Topeka — Many people who heard Gov. Joan Finney's budget address Tuesday had opinions about what she said.
But Candy Braksick, an area stenographer, was paying more attention to how the governor said it.
"She's a great speaker," said Braksick, who transcribed the governor's speech in "real time" for the Kansas Court Reporters Assn.
During the 35-minute speech, Braksick sat at her Stenograph Smartwriter machine and transcribed Finney's address to 165 legislators and other state dignitaries gathered in the Kansas House chambers.
Bracksick, who won fame as the fastest stenographer in the country in 1990, typed Finney's spoken words into her steno machine. A computer hooked to the machine translated the steno language to English. The transcription appeared on a large screen behind Braksick for audience members to read and for television cameras to record.
BRAKSICK, who lives between Oskaloosa and McLouth, worked with the Kansas Court Reporters Assn. to set up the demonstration, which was designed to show new steno technology that can provide a service to people with hearing impairments.
After Finney's speech, Braksick said Tuesday wasn't the first time she had worked in the Statehouse she had served as a legislative page when she was younger.
"It's been a long time," she said.
Braksick said the governor spoke about 200 words per minute. That's a snap for the area stenographer, who has transribed 280 words per minute in national contests.
CONNIE UPHAUS, legislative chair of the court reporters' organization, said the new Americans with Disabilities Act that was approved by Congress requires that government employers, employees and operators of public facilities provide access for people with hearing impairments. "So we want to show people we have the technology to interact with the hearing impaired," Uphaus said.
The visually impaired can also take advantage of the new technology because the steno language can be translated into Braille, she said.
"We just want to be a service to the state," she said.