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Disability Resource Center

Note-taking Assistance

Note-taking accommodations are approved on an individual basis through the interactive process between the DRC counselor and student.

We provide note-taking accommodations through:

  1. Note-taker: Either a peer, in-class note-taker or through Notetaking Express.
  2. Assistive Technology: SmartPen and/or Glean (Sonocent)

Students who have met with a DRC counselor and have provided documentation supporting the need for note-taking accommodations will be approved for either a note-taker and/or note-taking assistive technologies.

Once you have been approved, you may then set up an appointment with our accommodations coordinator, Michelle Lapitan, and Assistive Technology Coordinator, Jessica Alarcon.

How to Request a Peer Note-taker 


Step 1: Student's Responsibility

Students who are requesting a note-taker are required to attend class to receive notes.

If it is your first time requesting a note-taker, you must complete the note-taking request form.

  • This form must be completed every quarter a student is requesting note-taking assistance.
  • We encourage students to submit a request 21 business days prior to the start of the quarter. This is to ensure that there is enough time to seek a note-taker and complete the necessary paperwork for the note-taker to be hired by the time classes begin.

Please note, that requests can take up to 4 weeks to be completed and that we may not be able to fulfill the request in some instances. For example, some requests that may not be fulfilled are requests that are submitted later in the quarter or classes with no note-taker applicants.

If we are unable to find a note-taker, we will reach out to you about utilizing other note-taking software.

Step 2: Faculty Responsibity

After the request is submitted, the Accommodations Coordinator, Michelle Lapitan contacts the instructor of the course.

The instructor is notified that a DRC student is registered in their class and is approved for the note-taker accommodation. They are asked to make an anonymous announcement in class for the first three weeks of each class meeting and are also asked to make an announcement to other sections of their class, if applicable. They are also asked to post the note-taker position on their canvas website.

Step 3: Hiring a Note-Taker

While a student is waiting for a note-taker to be hired, the DRC will immediately connect the student to the Assistive Technology Coordinator, Jessica Alarcon. Note-taking software or audio recording will be offered to the student during the waiting period.

To avoid delays, if a note-taker is not found within 10 days of the first day of class (or later depending on date of student request for notetaking), the DRC will discuss other options, which may be utilizing other note-taking assistance technologies/programs or obtaining notes from the instructor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Q. What if an in-person note-taker cannot be found?

If we are unable to find an in-person note-taker, the DRC will connect the student to alternative note-taking services, such as a remote note-taker (Notetaking Express) or notetaking software such as a SmartPen or Sonocent.

The DRC may also reach out to faculty to provide notes (lecture notes, powerpoint presentations, lecture outlines) to support the student.

Q. What is Notetaking Express?

Students who are waiting for a note-taker are offered Notetaking Express as an alternative.

Students who are eligible may be given access to a Notetaking Express account. The platform allows students to record their lecture, upload the audio for a note-taker at Notetaking Express to create summarizations and notes of the class audio.

Q. What is my responsibility as faculty in providing notetaking assistance to students?

Faculty are responsible in assisting the student by working with the DRC to outreach for candidates as in-class note takers. They can outreach by making announcements in the first three weeks of class, post the position on their Canvas website, and/or email their class rosters to share the note-taking position posting.

The DRC may also reach out to faculty to provide notes (lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, lecture outlines) to support the student.

Q. May I request a note-taker for my asynchronous class or lab?

Note-taking assistance is typically for courses that are “live,” such as live lectures. 

Due to the nature of an asynchronous course, note-taking accommodations may not necessarily be warranted. If a class is structured where the student is able to access the course content and is available for the student to view, the accommodation has been met. 

If you are seeking a note-taker for a discussion, lab, or an asynchronous class, please let your DRC counselor know as soon as possible as this may require special approval.

Q. Can I provide feedback to my note-taker?

If you would like to provide feedback to your note-taker and continue to remain anonymous, feel free to let the Accommodations Coordinator, Michelle Lapitan, know and she will discuss the feedback with the notetaker.

Q. I want to learn how to take better notes, who can help me?

Students who have note-taking assistance accommodations can learn how to strengthen their note-taking skills by also meeting with an academic coach. 

Q. I am not a DRC student, but I am interested in being a note-taker for my class. How do I apply?

Please review our prospective note-taker page which outlines expectations and responsiblities of a DRC Note-taker


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