Note-taking Services

Students with documented disabilities that affect their ability to take class notes may be eligible for note-taking services. Examples of disabilities that may affect note-taking ability include, but are not limited to, learning, visual, hearing, and physical disabilities.

Adams State uses a volunteer peer note-taking system to provide copies of class notes to students with disabilities. The Grizzly Testing and Learning Center or the Office of Student Support Services will assist in coordinating the use of notetakers, but the faculty members in the classes in which notes are needed are usually the primary recruiters of volunteer note-takers. When recruiting volunteers, it is important for the faculty member to keep in mind that permission must be obtained from the student with a disability before that student's identity can be disclosed to a note-taker.

There are several ways to recruit volunteer note-takers: (a) The faculty member or the student with a disability may already know students in class who can serve as a note-taker; (b) after observing students for the first couple of days, the faculty member may have a better idea of students who may be able to serve as good note-takers; or (c) the faculty member can make an announcement in class asking for volunteers. A public announcement is the least preferable way to recruit note-takers; even though the identity of the student with a disability is not disclosed, this type of announcement can be very uncomfortable for some students with disabilities. In some cases the Grizzly Testing and Learning Center or Student Support Services may be able to identify a note-taker who could accompany the disabled student to class to take notes.

When recruiting note-takers, it may be helpful for the faculty member to talk about the benefits of becoming a note-taker. Note-takers often say that their class attendance and the quality of their notes improve when serving as a note-taker. Also, the volunteer note-taking experience is a good addition to a resume. A handout with tips for note-takers is available from Student Support Services, #1 Petteys Hall.

It is helpful for faculty members to notify the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center and/or Student Support Services (SSS) when students receiving notes are absent from class. Peer notes do not substitute for class attendance. Neither the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center nor SSS provide notes for students who do not attend class, except possibly in the event of a medical absence or other verified emergency.

The following are things to know about arranging note-taking services:

  • The student with a disability must notify both the faculty member and either the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center or Student Support Services of the need for note-taking services. In the SSS office, a "Request for Note-taking Services" form for each class in which a note-taker is requested must be completed.
  • The student will give an "Academic Accommodation Letter" to instructors in appropriate classes to verify that the request for note-taking services is legitimate.
  • Notes can be supplied in three ways:
    1. Instructors can provide copies of their lecture notes, transparencies, etc., to the student.
    2. Peer note-takers can photocopy their class notes at the SSS office.
    3. Peer note-takers can use NCR (no carbon required) paper supplied by SSS.
  • If a peer note-taker is used to provide class notes, the instructor should recruit a volunteer from the class as soon as possible so that services can be provided in a timely manner. The instructor should provide the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center and/or Student Support Services with the name and phone number of the note-taker, and the note-taker should contact the one of these offices to register as a note-taker. If possible, a substitute note-taker should also be recruited.
  • If notes are photocopied:
    1. Note-takers will photocopy their class notes at the SSS office at least once each week.
    2. Note-takers will give the notes to either the professor, or they may leave them at the SSS office.
    3. Students receiving notes will pick up photocopied notes either from the professor at the SSS office.
  • If notes are taken on NCR paper, students can obtain a copy of the notes in two ways:
    1. After each class, the note-taker will give the notes to the instructor, and the instructor will give the notes to the student with a disability.
    2. If the student with a disability has given permission to be identified to the note-taker, the note-taker can give the notes directly to the student.
  • Only note-takers approved by the instructor or Student Support Services (SSS) may photocopy notes in the SSS office.
  • Only class notes may be copied at the SSS office or the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center. Homework, papers, study guides, etc., may not be copied.
  • Students receiving notes are responsible for notifying the instructor if the notes are of poor quality or not supplied on a regular basis. The instructor should contact the note-taker and, if necessary, recruit an alternate note-taker. The student or the instructor may request that the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center or SSS staff assist in this process.
  • If the student determines that a note-taker is not needed in a class, the instructor, the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center, and SSS should be notified immediately.
  • Students receiving notes may not share these class notes other students.