Class Notes

The student will need a copy of notes more thorough and comprehensive than a Power Point or outline. The instructor may share a copy of their own notes, have the TA provide a copy of their class notes, or make an announcement to solicit a volunteer student note taker from class. Note taking is not a substitute for classroom attendance.


The University of Iowa uses a volunteer note taking system to provide copies of class notes to students with disabilities. Instructors are the recruiters of volunteer note takers. When recruiting volunteers, it is important for the instructor to keep in mind that they must maintain the confidentiality of the student using this accommodation. It is the obligation of the instructor to provide this accommodation. Students receiving class notes as an accommodation are responsible for notifying the instructor if the notes are of poor quality and/or not supplied on a regular basis.

Options for Providing Class Notes

  • The instructor may share a copy of their own notes. These notes would need to be more thorough and comprehensive than a Power Point or outline.
  • The instructor may have a teaching assistant share a copy of their class notes.
  • The instructor may solicit a volunteer student note taker from class.
    • The instructor or the student registered with SDS may already know a student in class who can serve as a note taker.
    • After observing students, the instructor may have a good idea which students may be able to serve as good note takers.
    • The instructor can make an announcement to class to solicit a volunteer. Below is a sample of an announcement the instructor can use to help identify a volunteer.   

      “I am looking for a volunteer to share their class notes with a student in this class. If you are willing to do this, please contact me.”
    • Once a volunteer note taker has been identified, the instructor should provide the contact information to the eligible student who can contact the volunteer and make arrangements to obtain class notes. If the student wants to maintain confidentiality by not disclosing their identity with the volunteer, the instructor must respect this and make arrangements for the student to receive the notes. 

Information for Volunteer Note Taker

  • Please work with the eligible student and instructor to determine the best method for sharing class notes. Here are some options:

    • Email notes to the instructor or eligible student depending on the arrangement
    • Use carbon paper (notebook available upon request from SDS)
    • Photocopy or scan the notes at a departmental office, library, or SDS 
  • Notify your instructor if you have any questions or concerns about note taking.
  • You should notify the eligible student and instructor regarding days you may be absent.


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