The Catholic University of America

 Working with Notetakers


The following information outlines the steps to take when requesting a notetaker.  We hope this information is helpful.  If at any time there is a problem or you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask us.

Thank you,

The DSS staff

Step 1              Complete your accommodation request form and attach your schedule.  For any classes which you will not need a notetaker, please make a note of that on your schedule.

Step 2              Pick up your accommodation letters from DSS. Attached to each letter should be a purple piece of paper explaining the notetaker accommodation.

Step 3              DSS will send you an e-mail confirming your notetaker request for the semester.  It is incredibly important that you respond to this e-mail if classes are listed that you will not need a notetaker.  If at any point during the semester you realize that you no longer need a notetaker or have dropped a class, please e-mail as soon as possible. 

Step 4              Schedule a time to meet with your professors.  We recommend that you do this as early in the semester as possible. 

Step 5              Meet with your professor during their office hours or a specified time to give them your accommodation letter, which lists the notetaker accommodation, and discuss your accommodations for the semester.  During this meeting, discuss with your professor how you would like to find a notetaker in your class.  There are a few options:

·         Ask your professor to make the notetaker announcement in class and give him/her the purple form. (The professor should maintain confidentiality by not revealing your name.  If confidentiality is not maintained, please let DSS know. 

·         Approach a classmate yourself to ask them to be your notetaker. Give him/her the purple sheet with instructions.  (If you choose this option, remove the purple sheet from your accommodation letters and let the professor know that he/she will not need to make the announcement.)

Note: In order for you to receive your accommodations you must give your accommodation letter to your professor, even if you choose to find a notetaker on your own.

Step 6              In class, your professor should read the purple form attached to your accommodation letters and make an announcement in class asking for a volunteer notetaker.  The professor should maintain confidentiality by not revealing your name.  If confidentiality is not maintained, please let DSS know.  If you are asking a classmate yourself, give him/her the purple sheet with instructions.

Step 7              The notetaker should e-mail DSS at to identify him or herself and will be given more information on the notetaking process.  Our office will not disclose your name to the notetaker, unless you request that we do.  We strongly encourage you to think about identifying yourself to the notetaker to ensure that you are getting what you need from the notes and that you are getting them in a timely manner.  DSS can assist you with this.

Step 8              We will e-mail you a letter each time a notetaker signs up for one of your classes.  Once you receive this e-mail, you can expect to start receiving your notes as we get them in.  This e-mail will have important information regarding the delivery of your notes.  Please be sure to respond to this e-mail so that you receive the notes in the method that most convenient for you.

Step 9              Notes should be available within 24 hours after each class.  Unless you make other arrangements, we will forward the notes to your CUA e-mail address from your assigned notetaker. If the notetaker handwrites the notes and delivers them to our office, we will notify you when the first set of notes has been dropped off.  After this, it is your responsibility to come into the office to pick up notes for the rest of the semester.  If at any point you do not receive your notes within 24-48 hours after a class, please contact us so that we can try to determine where the problem is and solve it.  Please remember that if you miss a class, you are not eligible to receive notes from DSS for that day.

What to do if you have not found a notetaker

If you have not been notified by DSS, typically that means a notetaker has not yet come forward from your class (it could also mean that the person who volunteered has not contacted DSS). In the event this happens, there are several things you should do:

  1. Ask your professor if anyone came forward when the announcement was made. If no one came forward then ask your professor to make the announcement again in class.  The professor may also approach a student that he/she thinks would do a good job and ask them if they are interested.  If someone did come forward initially, ask your professor to contact that person and remind them that they need to come to the DSS office to complete their paperwork.
  1. If you still have not heard from DSS after the professor makes the announcement for a second time, contact our office.  We will work with you to come up with alternatives to try to find a notetaker.
  1. You may also arrange privately for a friend or classmate to take notes for you.  If you do so, please let us know.  In order for the notetaker you have lined up to be paid and for us to be responsible for delivery of the notes, the notetaker must contact our office and fill out the appropriate paperwork as described on the purple instruction sheet as soon as possible.