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Picture of laptop and notebook with pen next to each other.

Notetaking Assistance 

For many students with and without disabilities, having access to quality notes is an integral part of learning.  If taking notes in class is a barrier for a student with a disability, accommodations may be approved. When a student presents his/her ADA Accommodation Notification Letter to you, the following accommodation statement will be indicated in the letter:

Notetaking Assistance: Equal access in the classroom learning environment includes having access to lecture content. If this student is requesting assistance with access to course notes, you will receive an email from the Access Center outlining notetaking procedures. Please visit the Access Center website for more information regarding notetaking accommodations, msudenver.edu/access/facultyresources/notetakingassistance.  

Changes effective Spring 2017 Semester in Notetaking Accommodation Process:

  • Students approved for notetaking accommodations will be required to complete an online request form located on the Access Center website for the course(s) they want access to course notes.
  • Access Center will contact instructors and copy the requesting students via email informing them of the request for access to course notes. The expectation will be for the student to initiate a private meeting with the instructor and engage in an interactive process to determine which option can be reasonably provided.
  • Contained in the email to the instructor will be the opportunity of choosing from either an individualized ADA accommodation approach specific to the student with a disability or inclusive approach options which could benefit more than just the student with the identified disability. Faculty are encouraged to contact the Access Center to discuss providing a different option that still meets the needs of the requesting student.  Below is the email template which will be sent to faculty if a student is requesting notetaking assistance in their course.

Professor (Name),

(Student Name), (Student 900#) is requesting access to course notes in your class.  (Student Name) will be scheduling a meeting with you to engage in an interactive process to determine which of the options below can be reasonably provided.  Please contact the Access Center Director, Greg Sullivan, 303-615-0200 to discuss providing a different option from the ones listed below or if you have questions regarding implementing this accommodation.

After meeting with the student, please email (student email address) and (Access Center Staff email), indicating which option will be implemented.  Implementation of the selected option should occur within one week of the meeting between the student and professor. 

Accommodation Option #1: Instructor asks a specific student who appears to be taking fairly comprehensive notes to serve as a peer notetaker and facilitates a connection between the note-taker and the student requesting the accommodation. This should be done in a discreet manner. 

Accommodation Option #2: Instructor will email copies of their lecture notes, if available, to the student requesting the accommodation.

Accommodation Option #3: Assign students to teams and rotate responsibility for each team to post their notes on Blackboard or wiki within 24 hours of end of class.  This universal design approach allows all students to have access to these posted notes. 

Accommodation Option #4: Instructor provides class with guided notes which are outlines of the lecture material with spaces or blanks that the student can fill in during the lecture. In this format, students are provided cognitive scaffolding from which they can engage in the process of listening and distill only the details.  Guided notes encourage student participation during class and minimize the amount of writing required to keep up with the information being presented.

 

Faculty Responsibilities:

  • Meet with student upon request to discuss utilization of approved accommodations
  • Provide one of the options below to fulfill the student’s need for access to course notes
    • Accommodation Option #1: Instructor asks a specific student who appears to be taking fairly comprehensive notes to serve as a peer notetaker and facilitates a connection between the note-taker and the student requesting the accommodation. This should be done in a discreet manner. 
    • Accommodation Option #2: Instructor will email copies of their lecture notes, if available, to the student requesting the accommodation.
    • Accommodation Option #3: Assign students to teams and rotate responsibility for each team to post their notes on Blackboard or wiki within 24 hours of end of class.  This universal design approach allows all students to have access to these posted notes. 
    • Accommodation Option #4: Instructor provides class with guided notes which are outlines of the lecture material with spaces or blanks that the student can fill in during the lecture. In this format, students are provided cognitive scaffolding from which they can engage in the process of listening and distill only the details.  Guided notes encourage student participation during class and minimize the amount of writing required to keep up with the information being presented.
  • After meeting with the student, email and Access Center Accessibility Coordinator, indicating which option will be implemented
  • Implement selected option within one week of the meeting with student
  • Contact the Access Center Director, Greg Sullivan, 303-615-0200 to discuss providing a different option from the ones listed above or if you have questions regarding implementing this accommodation.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Provide faculty with ADA Accommodation Notification Letter
  • Inform faculty which accommodations indicated on their accommodation letter they plan on utilizing
  • Fill out a “Notetaking Request Form” on the Access Center’s website if requesting access to course notes
  • Initiate a private meeting with their instructor and engage in an interactive process to determine which option can be reasonably provided
  • Inform Access Center staff regarding any issues with receiving their approved accommodations

Access Center Responsibilities:

  • Contact faculty via email indicating student’s intent to utilize notetaking accommodation
  • Address and resolve any student/faculty issues relate to accommodations

 

Additional Classroom Course Content Assistance:

Students may also have one or more of the following accommodations indicated on their ADA Accommodation Notification Letter pertaining to receiving assistance with gaining access to classroom course content.

  • Professor to allow use of voice recorder for access to class lectures/discussions.
  • Professor to allow use of camera to take pictures of content displayed on instructional board (i.e. whiteboard).
  • Professor provides advance copy (prior to class) of PowerPoint slides to student via email, if available.

 

Additional Resources:

Guided Notes

Notetaking in the 21st Century

Additional Notetaking Resources

 

 


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