Students with Disabilities Recording Classes
The recording of classes is a common accommodation for students with print-related disabilities and/or who are auditory learners. For example, consider an individual with severe dyslexia, who may find reading any material quite a challenging endeavor. Students with visual impairments, slow processing speed disorders and some other differing abilities may also need to record classes.
After the interactive process has been engaged and Disability Services has determined that a recording device is a reasonable accommodation for a student with a diagnosed disability, the accommodation letter may include a designation similar to the following: Ability to audio record lectures.
With the explosion of extensive advances in technology, it is important to be aware that anyone could be recording any conversation or audio at any time; laptops, iPads, electronic notebooks, cell phones, smart pens, smart watches and other tech-savvy jewelry and gadgetry have the ability to record unobtrusively.
Recording devices such as smart pens and other small apparatuses are recommended for students when such an accommodation is necessary because they are unobtrusive, help students to be more independent and are more reliable than a voluntary note taker. They are also more cost effective for many of those instances where Disability Services may need to pay a note taker.
Smart pens work by combining a pen, a tiny camera and an audio recorder. Then it aligns the location of notes on special micro-dot paper. For example, utilizing this process, a student in philosophy course may be taking a few key word notes on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. Later, the student can turn on her Smart Pen, touch it to where they had written the word Education and the pen would know relative to the word’s location on the micro-dots where to begin playing what the instructor was saying at the precise moment the student wrote that particular note. The pen syncs what was heard with what was written. Students have assorted writing utensils and these pens fit right in nearly unnoticeable. They charge similarly to a cell phone and software is available for downloading and highlighting notes for study purposes.
Many good students who do not have a diagnosed disability have openly stated that they regularly record class material to ensure that their notes are thorough and accurate. A former student, who suffered from short-term memory failure was able to maintain her part-time position as a waitress while putting herself through college by utilizing a smart pen on the job. She would record customer orders as she took them on her note pad and was able to replay to the chef any part about which she was unsure.
The office for civil rights has advised that students for whom this accommodation is reasonable may not be denied the opportunity to record and you may visit their site for auxiliary aids and services.
For additional questions or concerns, please contact Disability Services at 404-413-1560, or via email.
Vires, Tina E. and Teaching and Learning Center, “Guest Column: Students with Disabilities Recording Classes—by Tina Vires, Office of Disability Services” (2016). The Weekly Reader. 90.