Washington, DC —Yesterday Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize a grant program encouraging careers in realtime writing and court reporting. Rep. Kind introduced the Training for Realtime Writers Act in 2007, which established this grant program and was signed into law as part of the Higher Education Act of 2008.    

This grant program allows universities and colleges to apply for funding specifically to help encourage more students to pursue a career in realtime writing, closed captioning, or court reporting. Court reporters and captioners play a critical role in our society by converting spoken word to text that can be read, streamed, broadcast, searched, and archived. Around 48 million Americans are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and many rely on captioning services for news and information.    

“From ensuring every citizen can stay up to date on today’s 24-hour news cycle to maintaining the integrity of our democracy, realtime writers are critical to folks across Wisconsin and the nation,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “For over a decade, this program has helped encourage a new generation of realtime writers to enter this vital field, and I’m proud to work across the aisle with my colleague Rep. Davis to continue to increase awareness and interest in this profession.”   

“The Training for Real-Time Writers grant is an important grant program that ensures we have the necessary resources to train court reporters and captioners for the estimated 48 million Americans who are deaf or impacted by hearing loss,” said Rep. Rodney Davis. “These funds have been incredibly successful in training the current generation of captioners and court reporters by modernizing curriculums, developing new captioning-specific programs, and increasing attendance at institutes of learning through student recruitment, scholarships, advertisements, equipment upgrades, and distance learning programs. I’m proud to be re-introducing this legislation to reauthorize this program with my colleague, Rep. Kind, and look forward to working to ensure it is included as the House tackles Higher Education Reauthorization this Congress.”  

“The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) is honored to once again work with Congressman Ron Kind and Congressman Rodney Davis on the reintroduction of the Training for Realtime Writers Act. This critical bill will train stenographic realtime writers to provide closed captioning services to the millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, as well as everyone else who utilizes captioning in America. Passage of this bipartisan bill will help provide equal access to all Americans. NCRA thanks Congressman Ron Kind and Congressman Rodney Davis for their leadership in once again advocating for the rights of the deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who rely on closed captioning,” said Dave Wenhold CAE, PLC, NCRA Executive Director 

Read the bipartisan bill here.  

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