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In Class Accommodations

In-Class Accommodations

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For each class in which you are enrolled, you may choose whether to use each of your approved accommodations. Consider the requirements of each class and your specific disability-related needs when making that decision. Some accommodations may not be appropriate or necessary for every class. If you choose to use an accommodation in a class, it is your responsibility to notify the professor.

  • Discuss your accommodations with your professors on or before the first day of class or as soon as possible after you receive notification of your approved accommodations.
  • If privacy is important to you, speak to the professors during their office hours, or contact them by email. If necessary, meet with your AAS counselor to plan and implement an effective strategy for communicating with your professors.
  • You do not need to disclose your disability to your professors. Keep the conversation focused on the accommodations you want to use in the class.
  • Request AAS to send your letter of Notification of Academic Accommodation to each professor in whose class you choose to use your accommodations. You must give us your name, your ID number, the course number and section number, and the name of the professor. The letter of Notification of Academic Accommodation itemizes your approved accommodations and validates your request to use your accommodations in the class.
  • Remind your professors of your accommodations as needed and let them know if you are having any difficulty with the accommodations or the class.
  • At the beginning of new each semester, request AAS to send current letters of Notification of Academic Accommodation to the professors in whose classes you choose to use your accommodations.

Notetaking/Lecture Capture Assistance Accessible Furniture Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Notetaking/Lecture Capture Assistance

In class lectures are a very important part of a college education, as such notetaking/lecture capture assistance can be one of the most important accommodations for a student with a disability. We encourage students eligible to apply for and if approved to utilize this service.

If you are interested in utilizing this service, please contact Laura Armour at or your assigned counselor to discuss arrangements.

We have various options available to you as a college student.

In the Online Learning Environment

Synchronous Classes

If your class is synchronous (i.e. it occurs at pre-set day and time each week; professor is teaching live via video):

  • You may use your phone to record the lectures
  • You may be able to ask the professor for copies of their PowerPoint slides (most professors are already providing them)
  • You may take photos of posted lectures/slides
  • If professor has lecture notes posted in text form, this could cover the need
  • You can discuss with us some technology-based resources that we can help you use
Asynchronous Classes

If your class is asynchronous (i.e. not occurring at any specified day or time; prerecorded):

  • You can pause the recording so that you can take notes at your own pace
  • You may use your phone to record lectures
  • You may take photos of posted lectures/slides
  • Take photos of the professor’s PowerPoint slides (again most are providing their slides)
  • If the professor has lecture notes posted in text form, this could cover the need
  • You can discuss with us some technology-based resources that we can help you use

Instructor-Provided Notes

Your instructors may provide you with notes and we can help you make the arrangements. The first step as always, would be to make a request that AAS send a Notification of Accommodations to the instructor of the class in which you want to receive notes.  You will need to give us your name and ID number, the course number and section number, and the name of the instructor so that we know where to send your Notification of Accommodation. Then you can ask your instructor to provide you with notes or their comprehensive PowerPoint slides ahead of time.


Many students find that using technology (e.g., LiveScribe pen, Sonocent software, audio recording) is an effective way to obtain class notes/recordings and some like that it promotes autonomy. Speak with your AAS counselor or the notetaking coordinator, Laura Armour, about the different technologies available and about which one will work best for you. AAS will provide the necessary equipment and will offer training workshops and support as needed. In addition, AAS will ask you to sign an agreement that governs your use of any class recordings.

Live Scribe Pen

The Livescribe or Smartpen consists of a digital pen, digital paper, and software applications. A ballpoint pen with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder are used together with Anoto digital paper. This allows you to record and play back everything you write and hear. This allows users to replay portions of a recording by tapping on the notes they were taking at the time the recording was made. It is also possible to select which portion of a recording to replay by clicking on the relevant portion of a page on-screen once it has been synced to the Livescribe Desktop software. Then, using a USB cable, transfer your notes and audio to your computer.

Livescribe Smartpen
By Caryl Frankenberger, Ed.M.


The Livescribe smartpen captures everything that you write and everything that is spoken. Inside the pen is a camera that takes a picture of your notes as you write them. It also has a built-in microphone that lets you record what is being said. Once the pen is turned on, which requires the click of a button, the pen will begin taking a picture of the notes that you write. The Livescribe smartpen works with Livescribe dot paper which comes in a variety of sizes. You can print your own paper if you have a compatible laser printer. If you choose not to take notes, you can record audio and replay the session.

If you are a slow writer, have difficulty taking notes, or simply want to record the speaker, tap on the “record” icon at the bottom of the page and the pen will record what is said from that moment on. Stop the recording whenever you want by tapping on the “stop” or “pause” icon. If you choose to record and take notes simultaneously, you can spend more time listening to the speaker and then write only the most important information. Later on you can go back and listen to any part of the audio recording by tapping anywhere on your written notes. The audio will begin from that point in your notes. If when listening to the audio recording you discover you have missed important information, you can add it to your notes at that time.

Smartpen connected to laptop

In addition to listening to the audio recording by tapping on your notes, you can transfer notes to your computer through Livescribe Desktop software. Your notes appear just as they were written. If you have used the audio recording you can place your cursor on a word and the audio playback will begin at that point. You can also search for a particular word and listen from there. You can add notes to your notebook at any time and then re-dock your pen to the computer. New notes will appear in a different-colored ink. Individual, customized notebooks can be created–one for science, math or history, for example. You can also share your notes with your friends through e-mail, Evernote, Facebook, and such. If you choose, you can even purchase additional applications, such as a dictionary for the Livescribe smartpen.


1-4 weeks to learn how to use
Most popular use: note-taking in the classroom
Great for college students, or high school students taking honors or AP courses

The Livescribe smartpen is an assistive technology aid that facilitates the note-taking and learning process. Recording classroom discussions and taking fewer notes allows the dyslexic student to spend more time listening and learning. When returning to the material for homework or review, students have an opportunity to listen to important information a second time, add notes that may be of significance, and review what has already been written.

There are students for whom the Livescribe smartpen may not be a useful tool. Someone with significant auditory-processing difficulties who learns little from spoken language may be challenged by listening to the audio playbacks. 


While the Livescribe smartpen is a newer aid for me, I am thoroughly enjoying the freedom it provides. Suddenly I am more available to listen, knowing that the pen is recording and that I can go back and re-listen to any part of a presentation whenever I need clarification. I jot down what is most important and then I use my notes to guide me to specific passages that I want to review. The more I use the pen the more facile I become, and I like the fact that I can dock my notes to the computer and go back and review them at any time. The pen is a time saver and a gift to anyone who chooses to use it.


Sonocent is an amazing organizational tool that can help you improve your performance in classes. It is a note-taking software that allows you to capture, organize and communicate information and thoughts as speech, text, and images. You can gather information from presentations, meetings or even from presentation slides and documents. It also allows you to brainstorm or plan out your written work. You can then share your notes and ideas with others.

More about Sonocent Audio Notetaker

Sonocent Audio Notetaker is software for PC or Mac which offers a visual and interactive form of note taking. The software allows the user to capture audio live or import their audio from a portable device such as a digital voice recorder. Sonocent is a flexible, interactive workspace for capturing, organizing and reviewing information from lectures. Rather than trying and failing to do everything at once, Sonocent gives students the flexibility to break down the note-taking process into manageable steps, and engage with learning in the way that best suits their individual abilities and learning preferences. Sonocent’s innovative audio visualization enables students to fully engage in classes, and create a personalized, annotated record of lecture information - with minimal cognitive effort. 

Student-controlled capture 

The Sonocent note-taking solution comprises a desktop software - Audio Notetaker – and companion mobile app - Sonocent Link, so students can use their preferred device in class: laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The Link app enables students to use their device’s camera to add photos of classroom activities to their recording, or use the Scribble function to create hand-drawn notes, particularly useful for jotting down equations or adding sketch notes. 


“Sonocent allows disabled students to have more agency in their learning. Students can actively engage in class material in ways that are comfortable and work best for their individualized needs”.

María Zoraida Maclay, Disability Resources Specialist

Audio Recorders/smart phone

You may be able to use your smart phone to record the professor during lecture or sign out a small recording device through AAS.

Laptop or tablet

Use for lecture capture assistance and/or for in-class writing assignments.


Take pictures of board and/or peers notes.

Other Notetaking Services

 Peer Note taker (Scribe assistance for classes that require in-class writing)

  • Students may choose to identify another student in their class to share their notes. If you are unable to identify a suitable note taker, AAS will assist you in this process by making an announcement in the class or by asking the professor to do so. The announcement will not mention you by name. If you are in a Developmental English class, AAS will send a notetaker to the class, at your request.
  • AAS will pay peer notetakers for their services. Please send your notetaker to D205, to schedule an appointment to receive further instructions. The peer notetaker must be a full-time student. Each student using peer notetaker service has a folder in the AAS office. AAS will allow peer notetakers to make two copies of their notes, at no charge, in our office. The notetaker will leave one copy of the notes in your folder for you to pick up; the other is the office copy.  You and your peer notetaker may agree on other arrangements for sharing notes. In each scenario, however, the notetaker must provide AAS with a copy of the notes.  These notes can be emailed to our office via

Inform AAS if you (1) can’t find a note-taker, (2) the notetaker is not working to your expectations, or (3) you no longer need note-taking/lecture capture assistance.

Accessible Furniture

Accessible Furniture in Classrooms is an accommodation approved by our office so that students with disabilities can have equal access to classroom spaces and furniture.

Examples of accessible furniture that can be placed on your behalf:

  • Separate desk with chair in lieu of tablet arm chairs
  • Large tablet arm chairs
  • Wheel chair accessible adjustable desks
  • Soft seated chair
  • Stools

The type of furniture that can be placed is not limited to the above list. Contact us to discuss your needs and we will work with you to find furniture suitable to accommodate you.

If you have been approved for classroom furniture as an accommodation, AAS will work with campus facilities to arrange for furniture placement. It is important that you make your request as soon as possible by filling out our online Furniture Request form.

Please only complete this form if you are taking in-person or hybrid classes and would like our office to request that your furniture be placed. Upon completion and submission of this form, you will receive an email confirmation that we are working on your request. We will then contact you once the furniture has been placed.

Please also report any changes to your schedule, room assignment or issues with the furniture placed to

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services 

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may be eligible for services such as:

  • Sign Language Interpreter
  • Transcriber - transcribers use Computer Assisted Real-Time Captioning (CART) and/or Typewell systems to provide instant translation of verbal communication in the classroom or at events into text. You can then view the text in real-time on a laptop set up in the classroom or event.
  • FM System - FM system consists of a transmitter microphone used by the speaker (e.g. the professor) and a receiver worn by the student. The receiver picks up and transmits the voice of the speaker directly to the student.

Should you have any questions all of the above services are coordinated by Laura Armour (

American Sign Language Services 

Deaf/HH students who have registered with AAS and who need interpreter/transcribing services in the classroom should register as early as possible for their classes each semester. This ensures that the coordinator can schedule services in a timely manner.

To request an interpreter for any situation other than regularly scheduled classes, you will need to fill out a request form, which you can obtain from the coordinator Laura Armour at Make your request as early as possible so that the coordinator will have sufficient time to fulfill your request.


TypeWell is a system for capturing spoken content and generating an immediate meaning-for-meaning transcript.

Using advanced abbreviation software, a trained TypeWell transcriber synthesizes the essence of the discussion in clear English text. This form of communication access is commonly used by individuals with hearing loss or who need additional support.

The transcriber can work in the classroom or meeting room or can be located off-site. The recipient (commonly called "the reader") simultaneously sees the transcript using a standard Web browser on a mobile device, such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or e-reader.

For general inquiries please email or call 718-368-5175 or drop in to room D-205 in the West Academic Clusters