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Note Taking Accommodation Information


Having access to quality notes is, for most students, an important part to the learning process. All students are encouraged to be actively engaged with course materials and taking notes is one of the many ways that this occurs. For some students, taking handwritten notes in class presents some barriers.  In this case, the SVSU Disability Services (DS) will asked course instructors to facilitate access to quality notes.


Note-taking accommodation can be fulfilled by using  a professors posted notes on an accessible course website or email list. Increasing numbers of instructors are recognizing that making complete notes for each class available on line is a valuable teaching tool for a variety of students.

Instructors can choose to 1)Post their own complete notes,  2) Ask or assign students to share their notes each week.


Instructor Responsibilities:

  1. Read the  during at least two consecutive class meetings to assist in recruiting a volunteer note-taker….OR ask a specific student who has demonstrated academic skills to take notes for the student OR provide a hard copy of the instructor notes.  Faculty can use this Note Taking Flyer (124KB)to pass out and read in class.
  2. Protect the confidentiality of the student (that is, do not point the student out in front of the entire class).
  3. Facilitate a connection between the note-taker and the student(s) with a disability.

SVSU Disability Services Responsibilities:

  1. Provide instructor with and student with carbonless copy paper
  2. Prepare letters of volunteer service for note-takers by the end of each semester, upon request.

Student Responsibilities:

  1. Discuss plans to use note-taking accommodations to the professor via the faculty notification as soon as possible.
  2. Meet with the note-taker to discuss options for obtaining class notes.
  3. If no note-taker volunteers, contact the DS and discuss options with the professor.
  4. Remember that notes are not a substitute for attending class. When you are in class, the student is providing you notes as an accommodation; when you miss class as a non-disability related absence, the student providing you with notes is a favor.
  5. Report any difficulties to DS staff.

Note-Taker Responsibilities:

  1. Attend class on a regular basis and take comprehensive, legible notes.
  2. Arrange to get copy of notes to your instructor or classmate. Possible options include:
    • Use carbonless copy paper (provided by the student) and provide notes at the end of each class
    • Email notes to him or her
    • Make copies at the DS
  3. Talk with the student about the notes, your role, or any questions.
  4. Maintain confidentiality at all times. (Do not disclose the student’s name or the nature of service being provided.)