Bucknell University’s Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature and functional limitations of a student’s documented disability, the student may be eligible for note-taking assistance. Note-taking assistance is provided as a necessary academic accommodation and is not considered a substitute for a student’s full participation in class. Assistance is determined on a class-by-class basis and is dependent upon the nature of each course and the method of instruction as it relates to the student’s documented disability. Notes and/or recordings are for a student’s personal study use only and are not to be shared with other individuals unless this is provided to all class participants.

Process

  • Student registers with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) 
  • If note-taking is approved as a reasonable accommodation, OAR will review the options with the student in a student-initiated meeting.
  • Student must schedule to meet with faculty to discuss the approved note-taking provision(s), and determine how access to materials will be achieved.

Note-taking assistance may include:

  • Use of a personal laptop

    Individuals who are eligible for use of a laptop computer for note-taking are responsible for bringing a laptop to each class/meeting. Students are only permitted to use appropriate note-taking programs/software during class. Students found to be misusing this accommodation (i.e., using the Internet when not permitted during class) may have this accommodation revoked and an alternate provision implemented.
  • Permission to audio record classes or use of a Smart Pen (i.e., LiveScribe Pen)

    Individuals who are eligible for audio recording of lectures are responsible for bringing an audio recording device to each class/meeting. The Library has digital recorders and Smart Pens available for loan. Individuals may be asked to sign a Recording Agreement per the instructor/professor’s request before utilizing this accommodation. The recorder should be placed at the front of the room as close to the presenter as possible, to limit background noise.
  • Receive outlines and/or notes from professor (if appropriate)

    Individuals who are eligible for access to materials are responsible for discussing what form of notes/materials may be available with their instructor and how access to materials will be achieved. Access to such materials may occur: by reviewing materials during office hours or they may be shared electronically or by hard copy.

    Instructors may use a personal version of notes as an outline which includes material which may or may not be disseminated during lecture. Instructors are not required to share such an outline. In this case, an alternate note-taking provision should be discussed with OAR. Instructors are not required to create Notes/PowerPoint/outlines.
  • Receive notes from an identified volunteer peer note-taker

    Individuals who are eligible for peer note-takers are encouraged to request assistance from professors/instructors in identifying a peer note-taker by requesting they make an anonymous announcement during class/meeting or via email. The student's identity and reason for needing a note-taker must be kept confidential, unless student says otherwise.|

    The student in need of the notes will obtain the notes from either the instructor or OAR. Instructors are responsible for providing the name of the peer note-taker to the OAR. The OAR will contact the selected note-taker regarding applicable paperwork and guidelines. If a note-taker cannot be found, or the note-taker is found to be inadequate, the student should notify OAR immediately.

NOTE: Note taking provisions are not a replacement for class attendance.

Student Responsibilities

  • Student must meet with the OAR Director to discuss the need for note-taking assistance in each class. If comprehensive notes are available from the instructor or through the use of technology, additional note-taking assistance may not be indicated.
  • Contact the OAR at (570) 577-1188 or hf007@bucknell.edu as soon as possible if:

    You make changes to your class schedule and no longer require assistance for previously approved classes

    You have concerns regarding the quality and timeliness of your notes if they are provided by a class member

    You require additional training or you have concerns with the technology you are using for note-taking assistance

OAR Responsibilities

  • Meet with students to determine the appropriate note-taking method for each class.
  • Assure that qualified note-taking accommodations are used and are providing timely notes.
  • Resolve issues that arise regarding this accommodation.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • If possible, provide lecture notes, PowerPoint slides, outlines, and any other course material that is already in existence that may help with this accommodation.
  • Discuss this accommodation with the student and make an announcement to the class for a volunteer note-taker (if requested by student). In order to assure confidentiality, please do not reveal the student’s name in your announcement.
  • Assist the OAR in identifying other alternatives if a note-taker is not identified in a timely manner.
  • Allow the volunteer note-taker to use laptop in class to take electronic notes OR if note-taker is using carbonless paper, provide the copy to the student in a timely manner.

Note-taker Responsibilities

  • Note takers who are consistent and timely may be eligible to receive a token of appreciation at the end of the semester.
  • If known, maintain the confidentiality of the identity of the student for whom you are taking notes.
  • Within 24 hours after each class, type your notes and send them to mwertz@bucknell.edu 
  • Save and send notes using a .doc or PDF format.
  • Attend each class. If for any reason you cannot attend a specific class, it is your responsibility to obtain the missed notes and send them to mwertz@bucknell.edu within 24 hours.
  • Make sure that notes are typed, legible and comprehensive.
  • Note-takers are not permitted to publish the notes in any form.
  • Contact the OAR immediately if you are unable to continue as a note-taker so that alternate arrangements can be made.

Any questions regarding this policy and procedure should be directed to Heather Fowler, Director, at (570) 577-1188 or hf007@bucknell.edu.

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