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How Speech Recognition Has Revolutionized a Profession. Jennifer S. Smith, CVR President National Verbatim Reporters Association

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how speech recognition has revolutionized a profession

How Speech Recognition Has Revolutionized a Profession

Jennifer S. Smith, CVR


National Verbatim Reporters Association

speech solutions for court reporting
make it possible for voice reporters to dictate everything that is being said in a proceeding so that it appears in text on the computer screen in real timeSpeech Solutions for Court Reporting
where it all began
Where it all began . . .

Gregg Shorthand

Stenotype Machine (Manual)

Stenomask originally created

by Horace Webb in 1942

Stenotype Machine with

CAT Software

Stenomask with speech

recognition &CAT software

n v r a

The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA)

  • NVRA is the national authority for voice writing. We support our members with official testing and certification, marketing, news and information, legislative advocacy and professional development services
  • NVRA members document the official record of congressional hearings, court proceedings, administrative hearings, depositions, conferences and similar events and proceedings. Using state-of-the-art voice and stenographic methods, our reporters maintain the highest standards of speed and accuracy in the field of court reporting.
who is utilizing this technology
People trained and utilized by the United States military for many decades

College graduates who were trained as court reporters using the stenomask method via experienced mentors

Former stenography students who were mentored by stenomask reporters in the voice method

And most recently, people who are trained as court reporters and voice writers by accredited schools and schools seeking accreditation

Who is utilizing this technology?
why voice instead of other court reporting methods
Why voice instead of other court reporting methods?
  • Gregg shorthand reporters who wanted a better way and felt that voice was more intuitive than having to learn yet another shorthand language mid-career
  • Stenotype students that simply did not have the dexterity required to be fast enough at that method or working stenotype reporters who have suffered an injury and want to continue in the same profession
  • Scopists that were ready to move to the next level in their career
what is a stenomask reporter
What is a Stenomask Reporter?
  • Stenomask reporters classically used a Speech Silencer Mask connected to an analog recorder.
  • The Stenomask reporter would take copious notes while repeating every word spoken in the room.
  • Once takedown of the record was completed, the stenomask reporter would begin the transcription process which involved listening to the audio of her or his voice and typing out the record.
ready for the future

Ready for the Future ?


stenomask reporter evolution to voice writer
Stenomask reporter: Evolution to Voice Writer
  • Still using a Stenomask, known also as a speech silencer mask
  • Connected to a high-end business class laptop computer
  • Speech Recognition Engine (Dragon NaturallySpeaking or IBM’s ViaVoice.
  • Also recording a digital audio file, can record up to five external channels
  • Produce realtime text, which can be fed to a judge’s pc or the attorney’s pc. Can also be fed to a Scopist’s computer for 100% realtime.
  • Realtime via live Internet feed, webcasts, etc.
bottom line what is a court reporter
Bottom Line: What is a Court Reporter?

The Court Reporter









Keeper of the Record











career opportunities available because of speech solutions
Career Opportunities Available Because of Speech Solutions

With the integration of speech recognition technology into the traditional Stenomask method, doors have opened for voice writers.

Career opportunities are now available to voice writers that were once only available to stenotype reporters.

States are changing Legislation since technology has placed voice writers on an equal playing field with their stenotypists colleagues.

why is this important
Why is this important?

Voice writers now have career options:

  • CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation)
  • Broadcast Captioning
  • Live Webcasts
international markets opening
International Markets Opening
  • Speech Recognition technology for the court reporting profession has opened doors in court systems worldwide.
  • NVRA has become a member of Intersteno to help promote speech solutions for court systems.
  • Court Reporters in Italy, Germany, Australia, and many other countries utilizing speech recognition and the court reporting CAT software.





Speech Recognition

Is introduced

to the NVRA

at the


Convention in

Atlanta, Georgia

Over 5000

Voice Writers

around the world

work as Military

and deposition

reporters, Official

court reporters, CART providers, Captioners


Verbatim Reporters




formed for

stenomask reporters.

nvra mission statement
NVRA mission statement

NVRA advances the understanding, practice, education and professional standards of verbatim reporters

by promoting ethical behavior, professional development, educational opportunities

and support of individual reporters.

it s revolutionary
It’s Revolutionary!

Jennifer S. Smith, CVRPresidentNational Verbatim Reporters [email protected]