Disability Services struggles to find enough note takers
Demand for note takers has risen dramatically this academic year, according to college officials, leaving some students to seek special accommodations but also creating job opportunities for others.
“For those qualified students already enrolled in a course section in need of a note taker, why not get paid $7.25 an hour to do what you are already doing for free — attending class and taking your own notes?” said Daniel Fischer, Del Mar College’s director of Counseling, Disability and Retention Services.
Note takers are paid to take notes for a student with disabilities and provide them with a copy after each day’s class. They do not need to be enrolled in the class.
“For those qualified students who have some time on their hands, need some extra cash, and/or desire to help fellow students achieve their academic dream, why not give it a try?” Fischer said.
Students needing note takers are challenged with disabilities such as physical or mental impairments, mental or psychological disorders, and limitations of one or more major life activities. If a student can’t obtain a note taker, he or she can request the professor supply an outline or the notes or even a slideshow, but some professors limit the use of recording devices.
The high demand for note takers started in fall 2017, when 100 course sections needed note takers. This spring, according to Anna Lazrak, an assistant in the Disability Services office, note takers have been found for 59 courses, leaving 24 sections to still be filled. Demand is expected to grow as the semester progresses, Lazrak and Fischer said.
Lazrak and Fischer said they think some of the shortage is related to many students not knowing about the opportunity to be a note taker.
“I had no idea this was an option for me. It could be nice if the professors told us in class that there’s a student needing a note taker and inform us of the requirements so we can somewhat have that pull to want to do it,” said DMC student Jose Gonzalez.
To be a note taker, students must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours for the semester and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, Fischer said.
If you or someone you know is interested in being a note taker, go to the Disability Services office in Room 188 of the Harvin Center or contact Lazrak at firstname.lastname@example.org.