The Open Steno community formed years ago. It gave us Plover, a free stenographic translation software, as well as several other projects, such as the StenoMod. In the words of Mirabai Knight, Open Steno’s founder, “steno is going strong…” The community also gave us Steno Arcade, a computer game dedicated to stenography.
The Plover Discord has reportedly reached over 4,000 members, or about 13% of our industry’s size. The steno video creator Aerick has over 1,000 subscribers on YouTube as of writing. The Uni Kickstarter has raised $50,000, more than double its $20,000 goal. If companies like Stenograph are unwilling to support our profession, professionals might consider joining forces with and funding Open Steno’s creators. Their ability to do more with less has been well documented over the last decade.
As more professionals join the Discord chatroom and community, and assist those teaching themselves, I expect the number of people entering our professional track from Open Steno and other self-paced initiatives to skyrocket. This use of non-traditional self-learners is exactly how computer programmers have addressed much larger shortage concerns. In our field this also means there’s a large pool of recruits unaccounted for by organizations like STTI and US Legal.
Readers that wish to donate to the Open Steno general fund and Mirabai Knight may do so here. Together, we will continue a nationwide recruitment surge, mentor and nourish our self-taught and traditional students and graduates, and pave the way to a future for stenographic court reporters.