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NCRA represented at Congressional Hearing Health Caucus event

May 23, 2014

NCRA represented at Congressional Hearing Health Caucus event

Caucus serves to spread awareness of deaf and hard-of-hearing communities


VIENNA, VA., May 23, 2014— The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters and captioners, demonstrated its continued support of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus by being represented at a briefing luncheon and hearing screenings hosted by the group May 21 on Capitol Hill. NCRA is just one of dozens of associations recognized as Friends of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus.


The event, co-hosted by caucus chairs Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., included free hearing screenings by some 30 health professionals for members of Congress, their staff, members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and other interested individuals. In addition, NCRA member Christine Slezosky, RPR, CBC, CCP, from Annapolis, Md., provided on-site captioning of the event, while the National Captioning Institute was also present to demonstrate live captioning of ESPN programs.


Keynote speaker and a leading expert in the area of hearing health, Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine/Bloomberg School of Public Health, addressed the correlation between hearing loss in older adults and the risk for cognitive decline and developing dementia, as well as the barriers of access to hearing health care.


“If you think about hearing loss in the context of healthy aging, it becomes really important,” Lin told attendees.


He explained that when the cochlea in the ear begins sending fuzzy sound signals to the brain, the brain then needs to devote more resources to decoding the information, resources that could be used toward memory or thought. This can then lead to cognitive decline, which could have implications with a higher risk for dementia. Cognitive decline can also be linked to physical disability, like prevalence for falls, or social isolation.


Rep. Latham noted that his own brother, a former helicopter pilot, now suffers from hearing loss, while Rep. McCarthy who wears a hearing aid told attendees that access to affordable assistance for the deaf and hard-of-hearing is crucial.


“It’s important that we get the message out about hearing loss. It can make such a difference in someone’s life. It’s not right that people who don’t have the money cannot get hearing aids’” she said.


“The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus is an important vehicle to raising the awareness of this health issue that affects so many at all ages,” said Cudahy.


“Representatives Latham and McCarthy are two integral players in furthering awareness of the issues pertaining to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities to our lawmakers, and NCRA applauds them and the work of the caucus. NCRA will continue to strongly support its efforts with its presence at important events like this one today, to ensure that CART providers and closed captioners are represented on Capitol Hill,” he added.


Last year, NCRA created Captioning Matters, a website to promote the value of broadcast captioning and CART captioning that is offered by many of its members. NCRA represents approximately 16,000 stenographic court reporters, broadcast captioners, CART providers, and legal videographers across the country and has been the preeminent national organization for making the record since its founding in 1899.


The ability to transcribe the spoken word very quickly has led to new opportunities, as stenographic court reporters began transitioning to the fields of broadcast captioning and CART captioning. Both offer the opportunity to transcribe the spoken word in different settings, whether it’s a sporting event, religious or civic service, news broadcast, or other form of entertainment. With more than 48 million Americans experiencing hearing loss in at least one ear, the need for broadcast and CART captioning has expanded greatly in recent years. For more information, visit


About the Congressional Hearing Caucus

The Congressional Hearing Health Caucus, a caucus of the United States Congress, was created in 2006. The focus of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus includes several aims that promote hearing health and encourage hearing health screenings for all Americans. Those most at risk for hearing-related concerns are newborns, infants, and the elderly, particularly if such issues are left undetected. Therefore, a primary goal of the Congressional Hearing Health Caucus is to see that auditory abilities of all Americans are screened, including universal hearing screening for newborns.  


About NCRA

The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is internationally recognized for promoting excellence among those who capture and convert the spoken word to text for more than 100 years. NCRA is committed to supporting its more than 16,000 members in achieving the highest level of professional expertise with educational opportunities and industry-recognized court reporting, educator and videographer certification programs. NCRA impacts legislative issues and the global marketplace through its actively involved membership. Forbes has named court reporting as one of the best career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the court reporting field is expected to grow more than 5 percent in the coming years. For more information, visit


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