FAQ Serving Students With Special Needs
Notetakers are provided as a reasonable accommodation for students with documented disabilities that interfere with the individual’s ability to take notes in class. Instructors are asked to select a student in class to serve as a notetaker for the disabled student. If the instructor has difficulty selecting a student, they may ask the class for a volunteer but must make sure the disabled student’s name is not revealed. There are three alternatives for the provision of notetaker accommodations. The instructor should meet with the disabled student to discuss the best notetaking method for them.
- The instructor can provide the student with a copy of his/her personal lectures notes.
- *Peer notetaker (carbonless notebook). A student selected in the course will take notes for the disabled student using a carbonless notebook (provided by the Office of Disability Services). The carbonless notebook paper makes a second copy automatically as the notetaker writes, as a result photocopying is not needed. Because of the confidentiality of the student’s disability, the notetaker should submit a copy of their notes to the instructor at the conclusion of every class. At that point, you will need to give the notes to the disabled student. The notetaker will be responsible for keeping the carbonless notebook because the bottom copy of the notes will remain in the notebook as their actual notes for the class.
- *Peer notetaker (photocopying). A student selected in the course will take notes and a photocopy of those notes is given to the disabled student. The notetaker will need to provide their notes to the instructor at the conclusion of each class. The instructor will need to make a copy of the notes then return the original notes to the notetaker and the copied notes to the disabled student.
Notetaker's Duties and Responsibilities
- Notetaker accommodation is a confidential service. If you are aware of the student you are providing notes for, do not disclose to anyone the name of the student or any information about that student.
- If for some reason you are not able to attend class, you are required to get a substitute notetaker. If you have difficulty doing so, you should inform the instructor so alternative arrangements can be made. Please share the Notetaker’s Duties and Responsibilities with the substitute to ensure they provide the proper level of notetaking service.
- Notetakers are expected to take notes that are neat, detailed, and thorough using a dark pen.
- Stay mentally alert in class! If you miss an important piece of information, the student which you are taking notes for could suffer as a result.
- Notetakers are not paid for classes missed, where there is a test or when there are no notes to take.
- You will need to submit your notes at the end of each class to the instructor unless permission has been granted from the disabled student to deal directly with them.
- In order to ensure payment you must complete a W-9 form issued to your instructor. Your instructor will complete the Notetaker Verification Form and both forms will need to be returned at the CONCLUSION of the course to the Office of Disability Services.
- Substitute notetakers will also be compensated and will need to complete a W-9 form to ensure payment. Instructors should indicate which dates the substitute provided notetaking services on the Notetaker Verification Form.
It is the student’s responsibility to inform the ODS at least a week in advance. The ODS will assignment someone to the job. Scribes/Readers are given clear instructions on their role. A scribe/reader verification form needs to be completed by the instructor and the scribe/reader needs to complete a W-9 form. Both forms need to be returned to the ODS to ensure payment.
Students are required to give the ODS at least two weeks notice when requesting an interpreter. Faculty and staff may request an interpreter for office hours, meetings, and other college-related events by contacting the Office of Disability Services. Students that utilize interpreters are required to adhere to the policies & procedures for deaf/hearing impaired students.
Students with disabilities who are unable to take or read notes have the right to audio record class lectures for their personal study only. Recording lectures is a reasonable accommodation for students whose documentation calls for this accommodation.
Students must seek the permission of their instructor before using any audio recording devices to record lectures, discussions, etc. If such permission is granted, neither the resulting recordings nor any form of copies of transcripts of the recordings may be used for any other purpose than as a replacement for notes taken in class. Permission to make recordings will not be withheld if such recordings are reasonably necessary to accommodate a student's disability as defined by law. Students with disabilities who require this accommodation must sign the Recording Lectures Agreement Form before the start of the course and prior to recording.
If a student requires to be tested in a distraction-free setting contact the Office of Disability Services at least two weeks in advance so they can arrange for the student to be tested in a separate room.
The general rule of thumb for extended time for exams is time and a half or double time.
Extra time must be given even if the student is taking an online course or through Blackboard. A print version of the test may be necessary.
In Blackboard, if the instructor sets a timer for the exam, the student will get a warning that the time is almost up but the test never shuts off only records the time in the grade book...always allowing the student the opportunity to complete the test.
Instructors are not expected to be experts on disabilities. For assistance or clarification contact the Office of Disability Services. We CANNOT deny a student an approved accommodation. It’s the law.
If you have a student in your class that is having difficulty, it is suggested that you speak with them privately regarding the situation. If the student reveals to you that they have a disability, then you CAN suggest they contact the ODS to get help. You CANNOT ask or assume they have a disability. Remember, the student must self-identify.
NO, the standards should be the same for all students. By granting special accommodations, we are leveling the playing field for these students; we provide an educational opportunity. It is their responsibility at that point to successfully complete course requirements.
Students with disabilities are held to the same standards for appropriate behavior as outlined in the Wilmington University Code of Conduct located in the Student Handbook.