Skip to main content

Notetaking Support - Faculty/Staff Information

Notetaking support is provided for students whose documentation indicates that the disability may likely impact their ability to take comprehensive notes in class. Notetaking support is generally considered a supplement to a student’s own notes, however, situations can exist where the student is physically unable to take their own notes. It is not considered a substitute for a student’s full participation/attendance.

Students who qualify for notetaking support may recruit their own note-taker, but they are not required to do so. Most students prefer that Faculty make an announcement verbally or through email or Canvas messages. If Faculty have concerns about a student with significant unexcused or unexplained absences receiving peer notes, they are asked to contact DSS.

The approval for peer notetaking support may also depend on the nature of content delivery. Peer notes are generally to supplement notetaking ability for content delivered via live lectures. Faculty posting highly detailed lecture notes, narrated or detailed PowerPoints, etc. to Canvas may negate the need for notes from a peer notetaker.  If course content is delivered via online asynchronous written (documents, PowerPoint, etc.) content, then peer notes may be inappropriate.  If online delivery includes recorded asynchronous content, and most students have the ability to pause, stop or re-watch, then peer notes may be unnecessary. Students may request (as an accommodation) access to audio recordings from online synchronous classes (such as done through Zoom or Canvas Conferences) to supplement their notetaking needs.

If a student is approved for notetaking support, and the Faculty and student verifies that this is a need for a given course, DSS requests Faculty assistance in the following ways:

  • Faculty may choose to approach a specific student they believe would be good choice (generally good grades, attendance, etc.).
  • Faculty may choose to make the following announcement:
    “We have a need for a notetaker in this class. If you feel that you take good notes and would be willing to provide scanned copies of your notes for use by another student, please contact Disability Support Services immediately by email or phone ( or 205-665-6250). Selected notetakers will be expected to scan and email notes after each class, and they are paid a small stipend in exchange for those notes at the end of the semester.”
  • This same announcement may be emailed or sent to the class via Canvas.
  • The name /identity of a student requesting notetaking support should not be identified by the faculty member to the class or to the selected notetaker. This is an inappropriate disclosure of confidential information.
  • Based upon the student need, notes will either be scanned and emailed or typed and emailed to DSS. DSS will then forward to the appropriate student(s).
  • Notetakers will be paid a small stipend at the end of the semester. Amounts vary depending on credit hours and students who are asked by DSS for typed notes are paid more for those notes.