Editorial: Kansas judicial employees deserve a raise

JCR logoThe Kansas City Star printed an editorial on May 29 calling for salary increases for judicial employees.

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NCCC to add court reporting certificate

JCR logoThe board of trustees of the Neosho County Community College, Chanute, Kan., recently approved a certificate for court reporting. The 45-credit-hour program is for those who only want to pass the state court reporting certification, according to an article posted on April 12 by the Chanute Tribune.

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In Kansas Supreme Court chief’s opinion, court employees need raises

JCR logoThe Topeka Capital-Journal posted an article on March 15 about Kansas Chief Justice Lawton Nuss discussing cost of living raises for court employees during his State of the Judiciary Speech.

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2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week: It’s been a very busy week

Members of state court reporting associations across the country have spent the week celebrating their profession by participating in career fairs, visiting court reporting schools, hosting Veterans History Project events, and being quoted by local media, in honor of the 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

State associations and schools around the country promote the profession

For members of the Kansas Court Reporters Association (KCRA), however the week proved to be exceptionally busy. KCRA members kicked off the week by meeting with the state’s governor and securing an official proclamation recognizing 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week. In addition, representatives from the association were also invited to visit with members of the state’s Supreme Court where they also secured another official proclamation and pictures with the justices.

Left to right: Cayley Rodrigue, Kelley Morrison, Judge Michael Joyce, Brenda Highberger, Cindy Isaacsen, Judge Thomas Sutherland

Left to right: Cayley Rodrigue, Kelley Morrison, Judge Michael Joyce, Brenda Highberger, Cindy Isaacsen, Judge Thomas Sutherland

KCRA members marched onward throughout the week with other stops. They visited with members of the State Judiciary Committee where reporters provided a realtime presentation that left the attendees mesmerized. They also visited with members of the Johnson Board of County Commissioners complete with breakfast and another realtime demonstration that led to yet another official proclamation recognizing the week.

KCRA members wrapped up their celebration with a special write-a-thon at Neosho County Community College to help raise funds to aid students in its court reporting program.

“It’s been a very busy week,” said Cindy Isaacsen RPR, an official court reporter from Olathe and president of KCRA.

Kelley Morrison provides a demonstration

Kelley Morrison provides a demonstration

“I think I’ve said Court Reporting & Captioning Week about 1.75 million times. This week was just another way to spread the word about court reporting and captioning. It’s not just the young people we have to educate about what we do,” Isaacsen added. “My judge always says that I think court reporting is the best job out there … he’s right.”

2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week also earned national recognition from U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) in a floor speech before the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 14, and by state governors in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin as well as by officials in Bexar County, Texas.

Presentation at Bryan University

Presentation at Bryan University

Other activities included visits with students at GateWay Community College in Phoenix and Bryan University in Tempe, both in Arizona. A number of members who visited with students were in the area attending the 2017 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference being held in Tucson. Students at both sites were able to ask the professionals questions and for advice. The panel discussion at Bryan University was open to both on-site and online students.

Members of the Missouri Court Reporters Association visited with state legislators in Jefferson City when they held their annual cookie drop. “We are always warmly received and welcomed, and this time was no different,” said Linda M. Dattilo, RPR, an official court reporter from Florissant, Mo., and the association’s executive director.

Students at GateWay Community College

Students at GateWay Community College

“They know when we’re coming, and we’ve had senators call our lobbyists and ask where the cookies are because they are waiting for them. At the end of the day, we’re always exhausted by all the running around, but satisfied, and hopefully they are too,” she added.

Members of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association also promoted the court reporting and captioning professions at an open house held by North Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay.

Finding the spotlight: Court Reporting & Captioning Week in the news

As with all previous Court Reporting & Captioning Week celebrations, the efforts of NCRA members at the state and local levels were also successful in getting the word about the profession and its benefits as a career to media outlets in their areas. Among those:

NCRF Hard-of-Hearing Heroes oral histories project spotlighted

The Andrews Gazette (Easton, Md.) posted an article about the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Veterans History Project event that NCRF and the Hearing Loss Association of America will host on Feb. 18 in Bethesda, Md., as part of NCRA’s 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

DMACC hosting activities for National Court Reporting & Captioning Week

The Newton Daily News posted an article on Feb. 9 announcing that the Des Moines Area Community College, Des Moines, Iowa, is hosting several events to mark 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Among the activities will be two information sessions where prospective students can learn about the court reporting and captioning professions.

Illinois governor recognizes 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week

In an article posted Feb. 13, the RegisterNews.com, Mt. Vernon, Ill., announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner has designated Feb. 11-18 as National Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The article also noted that several court reporters from the 2nd Judicial Circuit will promote the profession at an upcoming local career fair.

Planet Depos announces success of court reporter mentoring program

In a press release issued Feb. 13, Planet Depos reported that its Planet Institute, a student-to-career mentoring program, has had a successful first year.

Oklahoma court reporting firm launches education and advocacy effort

In a press release issued Feb. 10, NCRA member Ginger Baze, owner of Steno Services in Hugo, Okla., announced that her firm is launching an outreach and education campaign for National Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Court reporting schools to exhibit at career day event in Texas

The Gilmer [Texas] Mirror posted an article on Feb. 13 about the Texas Supreme Court holding a formal court session to hear oral arguments in two cases at LeTourneau University in Longview, in conjunction with “Law as a Career Day” being held on campus. Numerous law schools, paralegal schools, and court reporting schools will have recruiting booths on-site.

Celebrating the silent keepers of the record

Star Levandowski, director of marketing at Stenograph, posted a blog on Feb. 3 highlighting the top three reasons to admire the stenography profession in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

But wait … there’s more

Read more about how national and state associations, schools, and vendors have celebrated Court Reporting & Captioning Week. You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

Court reporting program hosts fundraiser

jcr-publications_high-resWASW-TV7 reported on Feb. 16 that the Neosho County College’s court reporting program in Ottawa, Kan., will hosted a write-a-thon fundraiser for students in conjunction with a bake sale in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The effort is to help raise funds to assist students of the program with tuition.

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Students watch realtime demonstration

JCR publications share buttonThe Nov. 3 Ottawa Herald posted a photo and caption of NCRA member Cindy Isaacsen, RPR, demonstrating realtime reporting to students attending an open house hosted by the Neosho County Community College in Ottawa, Kan.

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World War II veteran’s stories inspire Kansas Supreme Court chief justice, also a veteran

JCR publications share buttonThe Topeka Capital Journal posted an article on July 3 about a Veterans History Project (VHP) event hosted during the Kansas Court Reporters Association’s annual convention. The article explains what the VHP is and showcases the interview of a WWII veteran conducted by the Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss, who is also a veteran.

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And the winners are…

The National Committee of State Associations (NCSA) recently announced the winners of a friendly challenge the group issued to encourage state associations and individuals to spread the word about the benefits of a career in court reporting or captioning. Prizes include complimentary registrations to NCRA events or vouchers for continuing education.

The challenge called on all state associations to join forces with their members to participate in career fairs, provide realtime demonstrations at high schools and guidance counselor meetings, participate in the Veterans History Project, and help celebrate 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week held Feb. 14-20.

“The goal of the challenge each year is to build and grow participation by state associations and their members,” said NCSA Chair Mary Burzynski, RPR, an official court reporter from Medford, Wis.

“Court Reporting & Captioning Week is a natural tie-in to the completion of the NCSA competition and a great time for us to celebrate our accomplishments. The greatest benefit is that we now have a good running start at promoting court reporting, captioning, and CART to a public who may not know what we do for a living,” Burzynski said, who noted that this year’s contest was the second time NCSA has hosted it.

“We were looking for numbers. The states who won, as well as the individuals, were the ones who participated in the greatest number of school demonstrations, career fairs, or VHPs,” Burzynski noted.

Grand prize winner Erminia Uviedo, RMR, CRR, a court reporter from San Antonio, Texas, received a complimentary registration to the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo being held Aug. 4-7 in Chicago, Ill. During the contest Uviedo orchestrated involvement by fellow court reporters to exhibit at more than a dozen high school career days and was influential in generating media coverage about the profession.

“Winning the grand prize for NCSA was the cherry on top to the past six months of promoting student recruitment,” said Uviedo. “When I started organizing career fairs and presentations, I had no idea there was going to be a contest. But after I read about it on TheJCR.com, I started posting on our state association’s Facebook page to entice our members even more to volunteer. It worked!”

First prize included two complimentary registrations to the 2016 NCRA Convention & Expo and was awarded to the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA). Among the activities TCRA sponsored were Veteran History Projects events, exhibiting at career days, visiting local court reporting programs during open houses, and media coverage that included segments on two local morning shows.

Mary Berry, RDR, CRR, an official court reporter from San Antonio and President of TCRA, said this is the second year the association has been involved in the NCSA contest and attributes the need for court reporters nationwide as a major factor to participating. She also attributes the creation of a Student Recruitment Task Force at the state level with helping the association succeed with so many activities.

“We need to bring awareness to the public that there is a shortage of court reporters. Many we visited with had never heard of a career in court reporting. Though our target audience was the students, we found several parents just as interested in learning more about our profession,” Berry said.

“The beauty of it all is that we worked as a team — court reporting students, reporters, and instructors — to showcase our profession. Our members were able to see the value of working as a team in promoting court reporting and captioning to the public,” she added.

The Kansas Court Reporters Association earned second place in the contest and was awarded two complimentary registrations to the 2016 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp that was held March 20-22 in Reston, Va. KCRA promoted the court reporting and captioning professions via an array of activities including securing an official proclamation recognizing the 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week and two broadcast segments that featured interviews with Cindy Issacsen, RPR, an official court reporter from Olathe, Kan., and the association’s president.

“We are so excited that we did so well, especially since we’re an itty, bitty state, compared with my home state of Texas,” Issacsen said.

Participation prizes included two NCRA $50 vouchers and were awarded to the Colorado Court Reporters Association, Connecticut Court Reporters Association, Iowa Court Reporters Association, Minnesota Association of Verbatim Reporters and Captioners, and Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association.

“While a contest always promotes competition, I think it also fosters teamwork,” Burzynski said. “States were competing against each other for a few prizes, but at the same time, we all had the same goal. We want students in our programs, and we want the profession we love to thrive and grow.”

Burzynski encourages all state court reporter associations to plan to participate in NCSA’s 2017 contest in addition to making the commitment to promote the court reporting and captioning professions throughout the year.

“NCRA has the tools readily available on its website to help reporters get started in organizing their presentations. Make it fun! Find a colleague or two to partner up with. Set up your equipment. Print a short transcript. Assign students to be the players in the hearing. Viola! You have an easy and effective demonstration,” she added.

For resources, ideas, and tips to help promote the court reporting and captioning profession, visit NCRA’s Court Reporting & Captioning Week Web page. All materials can easily be edited to reflect the date, location, and other information relating to a state’s planned activity. For more information, contact NCRA’s Communications Team at aroketenetz@ncra.org.

KCRA president showcases court reporting

KSHB TV in Oalthe, Kan., aired a story on Feb. 9 featuring Kansas Court Reporters Association President Cindy Isaacsen, RPR, who is an official reporter. During the interview, Isaacsen highlights the need for court reporters in the future. She also mentions NCRA’s upcoming 2016 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, which takes place Feb. 14-20.

Watch the story.

The Hearing Loss Association of America – Kansas City Chapter launches open caption initiatives project launches open caption initiatives project

The Hearing Loss Association of America – Kansas City Chapter has launched the Kansas: Open Caption Initiatives and Kansas: Turn On the TV Captions Now projects. The projects will help build statewide support for a mandate requiring captions on all TVs located in public places, as well as open captioning in movie theaters and at major public events. The mandate is based on the Portland, Ore., Turn on the Captions Now initiative, which was passed into law in December 2015.

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