Note Taking

The Disability Resource Center coordinates a note-taking service for students whose documented disabilities impact on their abilities to take notes. Note-taker assistance is intended for a student's personal study use only and is not to be shared with other students. The provision of this service is considered a necessary academic accommodation and is essential for a student's full participation in each class.

How to avail of note-taking services at the DRC?
If you are a new incoming student, you must first make an appointment with the Disability Specialist to determine if note-taking will be an appropriate accommodation for your documented disability. After this decision has been made, you must take the following steps:

  • Pick up your service packet from the DRC (including instructor letters, note-taker contracts and note-taker announcements).
  • Present instructor letter to each instructor and ask for assistance, if needed, in identifying a note-taker.
  • After a note-taker has been identified, contact the note-taker to work out details of note exchange, etc.

What happens if the instructor makes the note-taker announcement and no one expresses interest?
If an announcement has been made in class and no one expresses interest, notify the Disability Specialist right away. The Disability Specialist will then work on coordinating an alternative classroom accommodation for you such as:

  • Working with the instructor to tape record lectures
  • Asking the instructor to provide you with his/her lecture notes

Please let the Disability Specialist know of your preference between the above alternatives.

How do I get my notes from the note-taker?
You must communicate with your note-taker in order to determine the preferred method for copying and receiving notes that works best for both of you. You have the following options:

  • You or your note-taker can pick up carbon paper at the DRC and your note-taker can use it when taking notes in class.
  • You or your note-taker can photocopy the notes at our office. Our office is open Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.
  • If your note-taker is typing notes on a laptop, he/she can email them to you within 24 hours.

Tips for students using note-taker services:

  • Maintain an open and ongoing communication with your note-taker about the quality of your notes.
    The relationship between you and your note-taker is very important! The note-taker is providing a service for you and is being paid for this service. It is important that you work with your note-taker to make these notes the best possible notes for you. Your feedback will help the note-taker know how to improve the notes they take. If you feel your notes are excellent and no improvements could be made, please tell your note-taker. Let him/her know they are doing a good job.
  • Keep in mind that note-taking is not a substitute for classroom attendance. Your note-taker is not required to give you a copy of his/her notes for lectures that you do not attend.
  • If you know in advance that you will be absent from class, notify the note-taker. More than 2 consecutive absences without good cause may result in discontinuation of note-taker services from the DRC.
  • Notify the Disability Specialist as soon as possible if: lecturer notes are available online and you no longer need a note-taker; you make changes to your lecture schedule; your instructor has been unable to recruit a note-taker; you have concerns arise regarding your notes.
  • You know your notes are adequate when:
    • They are legible
    • They include important information from lectures
    • They include information that was written on the board
    • They include information on homework assignments
    • You understand the note-taker’s abbreviations
    • They are made available to you within 24 hours of the class
  • What happens if your note-taker misses class?
    • Your note-taker is responsible for contacting you if he/she will be absent from class.
    • From the outset you and your note-taker should work out an appropriate arrangement for getting you your notes on days when your note taker may be absent. Suggestions include identifying another student as a back up note-taker or getting notes from your instructor.
    • Please keep in mind that note-takers, like all students, may have legitimate reasons for which they cannot attend class.

Tips for students providing note-taker services:
Note-taker provision is a mandated supportive service available through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to students with documented disabilities. Persons providing these note-taking services must be very responsible, reliable and prompt. If you are a note-taker or interested in being a note-taker, you must:

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