Monthly Archives: February 2014

National Court Reporting and Captioning Week is February 16-22, 2014

SDS Opening Lisa Johnston 6-26-13

Caption writers do wonderful work to help better the lives for millions of Americans who are deaf and hard-of-hearing by providing captioning in real-time for live sporting and theater events, church services, movie houses, and many other venues.

Did you know:

  • Capturing the record of important proceedings dates back to the fourth century B.C.
  • The ampersand (&) is one of the earliest forms of shorthand.
  • There are official court reporters that are employees of the court, freelance court reporters, broadcast caption writers, and CART caption writers — Communications Access Realtime Translation – (often employed in classroom settings to assist students who are deaf and hard-of-hearing).
  • In an emergency situation, broadcast caption writers can provide vital information to 48 million Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Court reporters and caption writers use cutting edge technology to bring the spoken word accurately to text in real time.
  • The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics considers court reporting a career that will have an increasingly high demand for jobs well into the future and estimates a growth rate of 14 percent between now and 2020.
  • Annual salaries of court reporters and caption writers can reach upwards of $80,000.
  • Court reporting and captioning does not require a traditional four-year degree, so students of this career choice are often out in the workforce quicker than their collegiate counterparts.

For a free demonstration of how caption writers can make your organization’s meetings, conference calls, training classes, and web-based meetings accessible to persons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, please send an email message to

For more information, please visit the National Court Reporters’ Association website, and for more information.

Why Derrick Coleman Inspires Me

Derrick Coleman Photo - Life Is On

Is there a person in the United States who has not heard the amazing story of Derrick Coleman?

I am not a sports fan, I don’t watch a lot of television, and I am not plugged in to YouTube or Twitter very much.  But, when a friend sent me a YouTube link to the amazing Duracell commercial, it stopped me in my tracks.

Before the Duracell commercial went viral, very few people knew Coleman was deaf.  His coach and team mates made no special accommodations for his hearing loss as he went about his business of being the very best Special Teams player he knew how to be.  His integrity, determination, and will to win impressed his Seattle Seahawks coaches during the 13 games he played at Seattle prior to the Super Bowl.  Coach Pete Carroll put the second-season player in the Big Game.  Coleman made the first tackle of the Super Bowl during the game’s opening kickoff.  and the rest, as they say, is history.

What is so intriguing to me is how Coleman’s world has become large enough to impact others and to make their world a better place.  It is not all about Derrick Coleman.  It is about using celebrity for the greater good.   “Any opportunity I get, I always cherish it,” the 6-foot, 233-pound Coleman recently told the New York News.  “You only get so many opportunities in a lifetime.  This is one of them that I definitely don’t want to squander, I definitely don’t want to pass up.”

Colman and the Starkey Foundation teamed up to hand out hearing aids to 100 New Yorkers at Yankee Stadium the day before the Super Bowl.  New Yorkers with hearing loss came from all over the city and were fitted by hearing healthcare professionals at the stadium!    Coleman even got some new hearing devices for himself!  Coleman reached out to the family of a young girl who wrote a letter to him after seeing the Duracell Commercial.  The young girl and her identical twin both had hearing loss.  Not only did they get to meet their hero on Good Morning America, but their hero presented them with Super Bowl tickets for them and their entire family!

I am inspired by this.  Coleman’s hard work and perseverance has paid off handsomely for him.  And yet, he has not forgotten where he came from and what he went through to get there.  As a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community, I am thrilled and proud, and oh-so-happy for what Coleman is doing with his newly-found celebrity.  He is showing the world that persons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing can do everything except hear.  His rising tide is lifting all of our boats.  Thank you, Derrick Coleman!