Disability Services

Note Taking Assistance

There are many reasons why students experience challenges with taking notes in classes. Disability & Testing Services offers accommodations to assist students with difficulties students experience with this necessary aspect of retaining information and studying for their classes. Students work with the staff in Disability & testing Services to determine which accommodations are most appropriate to meet the student’s needs.

Some students have difficulties where they may lose focus and miss some information during a lecture. Other students may have difficulty with keeping up with the pace of a course and could miss information because of the course moving too fast for them to take down all the important details. For this we approve some accommodations to provide note taking assistance. Common accommodations that are approved by ODS for this are listed below. They are approved so that a student can use the information to fill gaps in the notes they take or to improve their efficiency. The below accommodations can also be used for helping get access to information that students miss if they miss class time or leave the classroom for managing disability relates symptoms.

Copies of PowerPoints and Class Presentation Materials

Description in FNL: [FIRSTNAME] requires copies of materials to accommodate specific learning needs. Providing [FIRSTNAME] with copies of your PowerPoint presentations does not in any way change or relinquish your intellectual property rights. You retain the rights to the material and your student is only permitted to use them for academic purposes in this class. You are free to add a specific written reservation of copyright and the limited use permission that you are granting on the document.

This is for when students need access to the PPT files or other presentation materials to help supplement their notes. It can be helpful for students who had difficulty taking down all information during the lecture to be able to write slide references when taking notes so they can fill it in later using this information. It is also useful for students who are likely to miss class because of an attendance accommodation or needing to leave class for breaks. There are versions of this accommodation that may be used if the materials are needed in advance for formatting for document accessibility needs.

We cannot compel faculty to share their lecture notes. Faculty lecture notes often contain information like pacing and timing of the session, personal shorthand, questions from quizzes or exams, past observations from covering material, and notes about specific students who may need assistance. This information is either not appropriate to share or would not be useful to a student attending the course. If PowerPoint files contain such information, faculty may wish to remove it before sharing the files with students. If faculty feel that their lecture notes are appropriate to share and may be useful to a student, they are welcome to share them.

Permission to record lectures

Description in FNL: The recording is for the student's personal, accommodated use only and will not be posted or shared with others. Once the course is complete, the student will destroy all recordings. The student has accepted an agreement which outlines these responsibilities. Any violation of this would result in a referral to the Office of Student Conduct and Advocacy.
It is important to note that the recording of classroom sessions as an accommodation for students with disabilities may not be restricted as specifically addressed under Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)

This is a common accommodation, that we grant for students to capture the information from lectures, because they cannot keep up with the pace of the class when taking notes. There are many forms that this takes. The way a student accomplishes this is dependent on which devices they use, and which application works best with their style for note taking. Some student may use a digital recorder or recording app on their phone. Other students may use more involved applications and devices that sync the recording to their notes like in Glean, LiveScribe smart pens, OneNote, or Notability.

If students are looking for options for recording that will work best for them, they should consult with the office of Disability Services for more information. Below are links to common devices and applications used for recording lectures.

Glean Website
Glean tutorial on YouTube
Glean Skills Portal
LiveScribe Website
Echo 2 Overview YouTube
Symphony Pen Overview YouTube
Audio Recording in OneNote Microsoft Support
Recording Audio in OneNote YouTube
Recording Audio in OneNote Mobile App
Notability (Apple Only)
Audio Recording in Notability

Student E-Form Language for Lecture Recording Agreement

Students with Disabilities who are unable to take or read notes have the right to capture audio visual content from lectures for their personal study only. (84.44 Section 504 in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 P.L. 93-112, amended P.L. 93-516).

The recordings are to be used solely by the student signing this form and only for this individual’s study for this class. Lectures recorded for this purpose may NOT be shared with other people without the consent of the lecturer. recorded lectures may not be used in any way against the faculty member, other professors, or students whose classroom comments are captured as part of the class activity. Information contained in the recorded lecture is protected under federal copyright laws and may not be published or quoted without the expressed consent of the lecturer and without proper identity and credit to the lecturer.

Students must delete the recordings when they are finished using the recordings for their studies for the course or at the completion of the course.

Violation of this agreement is a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Disability Services, in RW 210, 216-687-2015.

Permission to use mobile device in class for notetaking purposes

We have been contacted by many professors about students using electronic devices in classes when they have a rule prohibiting use of cell phones, tablets, and/or laptops. If a student is using the device for recording the lecture, because they are using apps to organize the notes they are taking, or is using it because they have difficulty with taking handwritten notes, it is important for them to be able to use the device even if the professor does not allow those devices. With it as an approved accommodation to reduce a barrier and provide access, the faculty need to allow their use by the student.

Note-Taking Express (NTE

This is an accommodation that is detailed more on the webpages for Notetaking Services. It is listed under the Note Taking Assistance section of the Faculty Notification Letters. Students using this accommodation and service would also be recording lectures and likely need access to presentation materials used for the class.

Additional Helpful Information

  • TIPS FOR TAKING GOOD NOTES - This page was prepared for students signed up to submit notes for Notetaking Services, but it has good information for any students who wish to improve the notes they take.
  • Note Taking Crash Course for Study Skills - This is a video series to learn more about how our brains work and what tools to use to improve retention and recall.