Guidance on the Note Taking Accommodation

 

Note-taker

Like tape recording and copies of materials, note-takers assist students with a variety of disabilities to participate in class by focusing on faculty lectures. If a student requests this accommodation, they may choose to obtain a note-taker independently. However, in most cases, assistance in locating a note-taker will be needed.  The Office of Accessibility relies on students in the course to provide note-taking services and depends on Faculty to help with this process. It is important to note that a note-taker is in no way intended to lessen the student’s academic responsibilities and is not a means of absolving students from unexcused absences from class. The student’s Accommodation Specialist is always available for consultation should questions, problems, or concerns arise during any stage of this process.

Faculty Role:

If a student asks for assistance in locating a note-taker, you should:

  1. Announce the need for a volunteer note-taker to share notes. Due to confidentiality laws, the student requesting a note-taker has the right not to have his/her name disclosed. 
  2. If no one agrees to take notes, you may identify a student and ask him/her to participate.
  3. Contact the Office of Accessibility if several class periods have passed without identifying a note-taker in the course.
  4. Once a student agrees to take notes, you should facilitate the process for the exchange of notes. 
  • If the student receiving the notes is comfortable disclosing his/her identity, you can simply introduce the two students and allow them to make plans for the note exchange.
  • If the student with a disability wants to maintain confidentiality, arrangements need to be made so the student’s identity is kept confidential.  You can provide assistance with this process by separately arranging drop off of notes with the student note-taker and pick up of notes with the student needing notes. Some faculty members facilitate this process through their department’s administrative assistant. Another option is Notetake. It is a website allowing for electronic submission of notes. It provides a fast, easy way for all parties to facilitate the accommodation. The note taker simply uploads typed notes to the site and the student with the accommodation retrieves them at his/her convenience. To establish the note taker and student in Notetake, please contact our office.

 

Note-taker Responsibilities:

  • Note-takers should attend class regularly, thoroughly cover class material, make legible notes, and be willing to find a substitute should the need arise. 
  • The Office of Accessibility will provide NCR (blank, carbonless) paper for the note-taker or will copy the notes depending upon the note-taker’s preference. 
  • The Office of Accessibility will also provide verification of service and/or a letter of recommendation as requested by the note-taker.

 

Student Responsibilities:

  • The student with a disability is always encouraged to take his/her own notes. 
  • In the event the student is absent from class, notes need only be provided for those days at your discretion.
  • It is the student with a disability who is responsible for informing you that a note-taker is not taking adequate notes or is absent repeatedly. If this occurs, please work collaboratively with the student to find an alternate replacement note-taker if one is needed.
Assistant Director
Technology Specialist