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 University uses a volunteer peer note-taking system to provide copies of class notes to students with disabilities. The Grizzly Testing and Learning Center (GTLC) will assist in coordinating the use of note-takers, 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. Note-takers are financially compensated for their services.
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 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.
It is helpful for faculty members to notify the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center when students receiving notes are absent from class. Peer notes do not substitute for class attendance. The Grizzly Testing & Learning Center does not provide notes for students who do not attend class, except possibly in the event of a medical absence or other verified emergency.
Arranging Note Taking Services
- The student must first be registered with the Office of Disability Services, and approved for note-taking services.
- The student with a disability must notify both the faculty member and either the Grizzly Testing and Learning Center of the need for note-taking services. In the GTLC 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 Accommodation Letter to instructors in appropriate classes to verify that the request for note-taking services is legitimate.
- Peer note-takers can photocopy their class notes at the GTLC office.
- 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 with the name and phone number of the note-taker, and the note-taker should the GTLC to register as a note-taker. If possible, a substitute note-taker should also be recruited.
- If notes are photocopied:
- Note-takers will photocopy their class notes at the GTLC office at least once each week.
- Note-takers will leave completed notes at the GTLC office.
- Students receiving notes will pick up photocopied notes from at GTLC.
- Only note-takers approved by the instructor and GTLC may photocopy notes in the GTLC office.
- Only class notes may be copied at 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 staff assist in this process.
- If the student determines that a note-taker is not needed in a class, the instructor and the Grizzly Testing & Learning Center notified immediately.
- Students receiving notes may not share these class notes other students.