Peer Notetakers

Peer notetaking assistance is provided as an accommodation for students whose documented disabilities interfere with their ability to take good notes. Notes are an essential tool for studying and learning, so the services of a competent and reliable notetaker provide important support for a student with a disability.

Apply to Become ADS Notetaker

To apply to become a ADS notetaker, complete the following steps: 

  1. Review the Notetaker Responsibilities and Guidelines for Effective Note Taking
  2. Complete the Peer Notetaker Application
  3. Complete the Miscellaneous Expense Voucher for payment

About Getting Paid

Notetakers are paid a stipend for the term. The stipend is provided after the end of the term. Notetakers who take notes for only part of the term will receive a prorated stipend.

Notetaker Responsibilities

Attend Class Regularly

Attend class regularly and arrive on time. If you must miss a class, it is your responsibility to arrange for notes to be provided to the ADS student. It is recommended that you and the ADS student make a prior arrangement with another classmate who is willing to share class notes if you are absent.

Important: In addition to attending class regularly, notetakers must take legible, organized and comprehensive notes.  

determine the best way to provide notes

Communicate with the ADS student to determine the best way to provide them with notes within 24 hours of the class. Possible options are as follows:

  • type and print (or email) notes
  • handwrite notes on regular notebook paper and scan/e-mail or make copies
  • handwrite on carbonless copy paper (available at the ADS office)

Be Discreet 

Keep the identity of the ADS student confidential by not discussing the student with family, friends or classmates.

Let ADS Know if You Drop the Class

Contact ADS within 24 hours if you decide to drop or withdraw from the course or if you are no longer able to fulfill your obligations.

ADS Student Responsibilities

Notes are not considered a substitute for the ADS student’s participation in each class. Notify ADS if the student is often absent. Notetakers are not expected to take notes in a student’s absence unless specifically directed by ADS to do so. 

ADS will contact the student to discuss the absences and determine whether assistance is needed.

Guidelines for Effective Note Taking


  • use ink to handwrite notes (so they’re clear when copying or scanning)
  • date and number each page of your notes

Follow Instructor’s Guidance

  • copy what the instructor writes on the board
  • when the instructor refers to text pages, write the page numbers in your notes
  • star information the instructor says is important or will be on the test

Format Your Notes

  • draw a box around items that should stand out (i.e., class assignments, due dates, test dates)
  • underline key terms
  • use abbreviations to speed up the note taking process (be sure the student understands them)


  • leave blank spaces (so it is easier to see the organization of ideas and to add/edit information)
  • write primary and secondary points and provide details to elaborate
  • include examples to explain a concept

Show the organization of the lecture by using a format such as the following:


  • Main Idea 1 
    Detail A
    Detail B
    Example for Detail B
  • Main Idea 2 
    Detail A 
    Example for Detail A