Peer Note Taking Service
Note Taking Accommodations
Peer note taking is an essential voluntary support service for students with disabilities. A student with a disability may be provided with note taking accommodations for various disability related needs.
AccessAbility Services recruits Volunteer Peer Note Takers using the following methods:
INTRANET Recruitment Process
AccessAbility Services will post announcements on the Intranet for each course where a volunteer note taker is needed.
An announcement will be made to the students in the course and they will be able to view it on their Intranet homepage under the headlines and calendar sections. The announcement will have a brief title, “Note Taker Needed for [Course Code and Lecture Section]” and will remain online for a maximum of seven days or until three potential Note Takers have been recruited for the course.
*Note taker announcements will only be available on the student’s Intranet homepage and will not appear on your course web page.
Along with the announcement posted on the Intranet, we will provide a link to Register Online to become a Volunteer Note Taker.
Class Announcement Recruitment Process
Instructors assist AccessAbility Services in recruiting a peer note taker for a student with a disability in their course. Students are asked to send a note taking recruitment package from AccessAbility Services, available online or hardcopy, to their instructor. The note taking package consists of the following:
- Call for Volunteer Note Takers [PDF] - Information on recruiting peer note takers which includes suggested text for an in-class announcement
- A Note Taker recruitment poster [PDF] - to be added to the course page or Power Point slide deck.
At the beginning of a lecture, please read the “Call for Volunteer Note Takers” announcement to the class. We ask that you attempt to recruit three volunteers, and encourage them to sign up online as soon as possible.
*Note: To maintain confidentiality, do not identify the name of the student who is registered with AccessAbility Services and/or their disability.
If no one volunteers:
- Outline the benefits of volunteering: it's an opportunity to help others in their community, builds resume, improves note taking skills, and peer note takers are eligible for Co-Curricular Record (CCR) approval.
- Remind the class that their notes will only be shared with students who have a documented disability and who have been approved for peer note taking accommodations.
- Still, if no one volunteers, please contact AccessAbility Services at 416-287-7560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can also assist by providing class notes and overheads directly to AccessAbility Services.
Class Announcement by an AccessAbility Services Representative (In-Person Classes)
If necessary, we ask for your assistance in allowing one of our Outreach Team Volunteers to make an additional class announcement before your lecture begins. The purpose of this additional announcement is to provide students with more information about the benefits and responsibilities of being a peer note taker as well as the importance of this role.
Where possible, we will notify you in advance that an Outreach Team Volunteer will be coming at the beginning of your next lecture to make a three minute announcement. This may not always be possible and we therefore ask for your collaboration in allowing our volunteers to make a short announcement once they have introduced themselves to you before the start of your lecture. All Outreach Team Volunteers will wear an ID badge.
An Outreach Team Volunteer may be scheduled to make an announcement in your class for any of the following reasons:
- If no students volunteered during your initial in-class announcement nor responded to other recruitment methods.
- If students volunteered during your initial in-class announcement, however they have not completed the online registration or provided sample notes.
- If students volunteered during your initial in-class announcement, however their sample notes do not meet the disability-related needs of the student who requires a peer note taker.
Students who are not selected as a note taker are still encouraged to volunteer in other courses as their notes could be extremely helpful to another student with different disability related needs.
In our recent Note Taking survey to UTSC students, 86% of respondents indicated that the most effective way to recruit volunteer Peer Note Takers is through in-class announcements from their Professors.
Thank you for performing an essential role to assist students with disabilities and ensuring equitable access to your course materials.