Shortage Of Stenographers And Technology Advancements Are Redefining Court Reporting Industry

WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA – October 22, 2019 – The court reporting business has a new industry organization that was announced today.  The Speech-to-Text Institute (STTI) is a non-profit organization that seeks to help lead an industry that is experiencing fundamental, transformative changes. STTI members will include businesses and practitioners from across the speech-to-text industry, including businesses and practitioners that come from stenography, voice writing, digital reporting and videography backgrounds.

“There are two catalysts altering the court reporting industry and creating the need for STTI,” said Jim Cudahy, the organization’s inaugural executive director who previously served in the same role for the National Court Reporters Association. “The first catalyst is the improvements and innovations of multiple technologies capable of meeting the threshold standard of accuracy needed to work in legal environments. The second is a profound shortage of stenographic court reporters, which promises to become more acute as time elapses. STTI aims to be a leader in the transformation of the speech-to-text industry, connecting the needs of consumers of speech-to-text services with the businesses and practitioners that provide them.”

Documented Stenographer Shortage and What to Do About It

Industry reports predicted five years ago a severe shortage of 5,500 stenographers nationwide by 2018. STTI now predicts that the shortage will grow to more than 18,000 by 2028 further stressing the court system.

While court systems have embraced technologies such as voice writing, digital recording, and videography in blended systems for making the record, stenography has remained the dominant technology within pre-trial depositions. The stenographer shortage has compelled firms to adjust their models, with firms traditionally using an all-stenographer workforce now integrating digital reporters and voice writers into their teams.

“The challenges to address the stenographer shortage are significant and need a collaborative approach to solve,” said Cudahy. “Business and schools can’t do this on their own. We need to work with schools, firms, suppliers and practitioners from across the industry, representing all technologies, to collaborate on setting cross-technology standards, recruiting a multi-technology workforce and doing all that is necessary to protect the integrity of the legal record.”

STTI addresses the need in the legal industry for a leadership organization to work cooperatively to establish best practices across all technologies for capturing and converting the spoken word to text; to serve as a reliable source of information and to engage with court reporting firms, businesses, educational institutions, practitioners, suppliers and consumers to ensure the integrity of the legal record.

About STTI

Speech-to-Text Institute (STTI) is a non-profit organization formed by leaders from across the industry united in the belief that uncompromising quality should be a requirement for all speech-to-text enterprises and practitioners and that no single technology holds exclusivity on such quality. STTI believes that reliance on a fair and accurate record of legal proceedings to be a fundamental component of our legal system.  Today’s market requires the use of stenographers, voice writers, digital reporters and videographers, all with the ability to harness emerging technologies as they prove capable of serving a role in the uncompromising legal environment.


Bob Olson
Virtual Inc.
[email protected]

Sinead Carthy
Virtual Inc.
[email protected]