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Home > Student Services > Disabled Students (DSPS) > FACULTY GUIDE - Accommodations for Note-Taking Assistance

FACULTY GUIDE - Accommodations for Note-Taking Assistance

FACULTY GUIDE - Accommodations for Note-Taking Assistance

Note-taking assistance is an accommodation facilitated by Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS). It is provided as a reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities.

Eligibility for this accommodation is based upon the student's documented functional limitations as determined by a DSPS counselor during the initial intake appointment.

DSPS students are encouraged to discuss their DSPS approved accommodations with their instructors. 

Process for Note-Taking Assistance:

After the DSPS student has completed an intake appointment, they will receive an Accommodation Letter.  If the DSPS student provides you, the instructor, with an Accommodation Letter that indicates they are approved for Note-taking Assistance, the Instructor and DSPS student are encouraged to discuss the following note-taking assistance options that may be available in your course:

  • Shared classroom notes on Canvas and/or power-point lectures uploaded to Canvas.  Please provide the DSPS student with information pertaining documents that are available on Canvas.
  • An instructor can provide their lecture notes to a student prior to the lecture. This allows the student to concentrate on the information given and participate in discussions. For some students it is helpful to refer to these notes during the lecture.
  • LAB:  Guided Notes/teacher-prepared hand-outs that outline or map lectures/class content.  Guided notes may be provided for a science lab course.  If notes during lab classes are not needed, you may not need to request Note-taking Assistance. Discuss this with your instructor. 

In addition to the note-taking options above, students may also utilize the following: 

  • Peer Note-Sharing – is when a student volunteer note-taker who will share notes with the DSPS Notes office

What are the Steps for Peer Note-Sharing Assistance?

The DSPS student submits an Accommodation Request for Note-taking Assistance, on the DSPS website. We recommend that the online request is submitted prior to the first week of the semester.

DSPS Notes office will coordinate with you, the instructor, a copy of classroom/lecture notes from a volunteer student note-taker in the same course

When a student volunteers to share their notes from your class with the DSPS Notes Office they should stop by, call or email the DSPS Notes office.  The notes can be emailed or uploaded to the DSPS Notes office.  This will secure the confidentiality of the DSPS student AND the volunteer student sharing notes.

Students with disabilities can feel stigmatized when associated with DSPS programs or disability-type labels, especially when that identity is identified to the class. We recommend that instructors announce that the DSPS program is seeking a note-taking volunteer, stating:

"A copy of the classroom notes are needed in the DSPS office which assists students with accommodations.  I will add   ___ extra credit points to the volunteer note-taker's grade.  Please see me after class for details on how to become a volunteer."


Do not specify the name of the DSPS student to the class, and do not specify the name of the volunteer student (note-taker) to the DSPS student.  This will reduce the need for personal interaction and conflict that may arise.  Refer the volunteer student to the DSPS Notes office to clarify submission of notes. 


If a student volunteer note-taker is not found in your class, DSPS will work with you, the instructor to:  

  • provide copies of power point slides
  • retrieve past notes (if any exist) or outlines you may be able to provide 

Another option will be for the student to meet with the DSPS counselor and review applicable assistive technology options, i.e. audio/digital recorder, smartpen, etc.

If a copy of the classroom/lecture notes are not received within two (2) weeks from the date of the DSPS student's online Request for Notes; The DSPS Notes office will follow up with you to assist in the process of securing a volunteer to share notes.

Some professors will offer extra credit for providing the DSPS office a copy of their classroom/lecture notes.

How does the DSPS student receive the notes?

Once a student (in-class) has volunteered to share notes:

  • The student volunteer should submit their notes to DSPS Notes office
  • The DSPS student will receive an email with a shared link to access the notes on the DSPS Google Docs. This allows DSPS students to access their class notes anytime or anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection
  • Notes will be added to the Google Docs throughout the semester as they are turned in


We appreciate your support of OCC DSPS students!!  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the DSPS staff at ,  call (714) 432-5535 or stop by our office

Location: Bldg 10 (Special Services, across from Student Success Center)

Thank you for your ongoing support of Orange Coast College students!