Volunteer for the Veteran’s History Project.

I ran across this article and I thought it was such a great idea I borrowed it to post on here.  Please read it and if you’re interested, there’s a link to the website where you can volunteer your services.  This is a great way to pass on the experiences of our veterans to a younger generation for years to come.

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Court reporters record veterans’ stories through Washington D.C.-based Veterans History Project

cnam-img_0554Court reporters are recording the stories of American veterans through the Veterans History project, according to the National Court Reporters Association.

The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center in Washington, D.C., is primarily an oral history program that collects and preserves the first-hand interviews of America’s war veterans.

U.S. Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin proposed the Veterans History Project after interviewing veterans in his own family at a reunion. His wife, Tawni, a court reporter, knew that transcriptions would ensure the accessibility of interview content, according to the North American Precis Syndicate.

The project relies on volunteers, both individuals and organizations, to contribute veterans’ stories to the Veterans History Project. In addition to audio- and video-recorded interviews, the Veterans History Project accepts memoirs, collections of original photographs and letters, diaries, maps, and other historical documents from World War I through current conflicts.

Benefit to the public
More than 2,800 interviews in the Veterans History Project collection have been transcribed by court reporters, according to the precis syndate. Once a court reporter transcribes an interview, the transcription is sent to the Library of Congress to be added to the veteran’s collection and, in many cases, it is digitized so that the public may access the transcript online.

Benefit to court reporters
Court reporters receive 0.25 professional development credits for each transcription completed, at no cost to the reporter, and reporters can earn up to a maximum of 1.0 professional development credits for completing four transcriptions within the three year certification period, according to NCRA. Read more here.

To learn more or participate, visit www.loc.gov/vets.

This was originally posted on Huseby.com.  Global Litigation Support

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Court Reporters versus Digital Recording Systems

INCOME POTENTIAL FROM COURT REPORTING

The potential income for general stenography careers is constantly rising.  The stenography field is widening so fast, there is an ever-growing demand for stenographers, with employment of court reporting jobs projected to grow 25 percent before 2016.  The reason for this is the information revolution, sparked by the growth of new media and the internet.  This has created many more positions than can possibly be filled. A court reporter’s salary has also been positively affected by the growing demand for general stenographers, because court reporters now have more options than just the courtroom and depositions to put their skills to use.

Your membership in organizations such as the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers (AAERT), the NCRA (National Court Reporters Association), the United States Court Reporters Association (USCRA) and/or the National Verbatim Reporter Association (NVRA) can help increase your skills and your networking possibilities and therefore your potential for earnings.

POTENTIAL INCOME FOR COURT REPORTERS

A court reporter’s salary depends mainly on two things:

Level of skill If you can transcribe more than the minimum words per minute with 95% accuracy, you will qualify for a higher wage job.

Geographic Area: The area you live in will often determine the demand for your skills as a court reporter. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rural areas and large cities have the greatest need for court reporters.  If your skills are better than average and you live in a rural area or a large city, you can expect to earn an average income of around $62K* per year.

POTENTIAL INCOME FOR GENERAL STENOGRAPHERS

Closed captioning specialists and general stenographers have an earning potential that is similar to court reporters.  The difference is that they are not limited to only the legal field and many positions can be performed from home, so their geographic location is not a factor.  Of course, skill level also plays an important part in determining earning potential. The companies that may seek home transcribers include: colleges, universities and professional schools, business support services and local governments, doctors’ offices and more; you might also consider people developing educational YouTube videos and podcasts who might like a transcript of their work.  A closed captioning stenographer or a general stenographer can also expect to earn an average salary of $62K* per year, but since many work on a freelance basis, they can earn as much as $100K* per year.

(Sources: Stenotype.edu; Bestcourtreportingdegree.com; Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

COURT REPORTER VS DIGITAL AUDIO/VIDEO ONLY

A number of court systems are moving to a digital audio only or digital audio/video only recording system to eliminate the cost of court reporters.  Some have discovered that technical difficulties have led to a compromise in the validity of the cases they’ve tried.  Some have been very happy with their results.  It’s an on-going battle that I think will continue to be fought with maybe a compromise in the end.  Here’s a link to a very good article on this very subject:  Dayton Business Journal – Future of court reporting jobs in jeopardy. 

So we have two differing opinions here.   One saying the field of stenography/court reporting is rising; the other saying that courts are opting for a digital recording system only in order to save some money.  Who will win?

What do you think?  What will be the technological future for court reporters?  Do you think technology alone will fail?  Have you had any personal experience with being replaced for a machine?  Let us know.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to stay awake when you’re overworked

When you have a pile of work in front of you and you feel like you haven’t slept in a week, it’s time for some strategies to keep your energy level up. Red Bull and other caffeine-laden energy drinks might be okay once in a while, but they can lead to a cycle. Sometimes you get a jolt of energy, but when it wears off and you’re not finished working yet, you need more. This causes a reduction of quality sleep time and then can cause excessive sleepiness the next day. Then what do you do… of course, you take some more caffeine to get you through the day.

I have some more natural ideas:

1. Take a short walk. It’s best if you can get outside for a bit. Just walk to the end of the block or even around your own yard. Take five minutes and pull some weeds while you’re out there. An occasional change of activity will do wonders for your stamina.

2. Take a short nap. “Short” being the key word here. No less than five minutes and no more than 25 minutes. If it’s close to bedtime, keep it short. Set an alarm to make sure you don’t nap too long.

3. If your work causes you to be staring at a computer for long periods, give your eyes a break. Rub your hands together for a minute and place your palms over your closed eyes and just rest your head in your hands like that for a bit. While resting there, try taking some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose into your abdomen rather than your chest. Then breathe out through your mouth. Do that five or six times. If your eyes feel a bit dry, try some soothing eye drops. You’ll see a little clearer afterwards and the short rest will do you good.

4. Try a little healthy snack break. Nothing sugary; that will just give you a short lift and a heavy crash. Try something like peanut butter on whole wheat crackers or with apple slices, yogurt and fresh fruit and nuts or fresh cut up veggies with a low fat dip.

5. Try making the room brighter and cooler.

6. Always remember to drink plenty of water. Dehydration will cause fatigue.

7. Last but not least is my personal favorite. I have a small jogging trampoline that I put in front of my TV. When I feel the fatigue getting the best of me, I get on the trampoline, turn on the TV and spend anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes jogging while watching something to take my mind off of my work. It’s great for weight loss, cardiovascular health and definitely chases away the cobwebs in my head.

I hope some of these tips are helpful for you. They’ve worked for me in the past and continue to do so. At least till we can get around to that wonderful vacation cruise or mountain retreat we’re dreaming about…

Anyone else have any good anti-fatigue strategies that have worked well for you?

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Welcome to my Blog Page

I first got into the scoping business about 10 years ago.  I was working as a surgical technician for about 12 years and was approached by a fellow nurse with a job proposition.  It seemed she had a neighbor who was a court reporter, and was looking for someone with some medical terminology experience to do some proofreading for her.  It sounded interesting, and God knows I could always use a few extra dollars in my pocket.

I  called the court reporter and we began a very long and mutually satisfying business relationship.  We also became great friends.  She taught me all the ins and outs of reporting, formatting transcripts, proper grammar and punctuation, and how to proofread by using a printed out version of the transcript and proofing it with the audio.

After proofreading for about a year, I decided that scoping looked a lot more interesting.  So my friend the court reporter gave me a brief course of what scoping entailed.  After that I was sold, this was what I wanted to do.  I purchased Total Eclipse software and my friend introduced me to someone she knew who had been doing nothing but scoping for the previous 20 years.  This woman sat with me many days and was my e-mail and telephone lifeline in the beginning.  She was such a big help and taught me so any things, I could never thank her enough.

Now, here I am 10 years later having been a scopist all these years and have built a business not only around my own scoping, but also able to hire and outsource jobs to other scopists.  This has been a truly rewarding experience.

Does anyone else have any interesting history?  Why did you get into court reporting?  Why become a scopist?  I’ve heard a lot of funny things on some of these audio tapes.  Anyone want to share some of their funny stories?

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Proper Desk Ergonomics

For those of us who sit at a home office desk for long periods of time proper posture is essential. You’re not doomed to a lifetime of neck and back pain or sore wrists and fingers if you follow some simple tips.
In addition to taking short breaks from sitting, proper home office ergonomics — including correct chair height, adequate equipment spacing and good desk posture — can help you stay comfortable while you’re working.

Let’s start with your home office desk: Generally, your desk should be at least 19 inches deep, 30 inches wide and depending on your height, up to 34 inches high. Make sure you have enough room under your desk to rest your feet comfortably and enough room for a foot pedal if you use one. It might be helpful to have some sort of footrest under your desk to allow you to change leg positions occasionally. I keep a small old plastic file box under my desk padded with a thick folded towel. It enables me to not only change the position of my legs and hips occasionally, but it also relieves a lot of pressure on my back.

Your home office chair: Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest comfortably on the floor and your knees are level with your hips. If your chair doesn’t have some kind of adequate lumbar support, place a small pillow between the curve of your lower back and the back of the chair. I have found a wire mesh device at my local Walgreen’s store that’s meant to be used as a lumbar support for office chairs. It works great. You might want to consider getting a gel cushion for your bottom, too. That part of the anatomy can take a beating as well during long sessions at your desk.

Your wrists: It’s recommended that you keep your wrists in a straight natural position, but I’ve found that my ergonomic keyboard keeps my wrists in an ever so slightly downward position, which seems to really help. Having a wrist rest in front of your keyboard is crucial to minimizing stress on your wrists. Position your wrists over the wrist rest while typing and during pauses relax your wrists on the wrist rest. If you don’t have a store-bought wrist rest, it’s very easy to just use a small rolled towel to give your wrists some support; even better, invest in a good ergonomic keyboard that incorporates these features.
Your posture: Center your body in front of your computer monitor and keyboard. Sit up straight, just like you mother always told you, and keep your forearms level or tilted up slightly.

Your computer monitor: Your computer monitor should be directly in front of you at about an arm’s length distance, generally 18 to 28 inches away. The top of the screen should be slightly below eye level. If glare from room lights or sunny windows is a problem, you might want to turn those lights off and pull your shades down. Keep any desk lights so that the brightest light source is to the side of the monitor.

Your peripherals: If you use a mouse, keep it directly to the side of your keyboard to minimize reaching. There are mouse pads on the market that include a gel wrist rest. I would highly recommend getting one if you use your mouse a lot. Any other devices you use frequently such as a stapler, phone, printed materials, etc. keep them within easy reach. Anything that’s outside of your immediate reach, don’t over-stretch to get them but instead stand up to retrieve them.

I hope some of this information helps ease your aches and pains a little while slaving over your home office desk work. Perhaps in my next blog we’ll talk a little bit about “Chair Aerobics.”

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