The Guardian

College of Court Reporting, EST. 1984

Stenographers: Unsung Essential Workers of COVID-19

By: Joe Duarte, Co-CEO at InnoCaption

The pandemic has imposed a multitude of challenges to people who are deaf and hard of

hearing that those outside of that community would likely never consider. Social distancing and mask mandates have created unforeseen barriers to communication, preventing people who are hard of hearing from reading lips and further muffling the quality of sound in conversations.

These restrictions have caused many individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to rely on

phone calls to stay connected to loved ones, a form of communication made possible through a mobile captioning service that utilizes stenographers.

Michael Conley, a San Diego resident who is deaf, has heavily relied on the InnoCaption app

during this time of strained communication. When the pandemic hit, Michael lost his job, missed his aunt’s funeral due to difficulties communicating while traveling, and had complications getting prescribed the medication he needs due to social distancing measures.

InnoCaption, a free mobile app that provides real-time captioning for phone calls, has provided Michael with the freedom he needed to go about his daily life. Social connection is already deeply difficult during this time, and live captioning has allowed Michael to stay connected with those he needs to communicate with, despite the tough situation. Michael has said himself that InnoCaption, and the work of live stenographers, has immensely improved his quality of life. While Michael’s story is both moving and inspiring, it is important to acknowledge that he is only one of many impacted daily by the work of the stenographers who enable InnoCaption’s service.

There are approximately 48 million Americans who are hard of hearing, many of whom rely on

mobile phone captioning for their everyday communication needs, with stories similar to

Michael’s. Real-time captioners have provided a true lifeline between friends and family, getting those treasured ‘I love you’s’ from point A to point B during a time when communication only takes place at a distance.

Around the clock, stenographers work in service to others, solely responsible for enabling a

mother to tell her son she is safe and healthy, a doctor to prescribe a patient the correct

medication, an employee to successfully communicate with a manager while working from

home, and friends to simply check in with each other during this unsettled period.

One live stenographer, Rachel, shared her experience captioning for InnoCaption below:

“This experience has been what I have been yearning to do with my skill: Reach the community that has an immediate need. I wasn’t meant to make transcripts that will stay in a courthouse database, many never being seen again after the proceedings that occur. I have always had a strong pull to serve others.”

The skills learned to engage in this profession transcend courtrooms into doctors' offices, airport terminals, home offices, and every space in between. Live stenographers truly change the lives of those that use mobile phone captioning by using their skills to serve a community in need every day.

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Curious About Voice Writing?

College of Court Reporting is an affiliate of the National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA). Founded in 1967, NVRA is the only national professional organization dedicated to the practice of voice writing, offering support and benefits to its members -- certification, conferences, and newsletters. NVRA offers several levels of membership. Court reporters using either voice or stenographic methods may become general members of NVRA.

This video provides an excellent demonstration of the voice method.

CCR's next voice class starts soon. Contact the admissions department at for more information.

NVRA - The Voice of the Future

What is Voice Writing?

Voice writers are professionals who have been highly trained to capture the spoken word with the capability to convert it into text by means of computer-aided transcription software. Voice writers can be found in official courtrooms, depositions, and realtime translation services for broadcast captioning on nationally-televised channels; in colleges and arenas in which translation services are requested for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Voice writers receive skill-focused training on how to use their voices to capture the record. Upon completion of training, voice writers are then tested for audibility and accuracy. The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) upholds and maintains the gold standard for voice writer court reporters. This standard is equivalent to those set by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) for stenographers.
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What the world needs now are random acts of kindness

A recent grassroots effort launched in the wake of circulating dissension in the court reporting profession has succeeded in successfully establishing a place where drama and negativity have been replaced by support for students by promoting random acts of kindness.

A recently launched Facebook group that began with just a handful of friends has grown in just four weeks to include 1,200 members and monetary donations totaling more than $21,500. The effort has also attracted donations of used steno machines, books, laptops, and more.

“It’s basically a paying-it-forward stenographic initiative,” said NCRA member Allie Hall, RMR, CRR, a full-time official court reporter and court reporting instructor from Tulsa, Okla., who started the effort. She said in the past several weeks, students both from her own programs as well as other programs have been reaching out, asking why they should continue in their studies when there has been so much talk recently, especially on social media, about the value of stenographic reporters going by the wayside.

Broadcast captioner and court reporter make top list of well-paying jobs

On Sept. 30, posted a list of the top paying jobs that includes broadcast captioners and court reporters.

Subscribe TODAY!!

NCRA has an awesome student newsletter. NCRA’s online newsletter, Up-to-Speed, features insights and tips just for court reporting and captioning students. Check out the “Student Spotlight” and “Schools in the News” sections. Here is the link to subscribe and view past newsletters:
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Melvin Brewing Scholarship

The $1,000 Melvin Brewing Scholarship was created to help students lift a little bit of financial stress off of their shoulders while also helping to strengthen our communities! Students from all majors and areas of study are encouraged to apply.

NCRA A to Z Scholarship

NCRA is giving 10 students a $500 scholarship this year. In order to be eligible for this wonderful opportunity, students must complete an NCRA A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program, receive an NCRA A to Z Certificate of Completion, attain an exemplary academic record, and have passed one skills test writing 60-100 words per minute at the time of submission. The application usually opens in February and closes on April.

The Veritext Court Reporting Student Scholarship

This Veritext Court Reporting Student Scholarship is awarded annually to a new or returning student seeking to learn stenography theory and to advance through training programs designed to help increase speed and achieve completion.

Horace Webb Scholarship

The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) awards this scholarship to voice court reporting students. The application deadline is usually in April. The 2020 application has not been posted yet.

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Welcome to The Guardian Version of the Job Drawer!


Natalie Kijurna, our Director of Alumni & Employer Relations, is happy to assist alumni with resumes, cover letters, and job placement. Please contact her with any questions.

For additional information, contact Natalie today!
(866) 294- 3974 ext. 229

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Director of Admissions

Nicky Rodriquez
(866) 294 - 3974 ext.222

College of Court Reporting

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