Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Note-Taking Assistance

Students who are authorized by their counselor for note taking assistance can obtain class notes in a number of ways. Discuss with your Access Specialist the pros and cons of each method for accessing class materials. 

Audio Recordings/Livescribe Smartpen

Some students find that audio recording lectures is an effective technique for obtaining lecture material. Helpful tips for recording:

  • Inform the instructor that you will be using an audio recorder in their class as an approved accommodation. If instructor has a concern, provide your note-taker letter (available from your Access Specialist).
  • Some aspects to consider when choosing an audio recorder are (1) size of the recorder, (2) number of tracks, (3) internal/external mic, and (4) memory. Our office recommends the Sony ICD PX-333 or Olymbus VN-722.
  • Place the audio recorder or yourself at the front of the classroom, close to the professor. This can eliminate some of the background noise and makes the tapes easier to listen to later.

Volunteer Note-Taker

Many students identify another student in their class to share their notes. Disability Services provides a small stipend ($25/credit hour) to volunteer note takers. There are several ways to locate a volunteer note taker in your class.

  • As a student, you may know or observe someone in your class who takes comprehensive class notes. Ask this person if s/he is willing to serve as note taker.

  • If you are unable to secure a volunteer or you feel uncomfortable approaching another student, the instructor can be of assistance in finding a volunteer. You can obtain a letter from Student Life Disability Services requesting that the instructor assist you in locating a note taker. The instructor should make an announcement in class requesting that a student volunteer come forward, without identifying who you are. Once a volunteer has come forward, the instructor will facilitate a meeting of you and the note taker.

Once you have secured the volunteer note taker, both you and the note taker decide how you will obtain the notes. Some suggestions include:

  • If the note taker takes digital notes (such as in a Microsoft Word document), the note taker can send the notes to you via email.

  • Providing the volunteer with NCR notepads, which is carbonless paper that creates duplicates of each page of notes. These notepads can be obtained from the Disability Services at no cost.

  • Bring the notes to Disability Services to be photocopied or scanned/emailed for free on a regular basis.

If you have any difficulties in securing a note taker or obtaining the notes, please immediately contact your Access Specialist.

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