TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court issued a proclamation today recognizing February 10 through 17 as National Court Reporting and Captioning Week and encouraged all Kansans to join the state court system in its observance of the week.

"In ancient Egypt, scribes were considered the literate elite, recording laws and other important documents," said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. "Since that time, scribes have served as impartial witnesses to history, including when America's founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights."

Today, court reporters and captioners are present in Congress, preserving members' words and actions, and in courtrooms nationwide.

They are also responsible for closed captioning on television, at sporting events, and in other community and educational settings, bringing information to millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing people every day.

"Court reporters and captioners, like their scribe predecessors, play an important role in capturing and preserving court proceedings and in preserving our nation's history," Nuss said. "They truly are guardians of the record, and I invite my fellow Kansans to join with me to recognize their important contributions."

Danielle Murray, an official court reporter for Johnson County District Court and president of the Kansas Court Reporters Association, said she hopes the proclamation helps publicize the need for more court reporters and captioners.

"Court reporters play a vital role in our system of justice in the state of Kansas, and we are experiencing a shortage of qualified court reporters in our state," she said. "We have many unfilled positions, and it is our hope that this week will bring awareness to the profession and help get students into our court reporting schools and eventually fill our positions."

For more information about the organization, go to www.kcra.net.

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