Note-Taking Accommodation

Office of Accessibility Resources

Campus Beauty Shot

Individualized Review

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.


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

Request a volunteer note-taker

Request Form

Types of Note-Taking Assistance

    Note-taking assistance may include (only 1 of the following—if appropriate):

    • 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 discuss the need for note takers with their professors/instructors to determine if this is even necessary in the class. Student must complete the Note Taking Request form if a volunteer note taker is deemed appropriate. Identifying a peer note-taker is performed by the OAR who will email the course roster requesting an anonymous note taker for the class. The student's identity and reason for needing a note-taker will be kept confidential, unless student says otherwise.

      The student in need of the notes will obtain the notes from either the instructor or 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. In addition, student must be taking own notes. These note taking provisions are for ONE option of supplemental notes.

    Student Responsibilities

    1. Student must meet with the Director of the OAR to discuss the need for note-taking assistance in each class. If comprehensive notes are available from the instructor, a fellow classmate or through the use of technology, additional note-taking assistance may not be indicated.
    2. Contact the OAR at 570.577.1188 or 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.
    • Notify faculty in the Letter of Accommodation that a student is in need of a note taking accommodation.
    • 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 assess if a volunteer note taker is needed for your course. In order to assure confidentiality, please do not reveal the student’s name in any way to others in the course.
    • 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, you can help provide the copy to the student-in-need of notes in a timely manner.
    • Notify the OAR if there is a note taker that you are aware of but the OAR may not, so that that student can get properly acknowledged/compensated.

    Note Taker Responsibilities

    • Note takers who are consistent and timely may be eligible to receive a stipend at the end of the semester depending on financial aid/scholarship.
    • 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 upload them to Accommodate.
    • Save and send notes using a .doc or PDF format.
    • If for any reason you cannot attend a specific class, please notify your professor and within 24 hours.
    • Please make sure notes are legible and comprehensive. They may be typed or hand written.
    • 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 Kristen Rarig, Assistive Technology Specialist at 570-577-1908 or