Rock Valley College

Chapter 13: Note-Taking Assistance

Assistance with note-taking is an accommodation that may benefit students who need to focus their attention and concentration on listening, or who find taking notes difficult due to a physical, visual, learning, or hearing limitation.

There are a variety of options to consider for note-taking assistance, including the use of technological devices such as digital voice recorders or Livescribe Smartpens. More details on these options can be found in the Technological Options for NoteTaking Assistance document.


  • Students needing a note taker should contact the DSS office by phone: (815) 921-2371, E-mail:, or stop by at least one week before the start of the term.
  • Once students have been approved for a peer note taker as an accommodation, DSS will E-mail the student's Professor(s) a notification letter, indicating the student requires a note taker for the course. Information will be shared with the Professor(s) regarding the process for securing a note taker and ensuring the student has full access to the course content.
  • A DSS staff member will notify the student via E-mail once a note taker has been confirmed.
  • The Accommodations Specialist will follow-up via E-mail with both the Professor(s) and student two weeks after the request was submitted to ensure that everything is going well.  It is the student's responsibility to inform DSS of any problems or concerns regarding their note taker.

Expectations for Students Using a Note Taker


Students should:

  • Exchange contact information up front with their note taker
  • Communicate with the note taker regarding expectations in the event of missed classes, quality and delivery of notes, and any other concerns that may arise
  • Make arrangements for obtaining notes in the event of an absence (the note taker is not responsible for providing notes in the event of absences)
  • Develop and maintan a working relationship with the note taker, either in person or via E-mail
  • Communicate with DSS as soon as possible any problems with the note taker or access to the course notes