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San Diego State University

Student Disability Services

Notetaker Services

Students who have been authorized for notetaker services will have a letter from SDS stating this authorization.  Students will most likely speak with you if they need assistance with identifying a notetaker in your class. 

The quality of notes is always better when provided by a student who is already in the class.  Students already in your class have a vested interest in taking good notes, and they understand the material in ways that make their notes more relevant than notes taken by someone hired from the outside.  Student Disability Services highly recommends all efforts be made to identify a volunteer notetaker within the class to assist students with this accommodation. 

Notes may be taken on a computer or by hand; which depends on the preference of both the SDS student and the volunteer notetaker.  If notes are to be taken by hand, you should know that SDS can provide 2-part NCR (carboned) lined paper so that the notetaker can provide a copy of notes at the end of class without further reproduction.

When a student who has been authorized for notetaker services as a classroom accommodation speaks to you about their need for a notetaker, we request your assistance in the following ways:

  • Solicit a Volunteer from Students you Know: If you know of students already in the class who would be good notetakers, speak directly to those students and request their assistance.
  • Recruit a Volunteer: Make an announcement in your class and discreetly assist the student to connect with volunteers.  Here is a sample script of what you might say to the class:
    "Student Disability Services is seeking volunteer notetakers for this class.  If you are interested and you take legible notes, please come to the front of the room after class.  Generally, students with at least a 3.0 grade point average in the subject area are preferred, as are students who use laptops to take notes so that notes can be easily exchanged via email."
  • Provide Your Own Notes: You have the option of emailing or otherwise providing notes directly to the student.
  • Post Your Notes and/or PowerPoint slides on Blackboard: Making your notes and PowerPoint slides available to all your students, may benefit your entire class in ways you don’t foresee.  This practice fits with Universal Design instruction by providing access for students with all learning styles.  Information on creating accessible documents can be found at access.sdsu.edu/facultychecklist.htm#tutorials.
  • Professors are not responsible for monitoring the notetaking process during the semester. Support for this process will be provided by SDS if needed; please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.