Supplementary Notes - Information, Procedure and Request Form

ARS does not consider Supplementary Notes to be an accommodation, but a service ARS can assist with for students who qualify. ARS cannot make any guarantees concerning the quality or availability of class notes. Students should make use of the Learning Center to develop their independent notetaking skills and, where appropriate, use any assistive technology resources available. ARS can, as an accommodation, loan students the Audio Notetaker smartphone app and computer application.

ARS assists students with identifying volunteer, supplementary, note takers, who are typically recruited from the student’s classes during the first week of school. All note takers are required to participate in the online notetaker training.

This section applies to supplementary notetakers.

ARS supplementary notetaking is a volunteer opportunity and staff will provide a certificate of volunteer hours at the completion of the semester.

In keeping with ARS’s philosophy of encouraging independence, students are expected to participate in managing their notetaking services, as they are with other accommodations, with appropriate support from ARS.

Notetaking Procedures

  1. Approval of services: Students are approved for the supplementary notetaking accommodation during the intake process. Each semester, students must request note takers for their courses through the notetaking request form below.
  2. Finding a notetaker: There are many ways to identify a note taker:
    1. ARS staff can contact students via ConnectCarolina in the requested class to identify a notetaker. An announcement to the class via ConnectCarolina is normally the first step in finding volunteers. This is facilitated through ARS once the notetaking request form is submitted.
    2. A student may ask someone they know if they would be willing to share their notes on a regular basis and then notify ARS at ars@unc.edu with the name and email address of the notetaker.
    3. Lastly, ARS in collaboration with the student can contact the instructor of the class to request assistance in finding a notetaker.
  3. Getting the notes: the notetaker will upload the notes for every class meeting to a folder in Sakai. The name of the folder is the class and section number for the course. We ask notetakers to post 24-48 hours after class. It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with the notetaker (if comfortable) or ARS staff at ars@unc.edu if notes are not received in a timely manner.
  4. ARS will make a best faith effort to protect a student’s anonymity in the process of providing supplementary notetaking support services. Due to the nature of the services and the need for communication between the student and the volunteer notetaker, this cannot be guaranteed. However, ARS can communicate with the notetaker at the request of the student if they are not comfortable communicating directly with the notetaker. ARS will not provide information about a student’s disability or medical condition to the notetaker. 
  5. Notetaker responsibility:  It is the notetaker’s responsibility to notify ARS in the event of an absence. Notes must be uploaded to the Sakai site within 24-48 hours after a class. Absent certain exceptions, service hours may not be awarded for note takers who fail to upload notes within this time period. Failure to do so will result in another note taker being identified and service hours will not be awarded. Hand written notes can be scanned in various campus locations, including ARS, and uploaded to the Sakai site.
  6. If the student is absent: Students should contact ARS prior to being absent if the student is unable to attend class. Notetakers will provide notes during the absence for occasional, unanticipated and disability related absences. However, notes will not be provided for planned, chronic or non-disability related absences. Having a notetaker does not take the place of attending class. If there are excessive, non-disability related absences, the student will be required to meet with a staff member of ARS and the notetaking services may be discontinued.
  7. If the notetaker is absent or can no longer fulfill their obligations: It is the notetaker’s responsibility for securing a back-up note taker in the event of absence from class. Students should contact the original notetaker at the beginning of the semester to find out the identity of the back-up note taker and exchange contact information. If the note taker has dropped the class, please inform ARS immediately at ars@unc.edu so we can assist in identifying a new notetaker.
  8. Questions/Issues: Students should contact ARS immediately if there are any issues with supplementary notetaking services, including late uploads, a note taker who drops the class, or other issues. If the notetaker has dropped the class, please inform ARS immediately at ars@unc.edu so we can assist in identifying a new notetaker.
  9. All questions regarding notetakers should be directed to ARS at ars@unc.edu.  

Staff note takers

  • A staff note taker is an individual who attends each class with the student, takes extensive notes during class and explains or clarifies notes for the student when necessary.
  • Depending upon the class and/or the accommodative needs of a student, an in-class supplementary volunteer note- taker may not prove to be sufficiently effective as an auxiliary aid/ accommodation. A student may request, and/or the appropriate ARS staff member may recommend, the provision of a staff notetaker. These staff notetakers may be other students (currently in the class or previous class members) or they may be individuals hired specifically to take notes for a particular class.
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