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NCRA shares best practices at HLAA convention

July 1, 2014

 Educational session focuses on compliance with FCC regulations


VIENNA, Va., July 2, 2014— The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, broadcast captioners, and CART captioners, was represented at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Annual Conference held June 26 - 29 in Austin, Texas, during a session that focused on captioning quality as it relates to recent legislative and regulatory measures that have advanced through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

NCRA member Carol Studenmund, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, co-founder of LNS Captioning in Portland, Ore., and chair of NCRA’s Captioning Community of Interest, was joined by Adam Finkel, NCRA assistant director of government relations and co-chair of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Alliance. NCRA has long worked closely with HLAA through its involvement with the Alliance. 

The educational session provided attendees with a history of captioning laws and regulations, as well as best practices for ensuring live captioning quality as the broadcast industry comes into compliance with recently approved new FCC regulations. The new regulations require program creators and distributors to make their best effort to insure that captions are accurate, synchronous, complete, and do not obscure important information. The new regulations also apply to online video shows that originated on television.

“I could not have been more pleased to represent NCRA at the Hearing Loss Association’s Annual Convention. It was incredible to be able to connect with so many fierce advocates for broadcast captioning and CART captioning, and to brainstorm ways to help make these services more readily available to consumers across the country. The topic of the FCC’s captioning quality guidelines attracted great interest and numerous questions from attendees,” said Finkel.

During the session, Studenmund and Finkel cited best practices supported by NCRA which urge captioning companies to provide periodic quality reviews of individual captioners, alert clients immediately if a technical issue arises, and respond in a timely manner to issues raised by clients or viewers.

According to Studenmund, who also serves as vice chair and commissioner of the Mount Hood Cable Regulatory Commission in Portland, many captioning companies are pleased with the new FCC regulations as well as the increase in the number of broadcast stations that are now offering live captioning instead of the electronic newsroom technique which can often lead to confusing or incorrect translations. Early feedback indicates that the use of live captioners for broadcasts has led to many improvements in the quality of captions being included in broadcasts, she added.

“Comments about the session from attendees were very positive and it was a great opportunity for us to answer specific questions about the new FCC guidelines with our consumers,” Studenmund said.

“The attendees told us that they plan to provide feedback to their local television stations and to the FCC in the coming months in order to help the process provide the best possible captions to themselves and to their community,” Studenmund noted.

NCRA member Deanna Baker, FAPR, RMR, from Flagstaff, Az., provided CART services for HLAA’s event for the 22nd consecutive year. Other NCRA members recruited by Baker who also volunteered to provide CART captioning of the sessions included: April Balcombe, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, Austin, Texas; Jana Colter, RMR, CRR, CCP, CBC, Louisville, Ky.; Diane J. Humphrey, Conifer, Colo.; Michelle M Lemke, RPR, CRR, CCP, Leander, Texas; Karyn D. Menck, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, Nashville, Tenn.; Darlene E. Pickard,RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, Marysville, Wash.; Sharon K. Vivian, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, South Milwaukee, Wis.; and Mike Cano, RMR, CRR, CBC, CCP, Odessa, Fla.


About HLAA 

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 48 million or 20 percent of Americans have some degree of hearing loss making it a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss. HLAA is working to eradicate the stigma associated with hearing loss and raise public awareness about the need for prevention, treatment, and regular hearing screenings throughout life. HLAA has an impact on communication access, public policy, research, public awareness, and service delivery related to hearing loss. Its national support network includes an office in the Washington, D.C. area, state organizations, and HLAA chapters and state associations across the country. HLAA brings consumers and policy makers together to learn about communication access at the national, state, and local levels. HLAA staff works at the national level to effect legislation that impacts people with hearing loss, including funding for hearing aids and cochlear implants, communications access in public places, or other important issues. For more information, visit

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 by 14 percent through the year 2020. For more information, visit

For information about captioning, visit Career information about the court reporting profession—one of the leading career options that do not require a traditional four-year degree—can be found at