IMPORTANT!!! NCRA Action -- A NATIONAL Threat to STENO Court Reporting Profession -- Think Deposition Reporters Can't Be Replaced by ER/DAR? Think Again!

Please read the message below and go to this site for more information/details:

Dear Reporters:

In November of 2008, the NCRA Board of Directors voted to explore/develop a plan for the testing and certification of non-steno methods. These methods include electronic recording/digital audio recording and voicewriting.

As members of NCRA, we believe it is in contradiction to the Constitution & Bylaws of this Association and outside the scope of purpose of the Association to spend Association money and resources on certifying non-stenographic methods, especially when members of this Association, steno reporters, are losing jobs all over the country to these competing methods.

Although we understand that no actual plan for testing non-steno methods has been developed yet and is only in a discussion stage, we object to any time and/or money spent on an endeavor that we believe will be harmful to the core membership and the profession.

We understand there is a perfectly valid opposing opinion that if these alternate record-makers are working alongside stenographers, they should be held to the same standards. However, our belief is that it would be very hard, if not impossible, for NCRA to remain an advocate for the stenographic method if it were to test/certify other methods’ competency; that it would fundamentally change the Association from a trade association for verbatim stenographers to a testing agency for all makers of the record.

An analogy from the NCRA Forum was that GM wants Hondas tested equally by the NHTSA. We agree, but GM isn’t in charge of testing Hondas, and shouldn’t be (conflict of interest.) So the question is whether members want NCRA to become the independent testing authority (NHTSA).

We believe this is such a significant policy shift that it should be presented to membership to decide on, not just the board of directors.

In response to this action by the board, a group of reporters have created this Members’ Motion to Rescind Board Action, pursuant to NCRA Constitution & Bylaws, in order to have the issue debated and voted upon by the membership at the annual business meeting this year. Below you will find the actual motion, supporting documents, as well as how you and others can become a signatory if you agree.

Please understand, this motion is in no way meant to insult, harass, or annoy. We are not pointing fingers or making character assaults of any kind. What we have here is a difference of opinion. However, we truly believe that allowing the board to continue down this path would be detrimental to the careers of our membership.

Our passion is great; our motives are sincere.

You will need to attend the annual business meeting on August 6 in Washington, D.C. in order to actually vote. Online voting is not available for this purpose. However, your support as a signatory is also needed to demonstrate to those present the will of the members.

Thank you for your consideration.

*** For further reading on this issue, please visit:

NCRA Forum "Reality" Thread
"Concerned Student" Blog

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I suggest joining your state association, and one other. Just a suggestion.

GREAT idea!

California CSRs: - Regular Member $135.00 - Regular Member $125.00;jsessionid=41CE6E5298AB827D5FB... - Member Rate $175.00 to test for the CA CRR
Mary Ann - I tried the State Association, Virginia in particular, and when the vote came up to change the name, I was the only one that objected to it. It used to be the Virginia Shorthand Reporters Association (now VCRA). I was told the reason they changed the name and let voice writers in is so that they could survive. Of course, here in Virginia, MD, and DC, as you probably know, there is no certification. Virginia has some bogus CCR (Certified Court Reporter) designation which has NO SKILL TEST. What a joke. So get a notary and start swearing in the witnesses. Horrifying thought, I know. I was also president of the Greater Washington Shorthand Reporters Association for 2 years ('97-'99), and my predecessors and myself did everything we could in order to NOT change the name. Also, just as an aside, for years NCRA (or Naylor on NCRA's behalf) let voice writers advertise in the sourcebook. I know of one firm in particular whose owners are voice writers. I haven't checked lately to see if they are still listed, but at one time they were - so this is nothing new. I have just one question. If they are going to test voice writers and ED people, who use a tape to transcribe, are they going to let RPRs use a tape to transcribe their test too? If so, is this a test of skill, or a typing test from a tape???
Hi, Karen. Yes, I believe in Virginia you can join and be a member with no certification ... although I thought SOMEONE in the state association was pushing for licensing. But that will take years.

As far as how tape transcribers will be tested, I think I'm safe in saying that's all speculation. But how could there be a test for the skill involved in pushing the 'record' button and hoping it works? Is the court recording monitor responsible for the equipment, and must they know how to fix it if it breaks? Or would they call in an equipment technician for that? Who takes the test then? And what's the skill?

We have a skills and written knowledge portion for most of our certifications ... so if just the written knowledge portion was administered to a court recording monitor, would that even be relevant if they are monitors only and don't even transcribe their own work recording?

A post on the NCRA Forum pointed out that transcripts prepared by steno machine writers, realtime or not, voicewriters, ER transcribers, DAR (digital audio recording) transcribers, pen writers, and I'll add even my Dick taking transcription with a pencil and paper ALL fall under the category of voice-to-text.

And this is from the first page of the NCRA website:

About NCRA

NCRA is committed to being the leader in advancing the profession of those who capture and integrate the spoken word into a comprehensive and accurate information base for the benefit of the public and private sectors. NCRA accomplishes this through ethical standards, testing and certification, educational opportunities, communications, government relations, research and analysis, and fiscal responsibility.

So is it time that reporters got over themselves and realized there was an easier way to make a transcript than years of trying to learn a semi-foreign language, PLUS develop proficiency on the unique (but almighty, to us) steno machine? Do machine reporters have a sense of entitlement to something special simply because we can write on this funky machine? What makes us so special?

Someone said in the discussion on one of the other threads that there's no WAY they were going to drop their hard-earned NCRA certifications just because some people aren't pleased with the way they think NCRA is going, and maybe mass hysteria and hasty decisions would be cutting off our nose to spite our face.

But I really liked the comments from the reporter who said on the NCRA Forum that we are defined by our method, and if NCRA is a steno association, they should advocate for steno and steno alone.


I don't know what significance these hard-earned certifications would have if you no longer have the relevant job to which these certifications apply.
Here is a crazy idea,
The NCRA is an association, anyone can start an association, they are not a government or s state entity.
Start a new "Stenographers guild association" to keep the NCRA in check.

5k reporters x 100 dollars is half a million dollars a year, I bet you that would be a big speed bump for the NCRA.
If you dont do what we say, we will break free from you.. etc

Hey! do you want to fight? well alright! then lets step outside.
Great idea. Has anyone thought of starting a petition? It is going to be really hard to get the needed membership to rescind to go travel to D.C. in the middle of the summer. Why can't we collect names in opposition? What do the bylaws say, anyway? Anita
well, what we can do is "all or none" membership.
meaning, we start collecting memberships and interested people must provide credit cards and submit payment.
IF we reach say 5k users then all credit cards get charged.. if not then no one gets charged.

But, first we will need a president/vice president, 2 experienced and trusted reporters (preferably ex reporters that have the time and the will.)
all members can vote, president/vice president simply execute what we decide.

getting 5k members is NOT hard.. heck, we have 4k+ and if other forums join us we can accomplish it in less then a month IF we all worked on it like its our lives we are fighting for.

we need legal counsel for everything else, to keep track of money donated.. etc

I really like this idea. It's certainly not the impossible. Definitely worth more thought and research. :)
The time is drawing near -- to vote!

Thanks, Veronica!

I am in school, and this scares the heck out of me. I am going cross-country to Washington D.C. in August to hear for myself what's going on. I just can't believe that this idea would be entertained, and it needs to be shot down in my humble, lowly 120 wpm opinion.
I received a survey from NCRA about why I wasn't a member now. They gave me multiple choice reasons to check off, but I checked "Other," stating that I was opposed to their new stance on ER/digital recording. You can see for yourself how NCRA did not come forward when California official reporters were threatened with total layoff last month. It would have been financially beneficial for NCRA to install those digital recorders in every courtroom in this state. As the saying goes, "You're either for us or against us." NCRA wants it both ways. We sign a certificate at the back of our transcript saying that we have no financial interest in the proceedings, but as long as NCRA is ready, willing and able to equip courtrooms with digital recording, the fox is in the hen house, the financial interest is there, even if it's only through increased membership. Let these digital recording advocates go off and start their own organization and get the heck out of ours.


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