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COURT REPORTING

Voice Stenography

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What is it?

Voice stenography, or "stenomask voice writing," is a method of transcribing spoken language into written text in real-time using a specialized device known as a stenomask. It is a variation of stenography in court reporting but with a particular focus on achieving verbatim transcription.

How it works:

  1. Stenomask or Voice Mask: The voice stenographer wears a stenomask or voice mask, which is a soundproof mask that covers the mouth and contains a built-in microphone. The purpose of the mask is twofold: it reduces the voice stenographer's speech audibility, preventing disruption to the proceedings, and it captures the stenographer's spoken words for transcription.
     

  2. Listening to Spoken Words: The voice stenographer listens attentively to the spoken content, which may include courtroom proceedings, depositions, meetings, or other live events.
     

  3. Repeating Spoken Words: Our voice stenographers go beyond mere repetition by incorporating codes and verbal shorthand in addition to spoken words. Using the stenomask, they simultaneously repeat spoken words into the mask, ensuring real-time transcription.
     

  4. Voice Recognition and Transcription: The stenomask, intricately linked to the stenographer's specialized software, processes the spoken words. Innovative speech recognition algorithms embedded in the software transform not only the spoken language but also the coded and shorthand elements into accurate written text.
     

  5. Real-Time Display: The transcribed text is displayed in real time on a screen visible to the voice stenographer. This allows the stenographer to monitor the accuracy and completeness of the transcription as it occurs.
     

  6. Speaker Identification and Notations: Voice stenographers also insert speaker identifications and notations for relevant events that occur in court. into the transcript to provide a comprehensive record of the proceedings.
     

  7. Post-Transcription Editing: After the proceedings, the transcript undergoes further editing to correct any errors and enhance accuracy, ensuring that it meets legal transcription standards.

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A.B. 156

Recent legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in California is a significant development in the field of court reporting. This new law, A.B.156, allows the Court Reporters Board of California to grant licenses to voice writers to work as certified court reporters. This is a substantial shift from a previous law that prohibited the Board from issuing certificates to voice stenographers.
 

The primary objective of this legislative change is to address the ongoing challenge of meeting the high demand for certified court reporters in California. The shortage of qualified professionals in the field has put pressure on the courts, as the demand for court reporting services consistently surpasses the available supply. By opening up the opportunity for voice stenographers to obtain certification, the state aims to increase the pool of qualified individuals who can contribute to meeting this demand.
 

This legal shift recognizes the importance of adapting to advancements in transcription technology, including voice stenography, and integrating them into the court reporting profession. This forward-thinking step ensures continued effective and efficient functioning of the legal system by providing accurate and timely transcripts of proceedings. This change also presents new opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in court reporting, helping to address the ongoing shortage of professionals in the field.

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