ODS provides note-taking accommodations and assistance in a variety of ways.  The student’s accommodation notice will specify the type of note-taking accommodation they are eligible to receive.  Examples include audio recording of lectures, use of technology for note-taking, and access to peer notes.

Frequently Asked Questions:


The student’s accommodation letter will indicate if they are eligible to audio record lectures or use technology such as a laptop, tablet or smart pen for note-taking.  Instructors must provide the accommodations as listed on the accommodation notice in order to ensure the student is receiving equal access to the learning environment.  If you have concerns about an accommodation you believe to be in conflict with a course policy, contact ODS immediately at ods@ua.edu or (205)348-4285.  Until an alternative solution is reached, the accommodation MUST be provided to the student.

Students are not allowed to share class recordings with other students. These are intended solely for the student’s use, as an accommodation. An Audio Recording Agreement (PDF) is available to instructors who wish for the student to sign an agreement regarding the sharing of information from lectures. ODS does not require that these agreements be used.

Students who are eligible to receive a peer notetaker will have Note-taking Services listed on the accommodation letter, along with a verbal announcement to make in class. You should proceed with identifying a student in the course who is willing to serve as a notetaker.

If you do not have a student in mind, you may use this announcement to recruit a note taker: “Greetings! You are receiving this email because a student in this course is in need of a note taker. The Office of Disability Services reimburses note takers with $100 per course in which they provide notes. If you are interested in being a note taker this semester, please contact me immediately and sign up as a notetaker in the ODS Online Portal.”

If you select a specific student to serve as a note taker, please log-in to the ODS Online Portal and provide that student’s name and CWID. Instruct that student to complete the notetaker application through the ODS Online Portal. This will allow ODS staff to match the notetaker with the course. Notetakers will use the ODS Online Portal to upload notes, and the ODS student will be able to view the notes.

    1. Identify a notetaker of your choosing, or confirm with a matched notetaker that already exists in the ODS Online Portal.
    2. If selecting a specific notetaker, instruct the notetaker to complete an application through the ODS Online Portal. This is not needed if the notetaker has previously completed this step.
    3. Notetakers will use the ODS Online Portal to upload notes, and ODS students will be able to view the notes.
    4. ODS will process payment for notetakers at the end of the semester.

    Please review more detailed information by visiting Managing Notetaking Services.

    View a detailed tutorial on managing notetakers using the ODS Online Portal

If there are problems locating a note taker, we have a few additional suggestions to get things moving:

  • Continue to make an announcement in class and email the class; be sure to remind students that we pay notetakers $100.
  • Seek out a student that strikes you as diligent in their note-taking, encourage them to volunteer, and remind them that there is a $100 reimbursement for the service. Communicate notetaker name and CWID to ODS Staff in the ODS Online Portal.
  • Consider offering additional incentives, such as extra credit.
  • If there is a TA or GTA for the course, ask them to serve as the notetaker for the course (please note: ODS in unable to monetarily reimburse GTAs). Communicate this information in the ODS Online Portal.
  • If you are teaching multiple sections of the course and have a notetaker assigned in another section, contact ODS so we can match the notetaker from your other course section to the section in which you are having difficulty identifying a notetaker. The request can be made by making a note to ODS Staff in the ODS Online Portal.
  • Use Panopto while you are attempting to identify a notetaker, and provide the student with any additional course notes you may have.
  • If, after repeated attempts, you have not identified a notetaker within 1 week of making the first announcement, contact ODS immediately at ods@ua.edu or (205) 348-4285.

    Yes. One student will serve as a note taker for every student in your course section who needs a note taker. ODS is not typically able to reimburse more than one notetaker per section, nor is this necessary. If a need arises for a second note taker, please contact ods@ua.edu or (205) 348-4285.

    No. Contact between note takers and students receiving notes is unnecessary, as the ODS Online Portal ensures anonymity for both parties.

    Possibly. Please contact ODS and speak with an Accommodations Specialist to determine if this is a reasonable replacement.