees meeting taking place in conjunction with the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

The new Trustees will be joining current NCRF Trustees:

  • Chair Nancy Hopp, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CMRS, St. Louis, Mo.
  • Chair-elect Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Secretary Debra Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Woodland, Utah
  • Debra K. Cheyne, M.A., CSR, Sherwood, Ore.
  • Jane Fitzgerald, RMR, Pleasant Hill, Iowa
  • Danielle Griffin, RPR, Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Teresa Kordick, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, CPE, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Cregg Seymour, Baltimore, Md.
  • Karen G. Teig, RPR, CRR, CMRS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Sandy VanderPol, FAPR, RMR, CRR, Lotus, Calif.

NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is the largest annual gathering of court reporters, captioners, scopists, legal videographers, trial presenters, students, and other legal services professionals.

Register now for the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo before July 23 to avoid late fees. Reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans using NCRA’s special discount rate by July 6 and get a free breakfast on Friday and Saturday (a $75 value).

To jazz things up even more, check out this party playlist of songs selected by NCRA staff to get everyone excited to meet in New Orleans!

For more information about the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs at mpetto@ncra.org.

Want to vote? Sign up now

NCRA’s Constitution & Bylaws permits members to cast their votes on bylaws amendments via secure online means, even if they can’t attend the Annual Business Meeting at the Convention & Expo. But to exercise the right, members must have an active email address on file in NCRA’s membership database. This will enable NCRA to keep you informed if an amendment is coming up for a vote and provide information on how to register and cast your vote online. Members who are eligible to vote will be able to sign on to the secure website and then vote through a private, secure link during the 12-hour voting period.

Please make sure that NCRA has an active email address in the database by July 15. Contact the Member Services and Information Center at 800-272-6272, or update your NCRA account at NCRAsourcebook.com and follow these instructions:

  1. Log in with your Member ID number and password. If you forgot your password, click on the “Forgot/Reset Password” link to follow the instruction prompts.
  2. Select “My NCRA” and then “My Main Profile.”
  3. Make any necessary changes to your email address.
  4. Click “Save” at the bottom of the screen to save your updates.

In order to be able to vote on the amendments, individuals must join NCRA or provide an updated email to NCRA by July 15. Voting will occur in conjunction with the NCRA Annual Business Meeting in New Orleans on Thursday, Aug. 2.

Members may cast their votes via their phones, tablets, or computers. Voting will begin within two hours after the close of the Annual Business Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 8:30-11 a.m. CT. Voting is open for 12 hours.

10 reminders about the importance of earning and maintaining certifications

Marybeth Everhart

As a follow-up to NCRA’s first Celebrate Certification Month held in May, the article below written by Marybeth Everhart, RPR, CRI, CPE, national marketing manager for Realtime Coach, is meant as a reminder of the importance of earning and maintaining certifications.

Everhart is also on the schedule to present at NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La. Her sessions will include: “Certification: Everything You Wanted to Know and More”; “Online Testing Skills”; and a special vendor showcase that will focus on the latest developments with Realtime Coach.


By Marybeth Everhart

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, certification is “proof or a document proving that someone is qualified for a particular job,” and those credentials are typically on display after the professional’s name.  When you see “MD,” “RN,” or “CPA,” you know that those folks have not only completed a higher level of education but have also studied for and passed a rigorous exam. Professional credentials, or those cryptic initials behind someone’s name, identify that individual as someone dedicated to his or her chosen profession and prepared to uphold a certain set of standards. It signals to the world that this person has achieved something of note or importance. Most people certified in their profession will say that attaining that certification was the single most important step they took in career development.

These statements apply to all professions where certifications are attainable, court reporting included. If you’ve thought about that next NCRA certification but haven’t made the move yet, here are 10 reasons why you should:

  1. Certification demonstrates commitment to your profession. Receiving a certification shows your peers, supervisors, and the general public how committed you are to your reporting career, along with how well you perform to set standards. Certification sets you apart as a leader in your field.
  2. Certification enhances the overall image of the profession. NCRA certification programs seek to grow, promote, and develop certified professionals who can stand “out in front” as examples of excellence in the industry. Think of those you admire in this field and make note of the credentials they display, with pride. It’s unlikely that any of them lack a string of letters after their names.
  3. Certifications are portable. Those credentials can travel with you anywhere and can open doors to employment opportunities you may not have even considered yet. An RPR, for instance, is preferred for many officialships and signals to freelance firms that you can be trusted with their clients and challenging jobs. Currently, 22 states either accept or use the RPR in place of their state certification or exam.
  4. Certification builds self-esteem. NCRA certifications create a performance standard for the profession. You’ll see yourself as a certified professional who has some control over his or her own professional destiny and find a deep sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment.
  5. Certification establishes professional credentials. Since it recognizes your individual accomplishments, certification stands above your résumé, serving as an impartial, third-party endorsement of your knowledge and expertise. When the public looks for individuals qualified to perform certain services, they seek individuals – like you – who have achieved certification. You can bet that firm owners and court personnel will favor those with credentials over those without.
  6. Certification improves career opportunities and advancement. Certification gives you the “edge” when being considered for a promotion or other career opportunities. Certification clearly identifies you as a person who can adapt to changes in work, technology, business practices, and innovation.
  7. Certification helps you market your services. Since certification is a voluntary professional commitment to our industry, it’s a clear indicator of your willingness to invest in your own professional development. The process of maintaining your certification exposes you to the constantly changing environment this profession faces and helps provide the tools needed to anticipate and respond to those changes. Being certified in today’s reporting environment is as important as it’s ever been.
  8. Certification provides for greater earnings potential. As a certified professional, you can expect many benefits, but in today’s downsized, rightsized, topsy-turvy working world, salary increases speak for themselves. Official reporters often receive a pay raise by attaining their realtime certification, and certified freelancers typically are given the better, higher paying jobs.
  9. Certification improves skills and knowledge. Achieving certification highlights your individual competence by confirming proficiency, knowledge, and career commitment. The Written Knowledge Tests require research and study to familiarize yourself with current reporting technology, as well as reporting and professional practices. The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) demonstrates your proficiency at entry-level reporting skill and knowledge, while the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) establishes not only your continued commitment to the profession, but also your interest in reaching and sustaining an exceptional level of skill and knowledge.  The Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) authenticate your realtime skills to yourself and those seeking your services and expertise.
  10. Certification offers greater professional recognition from peers. Hear that applause? It’s all for you! As a certified professional, you can expect increased recognition from your peers for taking that extra step in your professional development. Let’s face it, we all like to add those ribbons to our name badges at convention — the longer the list, the better!

Baskets are filling up: Be a part of NCRA’s PAC fundraiser

A number of state court reporter associations have shown their support for NCRA’s PAC (Political Action Committee) by committing to donate a gift basket for this year’s PAC fundraiser, Gift Basket Extravaganza, being held at the Association’s 2018 Convention & Expo, Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

NCRA is asking all state associations to donate a gift basket that contains items that show the uniqueness of their state and their association’s pride in it! Each state that contributes a gift basket will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free registration to the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp.

Among the state associations that have donated a basket for the fundraising event is the Florida Court Reporters Association (FCRA) and West Virginia Court Reporters Association (WVCRA).

“This year, NCRA is trying something new to raise money for its PAC. Having a PAC allows NCRA to donate to legislators who might be willing to help the Association and the court reporting cause or to donate against those who may hurt us.  It is a very important and necessary part of politics,” said Christy Aulls Bradshaw, RPR, a freelance reporter and firm owner from Ocala, Fla., and immediate past president of FCRA.

“FCRA is excited and very proud to be contributing a basket for this year’s conference in New Orleans in support of the NCRA PAC. We are hoping to have a basket full of some of Florida’s favorite things. And, we hope that other states or firms will consider donating a basket too,” added Bradshaw, who also noted that the basket raffle has been a top fundraiser her state association for several years.

Here’s how the gift basket works: Each state association that donates a gift basket has a chance to win a registration to the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp. Which state wins the NCRA Legislative Boot Camp registration is based on which basket is the biggest draw at Convention. Convention attendees who contribute to NCRA PAC in exchange for raffle tickets will vote by putting their raffle tickets in a bowl for the basket they want to win. If donors want your state’s basket, they will put their tickets in the bowl, and the winner of the basket will be chosen randomly. The basket that accumulates the highest number of tickets wins the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp registration.

NCRA’s PAC is an important way members can help shape how the court reporting and captioning professions are addressed at the federal level.

“With the 2018 midterm elections coming up, NCRA has an opportunity to cultivate new alliances in the federal government and to ensure that members of Congress who know the importance of court reporters and support the court reporting profession in the United States stay in office,” said NCRA Government Relations Manager Matthew Barusch.

If you have any questions about the 2018 NCRA PAC Gift Basket Extravaganza, contact Matthew Barusch at mbarusch@ncra.org.

Behind the Scenes of the Speed and Realtime Contests

NCRA 's 2016 CASE Award of Excellence Winner was Kelly Moranz of Cuyahoga Community College

Speed and Realtime Contests Committee member Kelly Moranz

Each year during the NCRA Convention & Expo, a few dedicated members sit behind closed doors working on the Speed and Realtime Contests. Their tasks include feverishly reviewing hundreds of papers from the contestants, poring over them for grading, creating lists of qualifiers for each of the legs, and more. It’s a lot of work, but when we sat down with Contests Committee members Pat Miller, CRI, CPE, and Kelly Moranz, CRI, to learn everything we always wanted to know about the Speed and Realtime Contests, they said that they have fun, learn a lot, and that they enjoy connecting with each other and the contestants after months of planning.

How many individual legs do you grade for the Speed and Realtime Contests?
The Committee grades every leg that is submitted after the contests. Every passing leg is ranked as a qualifier. Only contestants who pass one leg in each category are eligible to place for a medal. A contestant could place first in the Realtime literary leg but not qualify in the Realtime testimony. Recognition will be given for the stellar literary skill but the person is not eligible for a medal.

How do you protect the papers so you don’t know whose work it is?
Contestants are randomly assigned an ID number that is known only to the Committee Chair(s) and the contestants themselves, of course. It’s not perfect, but the Committee does not try to link the ID with the contestant at registration. We want to be as surprised as the members attending the Awards Luncheon. It’s exciting to grade the papers and to see the amazing skill of our colleagues. An exception is made for Canadian members who opt to transcribe using British variant spellings as allowed by the Merriam-Webster dictionary (colour instead of color). Contestants who are eligible for this option do sign a form that makes it clear they will not remain anonymous to graders. We want to give back as many points as we possibly can within the What is an Error? Contests guidelines. We just grade the words and punctuation, not the people.

Why do contestants talk about qualifying instead of passing or failing?
Contests are definitely not a pass/fail situation. Any member who schleps their equipment to the NCRA Convention & Expo, days ahead of the Convention at additional cost, time away from work, and after whatever practice the member may have added to preparation for the Contests, does not ever pass or fail. Let’s get real. How especially extra awesome are these members? Contestants have and give a great showing of skill every year.

We use the term “qualifier” for Contests. Contestants either qualify or do not qualify. More contestants qualify than do not on both literary selections and both testimony selections. If there is a leg on which fewer people qualify than not, it is definitely legal opinion.

What happens with the papers that don’t qualify? And, conversely, what happens to the papers that do?
Every leg that is submitted for grading is graded and marked with a summation of results, final grade initialed by the Committee Co-chairs. Papers that do not qualify are marked “DNQ.” We attempt to mark all folders with polite-sized digits and letters so that contestants may keep their results private-ish when they review their grades after the Awards Luncheon.

Of course, this is a contest where participants expect scores to be made public. All of the qualifiers names and scores are posted after the Awards ceremony. While the Committee does not talk about individual member results – qualifier or not – the contestants may do as they wish.

What kind of checks do you do on the audio and what do you grade against?
We have checkers in the Contests rooms who have copies of the material that will be dictated. They mark any variations, stutters, kerfuffels, and any other such events on the script as best they can. When the Committee meets after the Contests, the checkers compare their findings against the master transcripts. Notations are made so that the Co-chairs can make final decisions on how those sections will be handled in grading. If we do record the audio, then the audio is also compared to the master transcript for any additional adjustments.

Realtime Coach will make changes in the master transcript that is loaded into their system before beginning the grading process.

Are there areas where there is more than one right answer? How do you deal with that? What if there’s a slip by the speaker?
Yes, there is more than one “right” answer. There are places where more than one punctuation choice is acceptable. This is why the computer grading is called “first grade.” It gives a great assessment of each transcript and saves a huge chunk of time for the graders. An instant accuracy percentage is given to determine qualification for second grading. A second grade is critical and so the graders review each transcript to determine whether or not it had areas that prevented the computer analysis from making an accurate assessment. During this time if there is a “trend” of some sort noted in a consistent error, it will be reviewed as to the possibility of it being correct. If that is the case, the number of errors would be reduced for that test.

Sometimes there are third and fourth grades of papers. Each round is in a different color pen and is initialed by the person who graded. When there are enough Committee members present, we do not regrade a paper with the grader who did the prior pass. The Contest Co-chairs have final say in any error/not an error determination and in how to grade areas where a speaker “slipped.”

A Canadian won the Speed Contest most recently. Did he use any Canadian spellings? How do you deal with that? Are those considered absolutely wrong?
They are only wrong if you are not Canadian. Yes, he did use British variants. He also was informed of the grading policy and formally agreed to it. We require consistency for those papers, too. If the contestant wants to use British variants, they cannot also have the companion American variant in the paper even if it would be an acceptable spelling in other contestants’ papers.

Why are the percentages figured out to so many decimal points?
I’m about to do math. Three contestants with three errors, the top three results in the Contest. Realtime contestant A has one error on the LRT (literary realtime) and two errors on the TRT (testimony realtime). Contestant B has two on LRT and one on TRT. Contestant C has zero on LRT and three on TRT.

LRT = 1000 words minus 1 error equals 99.90.
TRT = 1125 words minus 2 errors equals 99.82
99.20 + 99.82 / 2 = 99.860 for Contestant A

LRT = 1000 – 2 = 99.80
TRT = 1125 – 1 = 99.91
99.80 + 99.91 / 2 = 99.855 for Contestant B

LRT = 1000 – 0 = 100.00
TRT = 1125 – 3 = 99.73
100.00 + 99.73 / 2 = 99.865 for Contestant C

Stating the obvious, all three qualify in both categories and so are eligible for the medal round.

Standings for three contestants with an equal error count:
LRT: Blue ribbon to C; Red to A; White to B
TRT: Blue ribbon to B; Red to A; White to C
Champion Level: in third place, B; in second place, A; Champion, C, with a difference of no error but .005 in the score.

Although all three contestants have the same number of errors – a total of three in both legs – whether they are made in the literary or testimony leg will make a difference in the overall score.

What qualifications do you need to be a grader?
If you volunteer to be on the Committee, you will be expected to help grade. It helps if you graded NCRA certification exams, have an open mind, can leave your ego and personal judgment about what “should” be done at the door, and have a great sense of humor. You must absolutely be able to be completely confidential in all dealings from the moment you join the Committee to the announcement of the scores at the Awards Luncheon. You must be available to put the time into grading, which means arriving at the Convention early in order to participate and to begin grading as soon as Realtime Coach completes the first round of grading. You will want to know the What is an Error? Contests guidelines comfortably and be able to check them quickly for guidance. To recap: We grade words and punctuation, not people. We go with the style we’re given and enjoy doing something we may not ordinarily do in our own (saleable) transcripts.

Graders must be able to “defend” their choices to the contestants at the postmortem. Of course, not every grader will attend the postmortem, but we must answer to our decisions. We do make mistakes. We have nightmares and daymares and agita, tsuris, and plain old anxiety about mistakes. When a mistake is pointed out to us, we feel a professional disappointment in ourselves that is probably not as bad as the feeling the contestant had that they had one fewer error than was marked. Graders need to be self-healing, fairly confident people who understand that excellence is sought but not always achieved by graders as well as contestants.

But mostly – did I mention that we laugh a lot? Not at the contestants – ever. But sometimes a translation is quite entertaining. It could also have to do with the lack of sleep involved! We’re court reporters. Words are our playthings. Graders also get to glory in the beauty of skill that presents us with some amazing transcripts. It’s a hard, busy time, but it’s an awesome time to be among your colleagues.

 

Registration for the Speed and Realtime Contests is open until all the seats are filled (and the Contests sell out every year). Visit NCRA.org/Convention to register online or complete and return the downloadable Convention Registration form to NCRA.

New Orleans to host largest gathering of court reporting, captioning, and legal professionals

A press release announcing NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo was posted on June 7 by Global Newswire and Networking@IT Business Net.

Read more.

Earn CEUs and certifications while in New Orleans

NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo being held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La., at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans is the perfect event to earn CEUs or even prepare to add a new certification to your resume.

With a wide range of sessions and workshops to choose from, attendees at this year’s event can earn up to 2.3 CEUs.  Workshops include the ever popular CRC Workshop, the CRR Boot Camp, the Punctuation Workshop, and the CLVS Certification Workshop, which features the Intro to CLVS and CLVS Hands-on Training.

This year’s schedule is chock-full of cutting-edge educational sessions led by some of the profession’s key leaders and experts. Take a sneak peak at some of what’s being offered below in the words of the presenters.

 

Theater Captioning 101

Linda S. Hershey, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Chattanooga, Tenn.

There is nothing quite as exciting as seeing live theater – Les Miserables, Wicked, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  Whether you are tackling a play on Broadway, a traveling production, a local theater performance, or even a performance at a high school, access means so much to so many people. This seminar will cover the different types of productions, the equipment needed, placement of equipment, working with a director, how to use the script, how to prep, and the other nuts and bolts of theater captioning. Attendees will also find out about specific ethics that must be considered, including copyright issues. This session will have plenty of time for specific Q&A.​

 

Being Proactive, Not Reactive

Cindy L. Isaacsen RPR, official court reporter from Olathe, Kan.

Do you feel unprepared and not sure what to do when state and local government want to get rid of us? Are you prepared to fight? This will be an interactive, fun, and encouraging session about what we all can do to be proactive to protect our jobs through educating our legislators, community leaders, judges, lawyers, and the general public. I’ll give many examples of how each one of us can assist our state boards and our state and national associations. Be prepared to laugh, be inspired, encouraged, and take some great ideas home to share with your association and other reporters. There will be a Q&A session,  as well as prizes distributed throughout the session!

 

The Good, the Bad, and the Embarrassing!

Teresa Evans, RMR, CRR, freelance court reporter and agency owner, Charleston, W.V.

Have you ever misspelled a word in a transcript and were humiliated when you realized it was too late to correct it? Since we make our living with words, we’ve got to get them right! Don’t embarrass yourself with lack of knowledge or depend upon spellcheck or a proofreader to cover your rear. There are things you just have to know, and we will teach you in this advanced homonym seminar!

See if you can pick out the errors in this sentence: “He was a trooper, the way he handled his forced immigration to another country, based solely on his principles.” If you don’t see two errors, you need our course. Make it a goal this year to showcase your knowledge and make everything you write perfect.

 

The Challenges of Online Teaching 

Jeff Moody, President, College of Court Reporting, Valparaiso, Ind.

Many reporters and prospective students do not believe that the court reporting skill and knowledge can be developed in an online college environment. Jeff Moody, president of the College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., will demonstrate how everything a teacher does in a brick-and-mortar classroom can be done effectively online. Moody, with members of his staff and some students, will conduct an interactive discussion/demonstration regarding online teaching. The advantages and disadvantages regarding online distance education will be discussed. Participants will be registered in an online learning management system (LMS) to interact with teachers using proven academic and skill-development methodologies. Topics will include motivation, testing, attendance, feedback, professionalism, interaction, and camaraderie between teachers and students in teaching all required court reporting courses. Attendees can bring their laptops to this seminar.

 

Attendees also won’t want to miss the new Saturday night Member Recognition Gala that will feature a wonderful night of dinner, drinks, dancing, and celebrating NCRA members. The Gala and a special VIP reception are both being hosted by President-Elect Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC. Guests are free to dress up or dress business casual for the gala and are encouraged to join in celebrating the profession along with sharing their stories.

Other notables on this year’s schedule include a student learning zone that features a special meet-and-greet with NCRA’s Board of Directors; Ethics Jeopardy, where participants will have fun while testing their knowledge; a look at the future of court reporting; and a special presentation that showcases the Innocence Project New Orleans, which works to free the wrongfully convicted. The session will also highlight the importance of old records.

And don’t forget the numerous networking opportunities that range from coffee with the vendors on the Expo floor to nightly receptions.

NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is the largest annual gathering of court reporters, captioners, scopists, legal videographers, trial presenters, students, and other legal services professionals. Register now for the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo before July 23 to avoid late fees. Reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans using NCRA’s special discount rate by July 6 and get a free breakfast on Friday and Saturday (a $75 value).

To jazz things up even more, check out this party playlist of songs selected by NCRA staff to get everyone excited to meet in New Orleans!

For more information about the 2018 NCRA Annual Convention & Expo, or to register, visit NCRA.org/Convention.

 

For sponsorship information please contact Mary Petto, Senior Director of External Affairs, at mpetto@ncra.org.

 

12 Constitution & Bylaws amendments to be voted on at Annual Business Meeting

NCRA members will have the opportunity to vote on twelve amendments to the Constitution & Bylaws during the Annual Business Meeting on Aug. 2. The proposed bylaws amendments are available through NCRA’s website. The amendments range from minor, including cleaning up some repetitive language, to more substantial, such as streamlining the voting procedures for amendments and elections. In addition, one amendment proposes changing NCRA’s name to National Captioners and Reporters Association to be inclusive of the captioning profession.

NumberNameBenefitAdditional Information
1Voting for Officers and Board of DirectorsIncreases the voting window for elections to 24 hoursArticle
2Voting on Bylaws AmendmentsIncreases the voting window on Bylaws amendments to 24 hoursArticle
3Clarification of electoral processAttaches the preparation of the slate of nominees to the election process instead of the conventionArticle
4Elections when more than two candidates are running for the same positionAllows Voting Members to choose from among all duly nominated candidatesArticle
5Number of Directors on the BoardSupports financial integrity of the Association and creates more efficiencies
6Clarification of the timing of terms of officeTies the timing of the office to the Annual Business Meeting
7Elimination of requirement to include a consumer or public member as part of the Council of the Academy of Court Reporters (CAPR)Removes a requirement to have a public member on CAPR
8Clarification of electronic mail votingSimplifies the language
9Removal of reference to electronic voting in a business meetingSimplifies the language
10Definition of Voting MembersSimplifies the language, as all Voting Members vote by electronic means
11Name changeBetter reflects the current and future status of the professionArticle
12Meeting referenceEstablishes Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised as the parliamentary authority for all NCRA business meetings

The Constitution & Bylaws permits all eligible NCRA voting members to vote through electronic means on Bylaws amendments and contested Board of Directors elections. Members who are eligible to vote will be able to sign in to the secure website and vote through a private, secure link during the 12-hour voting period, which should open within two hours of the end of the Annual Business Meeting. Members who are interested in voting must have an active email address on file in NCRA’s membership database.

Members attending the Annual Business Meeting will also be voting on new members of the Board.

The Annual Business Meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. CT on Thursday, Aug. 2. The Annual Business Meeting will be held in conjunction with NCRA’s Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La. Eligible voting members will check in and receive a ballot and information starting at 8 a.m.

Call for Altruism Award nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, the highest honor awarded by the National Court Reporters Foundation. The deadline for nominations is June 15.

The Aurelio Award, which is presented at the NCRA Convention & Expo, is bestowed on a longtime captioner or court reporter who has given back selflessly to the profession or community. The nominee must be an NCRA Participating or Registered member or a Retired Participating or Registered member, have demonstrated altruistic behavior, and have been a working captioner or reporter for at least 25 years.

“Receiving the Aurelio Award was truly one of the highlights of my career as a court reporter. Having the respect of my court reporter colleagues means more to me than anything,” said Rosalie Kramm, RPR, CRR, San Diego, Calif., who received the Altruism Award in 2017.

“Being altruistic is not anything I ever decided to do. I think life is more fun helping people in my wonderful profession,” Kramm added.

For questions or more information about the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, contact B.J. Shorak, NCRF Deputy Executive Director, at 800-272-6272, ext. 126, or at bjshorak@ncra.org.

Nominate now.