Note-Taking Assistance

Students who are registered with Student Disability Services (SDS) and whose disabilities affect their ability to capture lecture material while attending class can receive notetaking assistance.

College Students

SDS determines requests for notetaking assistance through an interactive process. Requests will be assessed on a class-by-class basis, with a review of how the course is taught, how your disability affects the ability to capture the lecture material, how notes will be used to support the learning objectives of the course, and the course materials provided by the instructor.

Notes and/or recordings are for your use only and are not to be shared with other individuals. You may be asked to sign an agreement stating the terms of use of recordings.

Notetaking assistance is offered in several ways based on the nature of your access needs. You and your assigned SDS staff member will determine the appropriate notetaking option for each course.

Graduate Students

The procedure for notetaking assistance is specific to your academic division. Students approved for notetaking assistance that requires the hiring of a notetaker or recording of lectures should meet with their area Disability Liaison at the beginning of the quarter to discuss implementing the accommodation.

Options for Notetaking Assistance

The Student Disability Services Office offers advice and support for a number of notetaking options including apps, software, and tools to assist you with making the choice that will be the best fit your notetaking needs in various courses.

Notetaking Apps

There are countless notetaking apps for smartphones, tablets, and computers that make notetaking effective for all learning styles. Please see the guide linked below for popular options that offer support for written, typed, and audio notetaking, in a variety of styles and interfaces. The SDS staff are available to offer advice about these apps and help you get started using a notetaking tool. You can find the apps featured in this guide, and many other apps, on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store where you can learn more about features, read reviews, and download.

Notetaking Recording Tools

Students may be approved to record lectures to fill in content that was missed in class. Portable devices with recording capabilities, such as iPads, cellphones, and laptops, are most frequently used for recording. SDS has loaner digital recorders that students can borrow and use to record lectures.

Livescribe Smartpen: The Livescribe 3 Smartpen allows you to simultaneously record audio as you take written notes.  The pen also allows you to create a digital version of your handwritten notes and recording by syncing your handwriting and audio file to a mobile device using the Livescribe+ app via Bluetooth. Qualifying students can borrow a pen from SDS.

Peer Notetakers

Peer notetakers are approved when notes cannot be adequately captured using other notetaking options or with instructor-provided materials to support learning. Please attend several sessions of the class to assess the best option for notetaking assistance. If a peer notetaker is needed, submit a request for a peer notetaker using the following steps:

  1. Log in to the AIM Student Portal.
  2. Click on “List Accommodations” on the left-hand side of the screen and select the course(s) for which you would like to request notetaking.
  3. Click “Step 2: Continue to Customize your Accommodations.”
  4. Below each course, you will see the accommodation options that you can request for each course. Select notetaking for each course and click “Submit Your Accommodations Requests.”
  5. You will receive an email notification from AIM asking you to confirm your request. You can also log into AIM and confirm your request under the “Notetaking Services” tab on your dashboard. If the request is not confirmed within 48 hours, it will be automatically cancelled.

Once the request is confirmed, we will proceed with recruiting a peer notetaker. To access your notes, you will return to the AIM Student Portal to download the notes.

  1. On the left-hand side of the dashboard under “My Accommodations,” select the “Notetaking Services” link.
  2. Then select “Available Notes to Download” for your class.
  3.  Use the download link to save each file to your computer.

If your notes are not available, or if you have concerns about the clarity and quality of the notes provided, please contact SDS immediately.




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