The Disability Support Services (DSS) receives around 300 requests for note-takers each semester. As a peer note-taker, you can positively impact your classmates and your own academic performance. Refine your academic skills and serve fellow students as a peer note-taker!

Sign Up to be a Peer Notetaker

How to Upload Notes to the DSS Portal

What Does a Note-Taker Do?

Note takers simply share their personal lecture notes with a classmate. Notes provided by peer note-takers supplement or provide notes for those who are unable to take notes during class. Note takers do not provide any academic assistance or advantage for those who use the service. A note taker is not a tutor, interpreter, or reader/writer. If you are a skilled note-taker, you could provide a valuable service to the campus community.

Every semester, DSS is seeking students who take thorough, clear notes; record important course content; and are willing to help other students succeed. It is rewarding and convenient to be a peer note-taker. Notes can be uploaded to DSS’ convenient online portal any time.

Do you think you would make a good note-taker? Read more to see if you would enjoy this position!

Why Do Students Need Note-Takers?

DSS facilitates access to note-taking accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Eligible students have disabilities that may inhibit their ability to take notes, due to a variety of reasons: it may be a physical (limited use of hands, low vision, interacting with a sign language interpreter, etc.) or non-physical reason (difficulty listening and writing at the same time, difficulty transcribing verbal information).

By being a note-taker you are making a commitment to DSS to assist in providing required accommodations. More importantly, you make a commitment to the student for whom you are taking notes. Your notes are a vital component of a fellow peers academic success.

How to Get Started

To qualify to become a peer note-taker, you must be a current UAB student who is currently enrolled in a class that requires a note taker. You may become involved in the note taker program through a variety of ways:

  • You receive a message from a fellow student or instructor, requesting a volunteer.
  • You elect to take notes for DSS (availability based your current schedule & note taker demand).

If you wish to participate, please sign up online here and email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and be sure to list the classes for which you are willing to take notes.

Disability Services will notify you via DSS email if you have been matched with a note-taking assignment. Once matched, you will use your BlazerID and password at our online database, the Accessibility Information Management (AIM) system. You will be instructed to log into AIM and sign a note taker agreement acknowledgment.

How Does Note Taking Work?

  1. Take notes as usual during class. Be sure to record all pertinent content.
    • We request that all notes be typed in a MS Word file. Exceptions may be approved by DSS depending on the class content (such as math.)
  2. Upload notes to AIM database within 1 week and at least 2 days prior to any exam.
    • If you are unable to upload your notes, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. Notetakers have the option of receiving $60 scholarship or 10 community service hours per course.

Note-Taker Responsibilities

  • Maintain a respectful and professional relationship with the student you are serving.
  • Respect the student’s right to privacy by keeping names & all information regarding disability confidential.
  • Attend all class sessions.
    • In the event a note taker must be absent from class: Note-takers are required to make arrangements for a substitute note-taker, or for obtaining and delivering notes from another student as soon as possible.
    • If no notes are taken in class, upload a document stating there were no notes on [day] for [course] and your full name.
  • Maintain academic integrity and refrain from sharing copies of notes with other students.
  • Notify DSS immediately of any note taking concerns, absences from class, or changes in your class schedule, etc.

Note-Taking Benefits

Community Service Hours

Volunteer note-takers can receive community service hours from DSS, which may qualify certain academic or extracurricular program requirements. Your letter will be mailed to the mailing address on file for 10 hours per class.

Enhance Your Résumé

Example Résumé Statement:

Volunteer Note-Taker (Fall 2016-Spring 2017)
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Disability Support Services
Provided detailed class notes for qualified students registered with Disability Support Services. [# weeks or semesters] of accommodation note-taking service were completed.

Compensation

If you choose the $60 scholarship, this payment will be released at the end of the semester once the majority of notes have been received. This scholarship payment will post against your student account. If you have an outstanding balance greater than the scholarship payment, no direct deposit and/or check will be issued. If no outstanding balance exist, funds will be direct deposited into your student account if you have a check/saving account on file with UAB. If no saving/checking account on file, a check will be mailed to your address listed with UAB.

Tips for Successful Peer Note‐Takers

Basic Tips

  • Attend all class sessions, and arrange for a substitute if you will be absent.
  • Sit near the front of the classroom/near the instructor.
  • Be an active listener.

Taking Notes

  • Record the date and class on the top of the first page of notes.
  • Put the class session date and course number (BY 123-1C) on the first page.
  • Make notes complete and clear enough to understand when you come back to them.
  • Explain all abbreviations or acronyms when using them for the first time.
  • Note important ideas, terms, and concepts.
  • Ask questions about topics that need more clarification.
  • Indicate uncertainty about any content with a question mark.

Include in Your Notes:

  • Anything written/typed on the board or presented on PowerPoint or projector. (If PowerPoint slides are provided by instructor, you do not have to repeat content.)
  • Any information that is repeated or emphasized by the instructor, especially when preceded by key phrases (“finally,” “remember,” “most important,” “this will be on the exam,” etc.)
  • Numbered or listed items, procedures, examples, etc.
  • Important or new terms, definitions, and examples.
  • References to your text book (page numbers, exercises, graphics, tables, etc.) or other reference materials
  • Pertinent comments made by your instructor or classmates during discussions.
  • If you aren’t able to keep up with a fast-paced lecture, just write down key nouns, verbs, dates, etc.
  • Review your notes and fill in any gaps in concepts or content.
  • Upload your notes within 24 hours of the end of the class session.

Thank you for your interest in the peer note taker program!