Get noticed, find jobs, and start networking!

Did you know that the NCRA Online Sourcebook, the premier resource for finding professional court reporters, captioners, legal videographers, scopists, and instructors, receives 900 visits per day from peers, attorneys, firm owners, academics, and paralegals?

Log in and upgrade your listing today!

Stand out with Additional, Premium, and Premium Plus listings!

Registered, Participating, and Associate members receive a complimentary Basic Listing included with their NCRA membership. These NCRA members also have three options for upgrading their NCRA Online Sourcebook listings to stand out from the crowd.

  1. Additional Basic Listing: Purchase an Additional Basic Listing to showcase other services or your other locations. ($99)
  2. Premium Listing: Upgrade your complimentary Basic Listing for a separate dedicated detail page providing additional information about you, such as company name, alternate phone number, and services offered. ($250)
  3. Premium Plus Listing: Upgrade your complimentary Basic Listing for a separate dedicated detail page providing everything in the Premium listing, plus more, such as street address, company description, company website, Google map, and forward to a f riend. ($395)

 

Additional Basic Listing
$99.00
Premium Listing
$250.00
Premium Plus Listing
$395.00
All NCRA members receive a complimentary Basic listing for their individual profile as part of their membership. Members may purchase an additional Basic listing to showcase another address or other services for that member's individual profile.

(Note: Only personal images may be used for Basic listings. Company logos can be used for upgraded Premium and Premium Plus listings only.) Please visit the FAQ section for specific details on what information is included in each Sourcebook listing.
The Premium listing upgrades your complimentary Basic listing. It provides access to a separate dedicated detail page providing additional information about you.The Premium Plus listing includes all features of the Basic and Premium Listing, plus additional information including social links, 'about me'/company description, additional contact information and more.
• First and last name
• Professional designation
• Primary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Secondary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Primary employment type (non-court reporters only)
• City, state, ZIP
• Primary phone
• Fax
• Email
• First and last name
• Professional designation
• Primary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Secondary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Primary employment type (non-court reporters only)
• Company name
• City, state, ZIP
• Primary phone
• Alternate phone
• Fax
• Email
In More Details
• Services offered
• First and last name
• Professional designation
• Primary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Secondary reporter type (court reporters only)
• Primary employment type (non-court reporters only)
• Company name
• Street address
• City, state, ZIP
• Primary phone
• Alternate phone
• Fax
• Email
• Website
• Google map
In More Details
• Services offered
• Company description
• Forward to a friend

NOTES: To upgrade to a Premium listing you must:

  • Upgrade your existing complimentary Basic listing; or
  • To have multiple listings, (one Basic and one Premium level listing), you must first purchase an Additional Basic Listing, and then upgrade this listing to the Premium level

Here’s how to upgrade Your Online NCRA Sourcebook listing!

1. Log in to the NCRA member portal to access your profile

2. If you have a single Basic listing, access the “My Main Profile” to update your social media profiles, your profile picture, and your Services. NOTE: Remember to “Save.”

NOTES:

  • One image is used for all of your Sourcebook listings.
  • Only certain information will display, based on your listing level. (e.g. your social media profiles will ONLY display at the Premium Plus level.)

3. Select the “My Sourcebook listings” tab to see a list of your available Sourcebook listing(s).

4. Select the pencil to the left of the listing to make edits to that specific listing.

5. Click on a listing row to access options to either purchase an Additional Basic listing, upgrade to Premium, or upgrade to Premium Plus. (The yellow background in the preview indicates which listing you are currently viewing—assuming you have multiple listings.)

 

6. Use the button link above each listing preview to either purchase an additional “basic listing” or upgrade your basic listing to the Premium or Premium Plus levels.

7. Follow the system prompts to complete the purchase/upgrade transaction.

 

Our entire community working together

By Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC

NCRA President Sue Terry

The Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced that it will begin using IBM Watson Captioning, a form of automatic speech recognition, for their local television news stations. NCRA feels strongly that this decision is not in the best interests of the end consumer, and we are working diligently to do all we can to protect consumers and educate broadcasters as to the importance of quality captioning provided by a stenographic captioner.

This decision has alarmed everyone in our profession, but it is also serving as a catalyst to bring our association of professionals together to assist our deaf and hard-of-hearing community. This isn’t just about captioners and the effect that such a decision has on our work. Court reporters and captioners are not resistant to using technology to improve our lives; in fact, we are on the cutting edge of technology and are using the best platforms available to efficiently provide accurate court records and captions.

This decision is about the consumers: the millions of people in the United States who use captioning to absorb vital information, information that will now become garbled, untimely, lacking speaker designations, and often unintelligible, in addition to omitting sound effects, laughter, and music. While automatic speech recognition is evolving, it cannot match the expertise and skill of a trained and certified captioner. The deaf and hard-of-hearing community should have nothing less than full participation in programming. Using automation to disseminate vital information to millions of Americans who rely on accuracy in captioning is not only irresponsible, in our opinion, but potentially dangerous to the end users of our product: quality captioning.

NCRA’s Government Relations Department Manager, Matthew Barusch, is working with our NCRA Captioning Regulatory Policy Committee to handle this new development. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, we have full confidence in their work to address this, but we still need your help. Sign our petition urging Sinclair to change course. If you are in an area with a local Sinclair television news station that has transitioned to IBM Watson, watch the news and closely critique the captions. Enlist the help of your friends and family in doing the same. If you see the captioning is inaccurate, register your formal complaint with the FCC. With your help and our entire community working together, we can make a difference.

Sue Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, is NCRA’s 2018-2019 President. She can be reached at president@ncra.org.

 

Statement from the NCRA CEO: Sinclair Broadcast Group

By Marcia Ferranto

NCRA exists to represent, protect, and advocate for the stenographic professions of court reporting and captioning. Here at NCRA, everything we do, everything we fight for, and the very reason we fight are founded by the core belief that stenography is the most effective and efficient means of capturing the spoken word, the best way of providing speech-to-text services in any forum, and the only way to satisfy the needs and protect the integrity of the institutions and consumers who rely on it. This belief has been borne out by the facts time and time again: Stenographic court reporting and captioning is faster, more accurate, and more dependable than artificial intelligence-based alternatives and other alternatives solely based on technology, and, in addition, it is largely preferred by the consumers of these services. Stenographic court reporting is the backbone of the American court system, and stenographic captioning is an invaluable accessibility service to people who are deaf or who have hearing loss.

Recently, Sinclair Broadcast Group has made public their decision to abandon the use of stenographic captions in favor of the cost-cutting measure of implementing the automatic speech recognition (ASR) platform using IBM Watson. This decision is likely to impact hundreds of local news stations and affect millions of captioning consumers and providers. In a message to the public, IBM claims that Watson makes live programming “more accessible to local viewers, including the Deaf community, senior citizens, and anyone experiencing hearing loss.” We strongly disagree with the decision to abandon the human element of captioning in favor of automation, which invariably produces subpar captioning and will negatively affect accessibility to local news for millions of Americans.

NCRA’s Government Relations Department and Captioning Regulatory Policy Committee, our own member-formed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) watchdog, are working hard to address this issue, to register our concerns with the FCC, and to implore them to uphold important captioning quality standards in light of this new transition to ASR captioning.

But the FCC needs to hear from you, too!

  1. Complain online here about subpar captions.
  2. Sign our petition and tell Sinclair you want live captioners.
  3. If you have evidence of captioning failures, photos or videos of terrible captioning, we want to see it. You can send them to Matt Barusch, NCRA’s Government Relations Manager.

With your help, together we can ensure that live programming utilizes the best captioning that can be offered: Captioning by a live, trained, and certified captioner.

Marcia Ferranto is CEO and Executive Director of the National Court Reporters Association. 

Renew in September to be entered in a giveaway drawing

By Brenda Gill

Members who renew their NCRA memberships in September are offered an additional enticement: The chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card. Members who renew before September 30 will automatically be entered into the drawing, and the winner will be notified by the NCRA membership department.

Members benefit by renewing early.
It’s green; less mail to you.
It’s clutter-free; fewer reminder emails to your inbox.
It’s beneficial; your benefits are not interrupted.

Member benefits continue to include:

  • A listing* in both the print and online versions of the NCRA Sourcebook
  • A subscription to the JCR magazine and the JCR Weekly
  • Multiple certification programs with online skills tests designed to make you more money
  • Access to discounted group insurance programs through Mercer for personal liability and errors and omissions
  • Member pricing to can’t-miss networking and educational events at the NCRA Convention & Expo (Aug. 15-18, 2019) and Business Summit (Feb. 1-3, 2019), formerly known as the Firm Owners Executive Conference
  • First-class online educational opportunities

Renewing is easy and available online at NCRA.org/renew. Members can expect to receive their membership card via email within approximately two weeks of renewing if they have a valid email address and have not previously opted out of Constant Contact email messaging.

Brenda Gill is NCRA’s Membership Manager. She can be reached at bgill@ncra.org.

* Registered, Participating, and Associate members are eligible for this benefit.

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.

NCRA Committee addresses use of automatic speech recognition captioning

A new NCRA committee, the Captioning Regulatory Policy Committee, has recently been formed. Its charge is to monitor the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actions and other actions that affect the closed captioning industry and to respond accordingly.  The committee met on Sept. 4, 2018, to address the automatic speech recognition (ASR) issue.

ASR has already infiltrated some local TV news markets.  Some of you may have heard that an entire station group plans to transition to an ASR system in the near future. The committee members don’t know yet how the deaf advocacy groups or the FCC will respond. The deaf advocacy groups have been made aware of the coming switch to ASR, and NCRA is sure they will keep a close eye on it and respond accordingly. The FCC’s stance on ASR-generated closed captioning is that, like any captioning, it must meet FCC accuracy requirements.

In the Committee’s observations thus far, if the conditions in the newscast are perfect — reasonable speed, people not talking over each other, routine news subject matter/terminology, lack of background noise, no singing, etc. — ASR captions can be good; but if there is background noise, singing, chanting, a fast-paced program with people speaking over each other, difficult terminology, etc., the captions can be unusable. In addition, ASR systems display erratic punctuation. One must watch a variety of programs for more than just a few minutes to observe the varied results of ASR. They can be all over the board.  About the only plus for ASR is it is verbatim — when it hears and correctly interprets what is being said.

The emergence of ASR obviously makes us feel uneasy. The best actions you can take are as follows: if you see subpar captions, automated or otherwise, notify the station and complain to the FCC. NCRA offers a set of instructions; be sure to include the station, program, time, and specific examples.

Please rest assured that NCRA is closely monitoring the ASR issue.  Please keep in mind that our best defense is for you to continue to produce top-quality captions for our viewers and to provide clients with excellent customer service. Don’t forget: No ASR system comes close to providing consistently accurate captions at the level that a human captioner can.

The Captioning Regulatory Policy Committee invites questions about this Committee and its status. Questions can be directed to mbarusch@ncra.org.

 

Inaugural industry leaders roundtable held

Aug. 2 marked the first meeting of the NCRA Industry Leaders Roundtable. Held in New Orleans, La., in conjunction with the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo, the Roundtable was created to focus on knowledge-sharing and draw upon the unique insight and expertise of each of the leaders at the table to help guide the growth and advancement of the court reporting and captioning professions over the next 10 years.

As effective conversations are inclusive of all stakeholders affected by the subject matter, invitations to participate on the Roundtable went to the industry’s top thought leaders and decision-makers, including executives representing professions aligned with court reporting and captioning, government agencies, national companies that support the industry, academic institutions, other leaders whose organizations are influenced by the professions, as well as seasoned professional court reporters with many years of experience and historical insight.

The first meeting was well-attended, and the participants eagerly rolled up their sleeves to take on both the challenges and opportunities currently facing the industry. Robust conversation included topics such as the workforce shortage, aligning the skill sets with the cultures of the millennial and generation Z demographics, and more.

The Industry Leaders Roundtable members will meet several times per year and more participants will be invited. While this first meeting was an opportunity for the participants to become familiar with each other’s organizations and constituencies and the unique challenges each face, over time the Roundtable meetings will become all-day sessions to effectively accomplish the mission of the group.

UPDATE: Parliamentary review of voting tally results in additional changes to Bylaws

NCRA members voted on 12 amendments to the Constitution & Bylaws following the Annual Business Meeting on Aug. 2, 2018, which occurred in conjunction with the NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La. A question arose on the NCRA state leaders listserve on how abstention votes were counted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised Edition, so a parliamentary review was requested. Upon parliamentary confirmation of the rule/method for counting abstention votes, all amendments except Amendment 11, the name change, are now deemed to have passed. Going forward, NCRA has put in place a policy to have voting results verified by our parliamentarian before being announced to our membership.

Per our Constitution & Bylaws, Article IX, Section 5b, “The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the official parliamentary guide for all business sessions when they are not in conflict with this Constitution and Bylaws or rules adopted by the Association during the annual business meeting or by the Board of Directors.” Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, Page 415, “ignore blank ballots and other ballots that indicate no preference, treating them as abstentions” and “all ballots that indicate a preference – provided they have been cast by persons entitled to vote – are taken into account in determining the number of votes cast for purposes of computing.”

To pass, Bylaws amendments must receive at least two-thirds (66.7%) affirmation by the Voting Members who are voting by electronic mail or other authorized means of electronic transmission. The numbers below reflect the percentages voting for each amendment:

NumberNamePass/FailedPercentage Voted For
1Voting for Officers and Board of DirectorsPassed (previously reported as failed)71.9%
2Voting on Bylaws AmendmentsPassed82.0%
3Clarification of electoral processPassed83.6%
4Elections when more than two candidates are running for the same positionPassed81.5%
5Number of Directors on the BoardPassed (previously reported as failed)71.4%
6Clarification of the timing of terms of officePassed84.8%
7Elimination of requirement to include a consumer or public member as part of the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters (CAPR)Passed (previously reported as failed)72.9%
8Clarification of electronic mail votingPassed83.5%
9Removal of reference of electronic voting in a business meetingPassed (previously reported as failed)71.4%
10Definition of Voting MembersPassed84.7%
11Name changeFailed47.3%
12Meeting referencePassed92.3%

During the Annual Business Meeting, Keith Lemons and Yolanda Walton were elected by majority vote to fill unoccupied spaces on the Board of Directors resulting from the promotion of two Directors to Officer positions on the Board.

The Constitution & Bylaws permits all eligible NCRA voting members to vote through electronic means on Bylaws amendments and contested Board of Directors elections. The Bylaws amendments ranged from minor, including cleaning up some repetitive language, to more substantial, such as streamlining the voting procedures for amendments and elections. Eligible voting members participated through a private, secure link during the 12-hour voting period. View all voting results.

Marjorie A. Peters Recognized with 2018 Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism

Nancy Hopp and Marjorie Peters

NCRA member Marjorie A. Peters, RMR, CRR, a freelance court reporter and firm owner from Pittsburgh, Pa., was honored with the 2018 Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism. The award was presented by NCRF during NCRA’s Convention & Expo held Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

The Aurelio Award is given to a working court reporter with more than 25 years of experience who has given back to the profession and to the court reporting community with no expectation of any reward.

“Receiving the Santo Aurelio Award was an emotional and overwhelming moment, only made better because I was able to share it in person with so many friends and colleagues who offered their heartfelt congratulations and kind words.  When I see photos on Facebook, I continue to be deeply touched,” said Peters, who owns Marjorie Peters Court Reporting.

“When I look at past years’ awardees, I am in awe to be included now in their company and then even more humbled that my dear friends nominated me and saw it through,” she added.

At the national level, Peters has presented numerous times at NCRA’s annual Convention & Expo as well as has served on a number of the Association’s committees. She is a longtime supporter of NCRF.

Active at the state level, she has served twice on the Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association Board of Directors. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Society for the Technological Advancement of Reporting (STAR) and has coordinated a number of Veterans History Project events to capture the stories of U.S. war veterans for the Library of Congress to preserve.

She has sponsored students at both the state and national levels for memberships and convention fees and often invites students from the court reporting program at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) into her home office to demonstrate live captioning.

Active in her community, Peters is a longtime volunteer with the Light of Life Rescue Mission, as well as the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Race, which benefits the Autism Society. She is also a lector at the Assumption Church in Bellevue, Pa.

“I feel Marjorie is the perfect example of the meaning of the word altruism – the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others,” said life-long friend Janis L. Ferguson, RPR, CRR, who was one of several of Peters’ peers to nominate her.

“She has demonstrated this time and time again through her concern for her family, her concern for her community, and her concern and passion for her chosen profession. It has been an honor to nominate her,” added Ferguson, a freelance court reporter from Erie, Pa.

“Marjorie’s work history is made up of every facet of our profession – judicial reporting, captioning, and freelance work. She does not hesitate to volunteer in every way she can manage for our school in western Pennsylvania, and is a great aid to CCAC,” wrote Donna Cascio, FAPR, RDR, CMRS, an official court reporter from Somerset, Pa., who also nominated Peters.

“She is a great ambassador for our profession — and for living with compassion and kindness on this planet,” Cascio added.

Peters said that each year, she continues to be inspired by court reporters, CART and broadcast captioners, and firm owners who offer themselves to build up the profession, as well as their communities, and offered the following words of encouragement: “Let us always be encouraged by each other. Always remember to allow yourself to be inspired, and that any act of kindness, no matter how small, is never wasted. Smile at a hard-working clerk. Act when action is needed. And give whenever you can. Your heart and mind will be most richly rewarded.”

PAC basket raffle raises awareness and funds

The Gift Basket Extravaganza sponsored by NCRA’s Government Relations Department to benefit the Association’s PAC (Political Action Committee) raised $1,905. Eleven states and NCRA participated in the fundraising event held at the Association’s 2018 Convention & Expo that took place in New Orleans Aug. 2-5.

Among the states that packed baskets full of items representative of their states were Arizona, California, the California Official Court Reporters Association (COCRA), Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Items ranged from bottles of wine, cheeses, various snacks, baked goods, fiesta ware, beach items, and more. NCRA’s basket featured Washington, D.C. memorabilia.

Shaunise Day and Mike Miller

The winning basket was donated by NCRA student member Shaunise Day on behalf of the COCRA, and featured an array of California-related items including some top-notch champagne. Day won a registration to the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp for her most popular basket. NCRA member Michael Miller, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Houston, Texas, won the COCRA basket.

“This fundraiser was very successful in raising money for an important cause, and in getting members excited about the PAC and what it does,” said Matthew R. Barusch, NCRA’s Manager of State Government Relations.

“The states that contributed to the fundraiser really stepped up with some incredible donations, and showed off real state pride in each and every basket. Thank you to every state who contributed to this new fundraiser, and to the PAC Governing Board for planning a big hit at the convention, this would not have been a success without you. I see this fundraiser being even bigger and better next year, and hope that even more states will take the opportunity to show off their states in Denver!”