Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Note-Taker Instructions

Disability Services (SLDS) Note-Takers:

Thank you! We appreciate you volunteering to provide a copy of your notes to a SLDS-registered student. Your assistance helps the university provide equitable access to education for all students.

As a note-taker, it’s important for you to keep some things in mind. Please read through the guidelines below and follow the instructions. Note that failure to meet your responsibilities may result in forfeiture of compensation.


Note-Taker Responsibilities

1. Make initial contact with the SLDS-registered student as soon as possible.

  • The instructor should provide you with the student’s name and email address.

  • During that conversation, establish an agreed-upon format and delivery method for the notes. Some options include:
    • Email typed notes
    • Use carbon copy paper notepads (available for free at SLDS)
    • Copy or scan notes (available for free at SLDS)

2. Fill out the “Note-Taker Request Form” form and return to SLDS (in-person or via email to slds-notes@osu.edu) at least 2 weeks prior to the start of finals week for the current semester/term.

3. Take legible, good quality notes.

  • For tips on effective note-taking strategies, visit the Dennis Learning Center’s Active Note-Taking Strategies page.

  • Consider how you’ll be providing notes, and how to make the exchange as smooth as possible. For example, it can be difficult to scan notes from a 3-ring binder. Loose-leaf paper is easier to scan, while typed notes require no scanning at all!

4. Deliver notes in a timely manner.

  • Typically, notes should be delivered by the following class period, unless you and the registered student mutually agree to another timeline.

  • All notes relevant to an upcoming exam should be delivered with enough time for the registered student to use the notes for studying.

  • Note-takers can scan or copy their notes at SLDS Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

5. Attend class regularly and keep in communication.

  • Even if you are absent from class, you are still responsible for providing notes for that day. Work with the instructor or a classmate to obtain a copy of notes.

  • If there are any changes in the note-taking arrangement (you drop the class, the services are not needed anymore, etc.), or if you have any questions/concerns about your role, please let SLDS know as soon as possible.

6. Maintain confidentiality.

  • It is okay to tell people you are a note-taker for SLDS, but do NOT reveal any identifying information (name, disability, etc.) about the student receiving notes unless you have their explicit permission.

  • Breaking confidentiality could disqualify you from compensation.

7. Follow the instructions below to receive compensation.


Compensation

Disability Services will provide either (1) a stipend of $25 per credit hour or (2) a certificate of volunteering upon satisfactory completion of note-taking assistance. This compensation can be awarded for each individual for which you are providing notes. 

  • If you are currently a student employee, you will be paid via direct deposit approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester. Please note that your stipend will be the amount of compensation after taxes and will be added to the payment for your current student employee position.

  • If you are NOT currently a student employee, you will be paid via direct deposit/eft or check. We highly encourage you to complete the direct deposit form for more efficient payment. If you choose to paid by check, you will receive the check by mail to your permanent address approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester.

  •  Regular faculty or staff are not eligible to receive the stipend.

IMPORTANT: To be eligible to receive a stipend payment, note-takers are required to complete and submit additional documentation described in the sections below. Stipend payments cannot be processed without the required documentation.


To Receive a Certificate of Volunteering:

1. On your Note-Taker Request Form, indicate that you are requesting volunteer hours.

2. SLDS will email you a certificate confirming your volunteer hours 2-4 weeks after the end of the semester.


To Receive the Stipend:

1. On your Note-Taker Request Form, indicate that you are requesting a stipend.

2. If applicable, submit a completed New Vendor Setup Form (in-person or via email) at least 2 weeks prior to the start of finals week for the current semester/term.

  • If you have served as a note-taker in a previous semester, you do not need to submit a vendor form.

  • If you are a student employee requesting compensation, you do not need to submit a vendor form.

  • This form requires a handwritten signature.

  • If this form is not submitted by the deadline, the stipend is forfeited.

3. Non-resident Aliens must also complete and submit a W-8BEN form along with a copy of your passport and visa.

  • Once this information is entered into the system, you will receive an email from support@online-tax.net giving you access to log-on and complete a questionnaire.

  • If the requested information is not completed within 15 days the maximum amount of US tax will be withheld from any US income paid to you.