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Notetaking Accommodation

Students who, because of their disability may be unable to take their own notes or need to supplement their notes, may require notetaking as an accommodation. To qualify, students must be enrolled in CDHP services, have engaged in the interactive process, and provided documentation from a licensed healthcare provider that supports the need for notetaking as an accommodation.

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Which courses qualify?

Not all courses qualify for the notetaking accommodation. For example, courses that do not occur in real-time or have no lecture/notes component do not qualify for notes, including online-only, non-lecture courses, etc. Please contact CDHP if you have questions about which courses qualify for notetaking at:
  • Types of Notetaking Accommodations

    CDHP provides two types of notetaking accommodations:

    1. In-class peer note-taking services
    2. Assistive technology for notetaking

    For in-class peer notetaking services, CDHP will recruit a classmate to act as a notetaker. The peer notetaker posts their notes to SharePoint and the student with the accommodation downloads them.

    CDHP also provides the following assistive technologies for notetaking: Otter Voice Meeting Notes (Otter.ai); audio record class lectures; and the LivescribeTM Smartpen as accommodations for notetaking.

    Otter.ai is an integrated notetaking app that converts voice conversations into smart notes by recording the audio and using artificial intelligence to provide machine-generated transcription. These transcriptions/notes can be edited and easily searched. Once a student has been approved for Otter.ai they will be set up to receive training. If you are interested in learning more about Otter.ai click on Intro to Otter.ai – YouTube for a short tutorial. If you are approved for Otter.ai as an accommodation click on Troubleshooting Otter.ai – YouTube for a short video on tips to troubleshoot common challenges with Otter.ai.

    Permission to Audio Record Lectures is an accommodation that provides access to lecture content presented in a course. For this purpose, students may use their smartphones, computer software, tablets, digital recorders, and other electronic devices. For those courses that provide students access to recorded lectures students must use these.

    The LivescribeTM Smartpen records the lecture and digitizes the student’s handwritten notes, automatically syncing the ink with the audio. Once a student has been approved for the LivescribeTM Smartpen, they will be scheduled to receive training on the device. If you are interested in learning more, click on Intro to Smartpen – YouTube for a short tutorial.

  • Student Responsibilities

    Student’s approved for notetaking as an accommodation are subject to the following conditions:

    • Written notes, recordings, and transcriptions of class lectures are only for the student’s personal use in study and preparation related to the course.
    • The student may not share them with any other person, whether that person is in their class or not.
    • The student acknowledges that the recordings/transcriptions are sources, the use of which in any academic work is governed by WesternU’s Standards of Student Conduct, in addition to federal copyright laws.
    • The student agrees to destroy any recordings/transcriptions that are no longer needed for their academic work.

    Students who have been granted permission to use assistive technology as an accommodation for notetaking must agree to abide by each of these provisions. Use of assistive technology for notetaking outside of the typical classroom experience (including fieldwork, internships, clinicals, etc.) must be approved on a case-by-case basis by CDHP, who will coordinate with the instructors, program, and site as appropriate.

    If you have questions, please email disabilityaccommodations@westernu.edu.