Note-Taking

Students approved for this accommodation have disability-related functional limitations that make it difficult for them to access academic information presented in class.  

The note-taking accommodation may be approved for students with:

  • Hearing loss, e.g. difficulties hearing the instructor while writing notes at the same time
  • Vision loss, e.g. difficulties seeing information presented on overhead screens
  • Mental health conditions or attention-related disabilities, e.g. difficulties sustaining attention or attending to orally-presented information while taking notes
  • Learning disabilities, e.g. difficulties recording notes when information is presented orally 
  • Physical disabilities, e.g. motor- or pain-related difficulties, broken wrists or arms

Accessibility advisors consider a student's description of their need for note-taking along with information contained in their disability documentation and the type of course in approving note-taking as a formal accommodation.

   

Students Requiring a Note-Taking Accommodation

We rely on student volunteers to serve as note-takers and we are not always able to recruit note-takers for every course. Should you experience any delay in obtaining your notes, please contact the Note-Taker Program Coordinator, or your QSAS advisor as soon as possible.

QSAS coordinates the exchange of notes taken by student volunteers and students registered with QSAS via our secure online portal. This exchange is strictly confidential; students requiring the note-taking accommodation are NOT identified to course instructors, nor student volunteers.

STEP 1: Register with QSAS

Note-taking as an accommodation is ONLY available to students with disabilities who are registered with QSAS. Please visit our New and Returning Students Registration page for more information.

STEP 2: Create Note-Taking Requests for your Courses

  • Login to the Note-Taking Online Portal with your Queen’s NetID and password then select the courses for which you require note-taking
  • After logging in, click on 'COURSE NOTES'
  • Change each note-taking requirement for each course from 'no' to 'yes'
  • Click on 'OK' if you wish to have note-taking for the particular course

STEP 3: Select A Note-Taker 

  • When a note-taker becomes available for a course you will receive notification from the Note-Taker Program Coordinator through your Queen's email account.
  • Please Note: QSAS does not guarantee the quality or consistency of any notes prepared and uploaded by our volunteer note-takers. If you encounter any difficulty with your notes, please contact the Note-Taking Program Coordinator as soon as possible

View Sample Notes & Choose Note-Taker

  • Step 1: Click 'Select a note-taker' for the course
  • Step 2: Click 'Check sample notes' to see an anonymous list of note-takers and view sample notes (if available)
  • Step 3: Click the name of the note to open and/or save the file
  • Step 4: After reviewing the file(s), click 'back to choose your note-taker'
  • Step 5: Click 'Choose this note-taker' to add them as your note-taker for this course
  • Step 6: Click 'OK' to verify choosing the note-taker

You will see a notification indicating you have selected a note-taker for a course and your availability has been changed to 'Selected.'

If you wish to change a note-taker or you selected the wrong one, use the 'Submit a comment' tab at the top of the page, or contact the Note-Taking Program Coordinator.

STEP 4: Download Notes

Available notes are stored within each course on the Note-Taking portal. You will be presented with a list of notes organized by the date of the class. Click on the note you want to download and save it to your computer. You may download notes as often as you want, and they will remain available for the term.

How to Download Notes:

  • Step 1: Click 'Notes' for the course you want
  • Step 2: Click 'View notes'
  • Step 3: Click ‘View download history’ if you want a list of the dates/times you downloaded the notes

Student Volunteer Note-Takers

Note-taking is an essential accommodation that ensures students with disabilities have access to important course material that they would not otherwise be able to access. Volunteers work with the Note-Taking Program Coordinator who is available for support and assistance with any role-related issues or concerns. Student volunteers make a critically important contribution towards enhancing equity and access for students with disabilities at Queen's.

Additional benefits of volunteering include:  

  • Practicing and improving your own note-taking skills
  • Better retention and attendance to course materials for your own studies
  • A letter of recognition (signed by the Executive Director, Student Wellness Services) for regular and timely submission of notes throughout the term

Overview

The Notetaking program is one of the services offered by Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS).  The goal of the program is to help achieve an equitable and inclusive classroom learning experiences for students of all abilities. Volunteer note-takers contribute to creating equal access to classroom material by providing detailed lecture notes on an ongoing basis to students registered with QSAS.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide type-written notes where applicable and formatted as a .doc or .pdf file keeping the best format usable for most recipients (see below for handwritten notes)
  • Provide detailed notes to notetake@queensu.ca (your contact) within 48 hours after the class has been held to ensure timely access to recipients
  • Format and upload all lecture notes as ppt, pptx, pdf, doc, docx, txt, rtf, html, xls, or xlsx o HAND WRITTEN notes are acceptable, please scan or take pictures of your notes and upload as pdf, jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, png, rar, tif, or tiff
  • Answer questions in a timely manner regarding notes posed by QSAS to ensure clear understanding of content for recipients
  • Immediately update your online note taking profile if there are changes in your course enrollment so that a replacement note taker may be recruited

Required Skills

  • Organization – keeping good notes in an organized and easily understandable fashion
  • Initiative – a keen drive to meet personal goals and deadlines
  • Time management – to keep on top of the volunteer responsibility and personal work
  • Strong written communication
  • Technologically proficient – be able to reformat files (e.g. using the SAVE AS function)

Expectations

Volunteer note-takers are expected to keep information consistent and as accessible as possible.

Quality notes include:

  • Typewritten, where ever applicable
  • Date of Class
  • Course Code
  • Page Numbers
  • Headings, where applicable
  • Definitions should be bolded to help them stand out
  • Handwritten notes must contain page numbers, dates and accurate headings on each page and be in a sequential organized manner
  • Uploading "File Name" contains COURSE CODE and uploaded to the proper date

Time Commitment

This position is held for a single school term (or 2 terms if the course is a year-long course) and requires, on average, 2 or less hours of commitment each week as reported by previous note-takers.

  1. Using your Queen's NetID and password, sign into the Note-Taking login page
  2. Complete the profile information and select the course(s) for which you wish to volunteer
  3. Hit submit 

The Note Taking Coordinator will contact you by email if you have been selected as a volunteer note taker.

For Faculty

We understand that you as the instructor will know the best route to reach your students. Please use the templates below as a guide to recruit volunteers for the Note-Taker Program.

Accessibility Services (QSAS) needs volunteer note-takers for this class. Volunteers help ensure that students with disabilities have full and equal access to information and materials presented in class.

Expectations of a volunteer note-taker:

  • Upload copies of your notes to an online portal within 24 hours after each class
  • Notes can be typed or handwritten and would contain the date and course code

Students who volunteer as a note-taker for this course throughout the term will receive a letter signed by the Executive Director of Student Wellness Services outlining their exemplary contribution and commitment to creating an inclusive Queen’s. 

Visit the online portal to Sign up to be a volunteer for this course. For more information, please visit the QSAS website, OR email the Note-Taker Program Coordinator notetake@queensu.ca.

Dear students,

Accessibility Services (QSAS) needs volunteer note-takers for this class. Volunteers help ensure that students with disabilities have full and equal access to information and materials presented in class.

Expectations of a volunteer note-taker:

  • Upload copies of your notes to an online portal within 24 hours after each class
  • Notes can be typed or handwritten and would contain the date and course code


Students who volunteer as a note-taker for this course throughout the term will receive a letter signed by the Executive Director of Student Wellness Services outlining their exemplary contribution and commitment to creating an inclusive Queen’s.

Visit the online portal to Sign up to be a volunteer for this course. For more information, please visit the QSAS website, OR email the Note-Taker Program Coordinator notetake@queensu.ca.

Thank you for your continued commitment to making Queen’s an accessible campus for all students. 

Kind regards,

PROFESSOR NAME

Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) needs volunteer note-takers for this class. Volunteers help ensure that students with disabilities have full and equal access to information and materials presented in class.

If you are interested, please look at the information I posted on the course website (or shared via email). Student volunteers who show exemplary commitment to the position will also receive a letter of recommendation outlining their assistance at the end of the term.

For more information please contact notetake@queensu.ca 

If you use power point to deliver your material, please consider including the Volunteer Note-Taker Request Slide v2.1 (PPT, 954 KB) in your lecture to announce to students that a Note-Taker is requested for your class.

Note-Taking Contact

Note-Taking Program Coordinator
notetake@queensu.ca

For accommodations or to connect with an Accessibility Services Advisor
accessibility.services@queensu.ca
 

Note-Taking Online Portal