2014 National Court Reporting and Captioning Week kicks off Feb. 16

 Court reporters, captioners, CART providers, and court reporting schools around the country are making plans now to celebrate the 2014 National Court Reporting and Captioning Week scheduled for Feb. 16 - 22 with events that will range from securing official proclamations recognizing the occasion, to hosting open houses, Veterans History Project Days, media outreach, and more.

At the national level, NCRA will support a public relations campaign to highlight the career options available to those who graduate from a court reporting program, as well as support an official legislative recognition of National Court Reporting and Captioning Week. NCRA will also rely on its social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to reach thousands of people, as well as promote Captioning Matters, a recently launched web-based initiative that provides resources and information to consumers about captioning and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services that are available.
NCRA will also heighten marketing efforts related to the court reporting and captioning profession and the benefits of joining NCRA. A variety of resources are also available to members and state court reporting associations and schools at NCRA.org to help them celebrate the week. Resources include tips on presenting the benefits of the profession to potential new students, press release templates, social media-appropriate logos and banners, and tips for hosting special activities such as a Veterans History Project Day.
“National Court Reporting and Captioning Week is NCRA’s way to spotlight for the public the importance of what court reporters and captioners do,” said NCRA President Nancy Varallo, RMR, CRR, from Grafton, Mass. “Court reporting, captioning, CART — these careers are part of the lifeblood of law and culture in our society. I encourage everyone in this profession to take this opportunity to celebrate this fulfilling career and to let their enthusiasm inspire a student to explore this profession.”
To mark the week, Varallo said she plans to write an article about what a great option court reporting school is compared to a traditional four-year college degree program, as well as describe the profession and the correlation between musicians and court reporters for distribution to area high school music Boosters Clubs, along with a donation from her firm, The Varallo Group. The clubs will then distribute the articles to the parents of all music students.
Elsewhere the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association has appointed a special Court Reporting Week Committee to brainstorm ideas to market the national event, such as sending out cards from its board to legal professionals including the director of state courts, district court administrators, the state bar chief justices, larger legal firms, and the local media to publicize the week. The association is also encouraging members to offer demonstrations at schools and other venues of realtime reporting, which uses a stenograph machine connected to a computer to produce an immediate transcript of spoken word converted to text.
Other state associations have also said that they will mark National Court Reporting and Caption Week in a variety of ways, including in Michigan where the court reporting association plans to partner with a local court reporting school to host a special activity to showcase the event, and in Georgia where the state association plans to conduct a Veterans History Project Day to record the experiences of American wartime veterans which will then be submitted to the Library of Congress. A number of court reporting schools also have reported plans to mark the celebration with open houses to promote the profession as a viable career choice.
“Court reporters work hard every day to help people access the U.S. legal system, while CART providers and captioners give access to conferences, calls, educational classes, and television broadcasts to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is in their honor that NCRA has declared a national week to champion their ongoing efforts,” said Jim Cudahy, NCRA’s executive director and CEO.
“Throughout the week, NCRA will highlight the career options available to those who graduate from a court reporting program, work to secure interviews of its members by the media, recognize the activities going on at the state and local levels to mark this event, and actively rely on its social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to help boost public awareness of stenographic court reporting, captioning, and CART careers,” he added.