Notes not taken

Yuno Imai

Becoming a note taker gives you an opportunity to help others, plus make some money.

Disability Support Services needs nearly double the number of 65 students who currently take notes for fellow classmates with disabilities.

Despite a barrage of fliers and e-mail messages to teachers asking them to make class announcements, the need falls short of demand, said DSS coordinator Lisa Martin.

When matching note takers with students who need the service, DSS goes through the list of classes both are taking to see the overlap.

This spring semester, out of all the available note takers on the list, “We had close to 300 sections listed, totaling 500 classes,” only 10 positions matched the requests, Martin said via e-mail messages.

DSS encourages students to step forward even if they are note takers lacking in confidence, “If they are willing to learn, we’re willing to teach.” Martin said.

Note taker, Brad Peck admits he was “a sloppy writer” before the job gave him an opportunity to organize his notes and get motivated to do well in class.

And there were more benefits.

As a freshman, Peck said he didn’t get involved with school activities.

“[Being a note taker] made me feel connected with people,” he said. “Overall, I just love it.”

Note takers earn $100 per semester, per class, although some prefer a DSS certificate for Volunteer Service instead of money.

Since DSS has no budget this year because of the state budget crisis, other departments are paying for note takers, Martin said.

Note taker Arina Semionenkova said she took the job for two reasons. “I need the money and I want to help other students,” she said.

Disabilities that require note taking services range anything from inability to see the blackboard or hear the instructor to brain injuries, developmental delays or attention deficit disorder.

“It could [also] be temporary like a broken hand,” Martin said.

Janet Richards, who uses the service because of her illegible handwriting, said in an e-mail interview that, note takers help her stay on track, and prevent her from feeling “left behind.”

Note takers allow deaf student Darlene Johnson to pay more attention to lectures and not miss important information.

“I do not have note takers for all classes that I have been taking in the past,” she said in an e-mail interview.

Note takers are expected to take readable notes in class and make some understandable formatting changes.

“Good notes consist of whatever is on the board and what the instructor is lecturing,” Martin said.

And benefits are twofold: Students with disabilities get equal access and the information they need; note takers improve their skill and class attendance.

“It’s a win-win,” Martin said.

Job applications are available in Student Services Center Building, room 202A.

 

Contact Yuno Imai at [email protected]