President's Message:

  

    

Dear Members,

Thank you to everyone who joined us in Naples for Waves of Change: Oceans of Opportunity. The resort was bright and vendor hall bustling with excitement. The speakers were engaging and informative. A big thanks to the generous sponsors who make it possible for FCRA to host such fantastic conventions. Congratulations to the Fundraising Committee, who not only made sure we had enticing baskets, but also raised $1,000 for Project Steno.

I joined FCRA as a student and have attended every convention since obtaining my FPR. The support and encouragement we receive from one another is priceless. Getting together and forming instant connections with those who share our work ethic and passion for the profession is incredibly special. As we look to the future, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to the integrity of the record. We should continue to sharpen our skills, find new opportunities for growth, and speak positively about the career that allows us to flourish professionally while taking care of our families.

My steno journey began in 2008. After graduating from UNF with an Anthropology degree and realizing I wouldn’t be off to the Peace Corps or teaching yoga in the Caribbean, I found myself at the Stenotype Institute, where I made lasting friendships and tested the boundaries of my own determination. Steno school felt like being in the middle of a vast ocean on an inflatable duck with only a spoon for a paddle. Just when I thought I reached my destination, a very special lady helped me navigate a voyage that was truly just beginning. Marie Splane, my mentor, is the model of grace and elegance. By demystifying realtime technology, Marie gave me the tools to better serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing students who were about to change my life.

When I stepped into the classroom as an onsite CART captioner, I immediately took on the role of advocate and became acutely aware that this world is designed to serve hearing people. It’s hard to call it a day at work, witnessing the minds of young people blossom while serving a purpose greater than myself. My machine takes me places where we celebrate diversity and inclusion. My name is Amy Yarbrough, and I am a stenographer.

In this digital age, we are consuming media in public places and quiet spaces. Content providers are becoming increasingly aware that subtitles are not just valued by those with hearing loss. Government mandate aside, providing access is the right thing to do, and you possess the ability to do it instantly. Not every stroke will be perfect, but the pursuit of perfection is not as important as building the bridge of communication. When the day comes that you are asked to realtime a wedding, a job interview, a eulogy, I hope you will not hesitate to serve as a conduit for someone you love.

This year’s convention theme was Waves of Change: Oceans of Opportunity. How much do we love our profession? Well, count the waves in the ocean. As we adapt to evolving technology, these waves of change are not the first we’ve endured. Recordkeepers have been around for as long as there has been language. Advances in technology have given us new opportunities to excel. We live in an age where you can deliver your realtime feed to a smartphone, and I encourage you to take the time to explore the technology that allows us to be realtime rock stars.

So many of you sacrifice your time to serve not only FCRA but our profession at large. Your wisdom, creativity, and support are what makes this association strong. I look forward to working with you as we recruit the next generation of reporters, strategize the path forward in Tallahassee, and protect the integrity of the record.

Amy Marie Yarbrough, FPR

President, Florida Court Reporters Association