We’re continuing our celebration of Court Reporting & Captioning Week by shining the Stenograph Spotlight on LeAnn M. Hibler, IL-CSR; NCRA-CRR, CRC, RMR. LeAnn is a talented CART captioner in our home state of Illinois. Thanks to LeAnn for giving us a little insight into her life and career. Keep up the great work, LeAnn! We’re proud to serve you.
How long have you been a court reporter or captioner? I started my career in 1987 as a freelance court reporter and enjoyed 13 years at an agency. I then started my CART captioning career in 2000 and have been mostly captioning ever since.
What led you to a career in stenography? After graduating from high school, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career. I learned about a court reporting school in my community, so I looked into it. I had a typing class as a sophomore in high school which I loved, and I knew I preferred English subjects over math subjects. It was a natural fit for me and the rest is history!
What is the most rewarding part of your career? As a young freelance reporter, I really enjoyed working in my own legal community. I liked to dress professionally and I made many friends who were lawyers. When I decided to leave the court reporting agency and work in the captioning world, I knew I didn’t want to work from home and not see people, so I chose onsite CART captioning in the Chicago area. I must say I do love working in and learning about the disability community.
What advice would you give a prospective student looking to enter the profession? Carefully assess your natural skills, your personality, and under what circumstances you work best. Don’t just look at the possible income. You will be learning a new skill. It takes dedication and time. But if you are able to achieve your stenography goals, your career choices are numerous, i.e. freelance, official, captioning either CART or broadcast, self-employed or employee. And please get involved with your professional associations. Best networking move you’ll ever make.
What was the best job you’ve ever taken or show you’ve captioned? Gosh, a “best job.” That’s so tough because there isn’t just one that stands out. The “best” thing about my job is the plethora of information that flows into my ears and out my fingers. Only some of it lingers in my brain! But so many times I have “ah-ha” moments because of what I’m hearing. It’s just amazing! And it continues every day, year after year.
What was the most important thing you learned in 2020? That I needed a new office chair!! Seriously, I’ve never sat in this chair so many hours ever!
What is the best show you watched on Netflix in 2020? Hmmmm. I’ve only recently started watching anything on Netflix. I was encouraged to watch “Outlander” which was going along swimmingly until I watched an episode of “Bridgerton” lately and, honestly, I like it better because I can understand what they are saying more easily! Hey, it’s hard to watch something for pleasure if I’m constantly trying to understand their English. That’s too much like work!
Do you have pets? Oh, yes, I do have my pets. Both of them are rescues. My dog Sheba is a Belgian Malinois and my cat Juno is black. I’m not sure which one rules the roost around here, but the cat loves to snuggle up to the dog who doesn’t find it particularly enjoyable!