Note-Taking Accommodations

Providing note-taking accommodations

If a student at Indiana University Bloomington has a disability that affects their ability to take notes during class, the Office of Disability Services for Students (DSS) will work with them to find an alternate way to get class notes. The goal is for students to have notes comparable to those they would take themselves if disability were not a factor.

If a student requires note-taking accommodations, it will be explained in the Academic Modifications Memo that they receive from DSS. Students who receive memos are expected to meet with their instructors at the beginning of the term to discuss the accommodations and determine how they will be implemented.

Finding a note taker

The goal of the “classroom—notes” accommodation is to ensure that students with qualifying conditions have notes comparable to what they would take if their disability did not interfere with note-taking. If you post notes to Canvas, please clarify for the student whether these are complete study notes. If the information you post to Canvas is not complete, it is your responsibility to assist the student in finding a note taker while maintaining their privacy. Do not reveal the identity of the student with the accommodation.

The DSS office recommends making an announcement in class or on Canvas requesting a volunteer note taker. You can simply say, “I am in need of a volunteer note taker. Will someone volunteer?” If you do not get a volunteer on the first try, please make another in-class announcement. If no one volunteers, contact the DSS office for alternatives.

Once you have identified a note taker, ask the student who receives the accommodations if they would prefer to

  • Contact the volunteer directly
  • Have the notes delivered to your departmental office for pickup.

If the student with accommodations wants to communicate directly with the note taker, please give them the note taker’s contact information. If the student prefers to pick up the notes, please set a date and time for pick-up.