Notetaking Assistance

Notetaking assistance is a classroom accommodation that is available to you if you have a permanent or temporary disability that may or may not be apparent or visible and impacts seeing, hearing, concentrating, processing information, sitting, or using writing/typing tools. The accommodation is provided so that you may have equal access to the academic program at SF State.  Keep in mind that it is not a substitute for attending class.

Reasonable Accommodations Verification

You become eligible notetaking assistance as a reasonable accommodation by documenting the need for this accommodation during the DPRC initial appointment process outlined on registering with the DPRC page. Once it is determined that you are eligible the accommodation it is added to your DPRC Reasonable Accommodation Verification document that you should share with your instructors.

Notetaking Options & Procedures

Eligible students can use any of the following options individually or in combination with each other.


Audio-recording lectures by eligible students for review after class is listed as an example of a reasonable accommodation within disability access law. As a courtesy, students are encouraged to inform instructors when audio-recording classroom instruction. A DPRC audio-recording agreement form can be completed with instructors concerned about the intended use of the recording.

Smart Pen

A Smart Pen contains a digital recorder allowing recording of everything written and heard. Following a lecture, tap anywhere on your notes to replay the audio from that moment in time. This is a strategic way to go back and fill in any gaps within your notes. Schedule an appointment with a DPRC specialist to request a referral for a training on how to use the pen. Pens are checked out to students for a semester at a time.

Volunteer Notetaker

When and if the Smart Pen is not a viable option for you in a particular course then you, or the DPRC, can recruit a student from your class to volunteer to share notes with you.  In most cases, your classmate will then be eligible to receive access to priority registration for the following semester. That is, sharing of notes in the current semester results in access to priority registration for the following semester.

The volunteer classmate will be expected to share class notes with you from the beginning of the semester, regardless of when the recruitment was completed. You can bring a classmate to the DPRC front desk to request that free photocopies be made of the notes. The other option is to use the NCR (carbonless) notetaking paper supplied for free by the DPRC which is also available at the front desk.


You can elect to have the DPRC recruit a classmate on your behalf to voluntarily share class notes. This process may take 1-2 weeks to complete.  In the event that a classmate is not available to share their notes, the DPRC will let you know and then post a position for an out-of-class note-taker on Gator Jobs.