This is the archive of information about past CSRAO Conventions and Annual General Meetings.

Please see Convention Sign-up Page to attend on Saturday, November 7, 2015

“THE CHANGING WORLD OF REPORTING”:  Motivation and Real-time   (CEU:  .15)

Presenter: Stanley Sakai, CSR, CCP is a 26-year-old Washington State certified shorthand reporter (CSR) and NCRA certified CART provider (CCP) living in New York City.  Originally fascinated with pen shorthand while studying at UW, he developed an interest in machine stenography after witnessing a CART provider working in one of his classes. After having received his bachelor’s in linguistics from the University of Washington, Seattle, he taught himself machine shorthand.  

Visit the web site for more news on Stan Sakai, CSR, CCP

As Stan describes his ‘Real-time From The Get-Go’, “I jumped right in to doing only real-time jobs. My first job was a biochemistry class no less. People ask me how I got my real-time good enough to CART in a year and a half and do broadcast captioning in two years’ time.  I kept myself accountable to make consistent progress without the guidance of a steno school.”

On the challenges and opportunities of our changing profession, Stan says, “I provided CART for a deaf student attending NYU who wanted to take an intensive German class. I knew almost no German then, but it was a beginner’s class, although it was to be taught almost exclusively in German. I had to create a dictionary from scratch after analysing sound patterns in German and creating a ‘theory’ for the American steno machine layout that both captured the sound combinations that do not exist in English, as well as have it not conflict with my English dictionary as the professor and students would switch back and forth on occasion without warning. So basically, I had to provide conflict-free, bilingual reporting. I had to come up with briefs in German, (SKPO*FRT = “und so weiter”, PW*FZ = “beziehungsweise”), handle capitalization issues, compound nouns, and deal with the vastly more complicated inflectional system of number, cases, and gender that no longer exists in English.”

“I will go over different techniques that I used to handle German using what I already know about steno as well as how I dealt with the switching back and forth with English.”


D’Arcy McPherson, CSR, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, CRI, CMRS, Managing Editor, Debates Services, Senate of Canada
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Minori Arai, CSR, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, RCR (B.C.), Parliamentary Reporter, Debates Services, Senate of Canada

Learn the challenges that face Parliamentary Reporters at the Senate of Canada. How does one prepare for the rigours of captioning and reporting the Speech from the Throne, the Debates of the Senate, Rulings of the Speaker or committee hearings? Why is it necessary to have two separate speaker designations for each of the 105 Senators?  What is Hansard?  Learn what skills, backgrounds and qualifications are sought in candidates for this intriguing work and what to expect during the hiring process. Find out about our ongoing professional development training and other resources.  Hear personal stories from the Managing Editor of Senate Debates as well as a Parliamentary Reporter about their experiences in Canada’s capital city, recording history as it’s made.

The objective of this seminar is to familiarize members of CSRAO with the unique reporting method in the Senate of Canada.  The Senate is a bilingual institution and has two teams of reporters (one English team, one French team), each reporter will write both the text for the Debates as well as captions for accessibility for viewing on-site and for external broadcast.  Senate reporters must go through an intensive hiring process that includes shorthand, editing, grammar and punctuation, current events, and writing style examination.  In addition, there is a behavioural competency interview process that each candidate must pass that is held before a three-member panel.

This seminar will address the various roles of the Senate reporter, potential challenges and peculiarities of reporting in Canada’s Parliament and all aspects of the hiring process.

“Keeping Current with IT”  (CEU:  .15)

Presenter:  Sean Docherty

Having worked with a variety of for profit and nonprofit organizations, Sean Docherty is an IT professional with 15 years’ experience.  Goal-oriented and collaborative IT Professional with proven success researching, planning, implementing and integrating cost-effective, high performance technical solutions to meet challenging business needs.

Having studied at Sheridan College and upgrading his skills as technologies and software advance, providing the best solution to the end user and customer has always been his primary goal.

Discussion will focus on:

  1. Windows 8 and Windows 10
  2. Computer Security
  3. Protecting your computer by Backing Up to the Cloud

With the advancements of computing hardware and the release of Windows 10 and so many people and companies still using Windows 8, Sean will be discussing some of the differences between the two operating systems and the advantages of moving to Windows 10.

It seems that with so many companies and even private individuals being hacked or compromised in some way, computer security is appearing in the news more and more. Sean will be talking about the different methods for protecting your valuable information and your computer.

What is your information worth? How much would it cost you to replace all of your information that you have lost? How much down time could you afford?

These are only some of the questions you need to ask yourself before and after you have a data lose. I will be discussing some of the different methods for protecting your data in the cloud and reducing data lose and down time restoring information.


Technical Updates

Eclipse Training with Christine Phipps
By Minori Arai, CSR, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP

One of the many benefits of attending the annual convention is the opportunity to learn new things from guest presenters and fellow reporters. This year we were lucky to have a very accomplished user and trainer of Eclipse, Christine Phipps.

One of the features of Eclipse that I hadn’t used, and which most interested me, was Connection Magic. Lisa Barrett, in the training session she gave at last year’s convention, whetted my appetite on the subject, and this year I came with questions ready!

Here at the Senate I have visions of using Connection Magic in confidential meetings when no transcripts are to leave the room. The only copy we leave is with the committee clerk, in draft form, on a secure USB memory stick. Until now, two writers have been going and switching off every 20 or 30 minutes, and the reporter who has just finished writing goes through and cleans up his or her notes. This often means that the last reporter to write feels some time pressure in the cleaning-up as the clerk waits for them.

Using Connection Magic, we will connect via a router and hard-line connections to create a local area network (LAN), with no connection to the Internet for security reasons. The non-writing reporter or scopist will be able to edit the shared document as it is being created, all while sitting right next to the writer. This will mean that the draft would be ready within minutes of adjournment and no switching off — brilliant.

I know in the freelance world many reporters are using Connection Magic to have a scopist off site — even in another country — editing as the document is being written, but I am under the impression that it has yet to be used in this very restricted LAN setting.

After some trial and error, some help from Advantage Software, collaboration with a few patient and generous colleagues, assistance from the Senate Information Systems Directorate and a supportive management team, we had it working in a test situation.

I’m looking forward to using this set-up in a real-life situation soon. Bring it on!

The Nortel Trial
By Cynthia Yan, Associate

Every court reporter has war stories, but when Kim Neeson and Deana Santedicola shared their experiences working on the Nortel trial at the 2014 CSRAO conference, the room was entranced. The Nortel Trial was the first of its kind, and it was history in the making for the court reporting industry.

The Nortel Trial was a cross-border trial that took place simultaneously both in Canada and the United States, with two courtrooms, two judges, and two judicial systems. Kim and Deana worked from the courtroom in Toronto, along with two American court reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, and provided real-time reporting and certified daily transcripts to the judges and lawyers in both Canada and the United States through the help of audio feeds and video-streaming. They dealt with challenging technological problems, ever changing lawyers, and the age-old problem of Canadian spelling versus American spelling.

Kim and Deana shared their joys and frustrations with the Nortel trial, and they also shared their tips on how they survived to tell their once-in-a-lifetime experience with this unique cross-border proceeding.

2014 CSRAO Seminar on Case CATalyst
By Danice Brown, Student

The Case CATalyst seminar was a great experience for me as a student and one I thoroughly enjoyed.  A Case CATalyst seminar is an experience any student would benefit from simply because of the limited amount of functionality on student software and because such a seminar opens up your eyes to what’s available once you become a professional.

As a student, I have seen how my understanding of Case CATalyst has grown as this is my second Case CATalyst seminar, and I have a better understanding of how everything works.  I have also seen how students further along in their steno journey have benefited because they learned something they didn’t know before about their own student software. For example, using a simple Function key to access the TrueStroke technology on the student software was very informational because it is another tool to help build your writing.  Software seminars are a great learning tool no matter where you are in your steno journey.
By Caroline Maslin, CSR & Kathy McMenemy, CSR

Our October 26th, 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Convention was one of the most well-attended conventions in years, and for good reason. We had a terrific lineup of seminars and speakers, both relevant and interesting to today’s reporters, whether they be well-seasoned reporters or reporters just beginning their careers.

The day had “something for everyone.” Both Stenograph and Eclipse representatives were on hand to give one-on-one attention to reporters with questions and to showcase recent advances in their software. In addition, seminars were given by Terry Wood and Lisa Barrett for Eclipse and Karen Peck for Stenograph. These seminars were enlightening and much appreciated by attendees.

Did we mention great food? Did we mention prizes?

Oh, yes. Great prizes ($100 gift certificates to local restaurants) were won by five lucky attendees and great food was served by the RCYC for lunch. Thank you to our sponsors – Atchison & Denman Reporting, Neeson Court Reporting, Network Reporting, Nimigan Mihailovich Reporting and Stenotran Reporting for their generous donations.

During lunch, Kim Neeson led an information session and discussion about multiple topics pertinent to court reporting which resulted in a lively debate. We could have spent a day discussing this item alone, top of mind being the future of our profession. Yes, my friends, of course we have a future. Stay positive!

The afternoon’s presentation by productivity consultant Ann Gomez was incredibly informative and funny – she captivated the audience by emphasizing how important it is to be well organized, especially in our line of work, as well as passing on some great tips.

At the end of the day, everyone was able to relax and enjoy some more delicious food and a well-deserved drink – congratulations to all CSRAO members for coming out and keeping our organization strong and ensuring its success!! Looking forward to the 2014 convention!


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