Note-Taking Assistance

Smart Pen photoIf your disability impacts your ability to take notes in the classroom, the DPRC has a few options for you to explore so that you may have equal access to instruction. Eligible students may use any of the following options individually or in combination with each other. We encourage all students to speak with their disability specialist about the note-taking method that may be right for them. Keep in mind that note-taking accommodations are not a substitute for attending class and may change from semester to semester or class to class.

Note Taking Express is a free third party service that provides a set of typed notes from a professional note-taker to the user within 24-48 hours of uploading a lecture recording and is available for students to use on the very first day of class. Users can record lectures using an audio recorder or with the free Note-Taking Express app on their smartphone. This service assigns a consistent note-taker throughout the semester for the course, allows the user to upload photos of any visual materials from the lecture, or even upload power-points or videos shown in class. More information can be found on Note Taking Express’ website or in their How To Video.

To utilize this accommodation if approved, submit the Note-Taker Request form at the start of each semester, enter the applicable course information and select Note Taking Express.

Some students benefit from being able to type in-class notes to incorporate spell-check and built in layout templates for better organization. The DPRC can facilitate a conversation with any instructors concerned about the use of a computer in their lecture.

To utilize this accommodation if approved, show your RAV (Reasonable Accommodations Verification) to your instructor.

Volunteer note-takers enrolled in the same course as the DPRC student may be able to share a copy of their in-class notes. Note-takers can be recruited by the DPRC student or the DPRC office.   In most cases, the volunteer will then be eligible to receive access to priority registration for the following semester.

Notes can be shared by coming to the DPRC front desk to request that free photocopies be made of the notes, NCR (carbonless-copy paper) note-taking paper can be supplied at the DPRC front desk, or a picture or copy of the note-document can be emailed. For some DPRC students, it may be a necessary accommodation to receive a set of typed notes from the course. The DPRC can assist in facilitating this with the volunteer note-taker if need be.

In the event that a classmate is not available to share their notes within 2 weeks of the request date, the DPRC will contact you to determine if note-taking is still required for the course, or provide an opportunity to use Note-Taking Express or speak with a Disability Specialist to review other note-taking options.

To utilize this accommodation if approved, submit the Note-Taker Request form at the start of each semester, enter the applicable course information and select Volunteer Note-Taker (either DPRC recruit or self-recruit).

Some instructors may already have presentation materials such as lecture notes, a power-point shown in class to introduce concepts or other materials that may be used as a supplement to the students’ own notes for the course.

To utilize this accommodation if approved, meet with your disability specialist to facilitate a conversation with your instructor on how materials will be shared. Be prepared to show your RAV (Reasonable Accommodations Verification) to your instructor.

Audio-recording course meetings 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. Instructors are encouraged to contact the DPRC if they are concerned about the intended use of the recording. Audio-recording can be facilitated through a Smart Pen or with a borrowed audio recorder from the DPRC.

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.

To utilize this accommodation if approved, show your RAV (Reasonable Accommodations Verification) to your instructor. If using a Smart Pen, speak with a Disability Specialist for any training required. Audio Recorders and Smart Pens can be checked out from the DPRC Front Desk in SSB 110.

In some courses, it may be determined that the best method of receiving note-taking assistance is to have a DPRC employee attend class with the DPRC student to facilitate note-taking and/or additional assistance such as manipulating objects or viewing visual materials. DPRC students are encouraged to speak with their disability specialist about each course for which an Academic Assistant may be necessary as soon as possible to ensure necessary hiring and timesheet procedures can be adhered to, prior to the course start.

To utilize this accommodation if approved, meet with a Disability Specialist.