Monthly Archives: July 2014

ACS Proud to Support National Court Reporter’s Association

NCRA logoThe National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is a national professional association of court reporters, real-time caption writers, and CART providers.  ACS has been a proud supporter of the NCRA for many years.  Business Development Manager (and CART consumer) Valerie Stafford-Mallis is currently serving on the NCRA CART Ethics Committee to  make sure the voice of the deaf and hard-of-hearing consumer is heard.

The largest annual gathering of these professionals will take place later this week in San Francisco as they meet for the NCRA 2014 Annual Convention and Exposition at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square from July 31 through August 3, 2014.

NCRA 2014 Convention

There will be seminars, workshops, networking events, and other opportunities for court reporters and captioning and CART professionals to meet and learn more about what is on the horizon in our industry.

Last year ACS submitted a presentation proposal that was accepted on how to seamlessly utilize CART and platform sign language interpreting at the same event.  The material was presented dramatically in a skit and received rave reviews.   To request a copy, please send an email to

Speed and real-time contests are held to showcase the talents of some of the best steno writers in our business.  Owner/Manager Mike Cano competed last year.    Mike placed 4th in one leg of the contest and 13th in the second leg.  This gave him an overall national ranking of 12th place (out of over 21,000 writers in NCRA).    ACS sets the bar high and it shows!

NCRA photo 2

Most people in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community are probably aware of this, but many people do not know that the highest quality real-time captioning on television is done by people utilizing court reporter stenography skills.  Software cannot come close to matching the skill of these highly trained broadcast caption writers. Certified Broadcast Captioners (CBC) must pass a rigorous written exam testing their knowledge of subject matter AND a skills test in which they must caption in real-time for 5 minutes at 96% accuracy at speeds of up to 180 Words Per minute.  ACS requires its caption writers to be able to caption at speeds of up to 225 Words Per minute with a 98.5% accuracy rate.

Because people in the broadcast television industry and the business world will still continue to need captioning services, there will probably be some captioning and remote CART provided from hotel rooms of ACS broadcast caption writers attending the Conference. 

So when you watch your favorite live television show this week, you might wonder where that caption writer is.  Is he or she working from a hotel room in San Francisco?


Blog Portions Adapted From: COMMENTS FROM A CART OPERATOR – continuing series – DeafDigest – Blue Edition – July 27, 2014




In Memoriam Lija Angela Yu Yin Hyssong 7-3-2014

Lija Hyssong

Lija Angela Yu Yin Hyssong, 16-year-old daughter of Angie and Phil Hyssong and sister of Zoe Hyssong, died suddenly July 3rd after a brief illness.   Lija is survived by her loving parents, Angie and Phil Hyssong, her dear sister Zoe, and fond grandmother, Carmen H. Kaesmeyer.  Lija was the beloved niece of nine aunts and uncles.  She brought much joy and light into the lives of many cousins, relatives, and friends during her life.  Lija walked with Christ while on Earth, and she is with Him now.  She received her reward. 

Lija was born in Xing Yi, China, and was adopted by Angie and Phil Hyssong December 5, 1999.  She attended St. John’s Lutheran School, Glenn Westlake Middle School and was a sophomore at Glenbard East High School, where she was a cheerleader.  Lija’s Christian faith defined her life.  She was active in S.O.A.R. (the Youth Group at St. John’s) and had been on several mission trips with them.  She was a member of China Sisters and was a volunteer at NEDSRA, an organization that provides special recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Because ACS is a family, we wanted to share information about Lija’s funeral arrangements with you.  Visitation will be held Friday, July 11th, from 2-9 PM at Brust Funeral Home, 135 S. Main St., Lombard, IL.  Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 12th, at 11 AM at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 215 S. Lincoln Ave., Lombard, IL.

A scholarship fund is being set up to honor Lija’s love for education.   In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial donations be sent to P. O. Box 278, Lombard, IL  60148. 

ACS Supports Team Member’s Professional Development


ACS just sent me to an incredible, one-week program at the University of Washington. The Minority Business Executive Program is designed to teach business owners and managers to lead their organizations through current and future business challenges. Microsoft sponsored my tuition and ACS sponsored my travel expenses and time away from the office.  The UW Office of Student Disabilities Services made sure I had a CART writer at my side providing communication access throughout the entire program.   You can see her next to me in the picture below.


We learned to utilize financial tools to make more effective decisions, develop and understand long-term strategic plans for growth and sustainability, market our products and services more effectively, manage our processes and projects more efficiently and develop our leadership skills. And we had a little fun along the way.

The MBE Program put 32 of us through a combination of lectures, discussions, guest speakers, panels, interactive simulations, team exercises, and self-assessments. We gained knowledge, tools, and a valuable network to help us achieve business goals.  It was an intense week from 4:00 PM Sunday evening until 6:00 PM Friday evening.  We had evening group assignments, lunches and learns, and working breakfasts. The bonds of friendship formed immediately and we learned so much from each other.

Class Portrait

Commencement finally rolled around Friday evening.  Here I am proudly receiving my Certificate of Completion from Faculty Member Bill Bradford.


ACS truly is “the Alternative” . The ACS management team recognizes each individual in the service delivery process, letting each do their job to the best of their ability.  An individual’s professional growth and development is taken very seriously here at ACS.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank Phil Hyssong and Mike Cano for making it possible for me to be a part of this fabulous professional development experience.  I look forward to using what I learned to grow the company and to better serve our clients.