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Teacher1294:  What is the interpretation of the accommodation: “Copy of class notes”?

If a child’s IEP states they will be provided a copy of class notes, must those notes be provided as a hard copy or is an electronically assessable copy acceptable?

  1. If a student has hard copy of notes, and the teacher assigns taking notes on the book reading and then tests them the next day allowing them to use the notes they took, is this right?

  2. If a student has the accommodation of “Teacher notes in exchange for student notes,” but the teacher is requiring the AADHD student to ASK for the notes to ADVOCATE for himself, does this seem reasonable? This seems like the student is being asked to OVERCOME his disability to receive the accommodation. Thoughts?

    • I agree, this does sound like the teacher expects the student to overcome his disability; however, the student should be taught to advocate for himself and this can be done by providing self-advocacy services, teaching the student what his accommodations are, what they look like and how and when to request them.

  3. Even more interesting – when the IEP says paper or digital – and what is provided is a copy of viewgraphs, with big gaps to which the teacher talks. It could even be a single picture with 10 minutes of lecture about it. The student cannot hear well and can miss as much as 80 percent of what is said in some of the classes. The student also has severe joint pain and weakness, and can write or type very little. Are the view graphs the notes? The school thinks so. Universities and reference sites for what is needed for good notetaking accommodation does not apply.

  4. We have been having this issue. Sometimes teachers do not have notes, or they are working out of the text book. How do you handle this situation. The parent is insisting on class notes, but it is not always possible.

    • What would a notetaker write? These catchall phrases in the accommodations are difficult. You need to know what disability the notes are for. Do you provide advance notes, or notes after the class? The notes are commonly used for review and study and to cover what may be difficult to access during the class, Normally the notes are based on instruction. Teachers notes – ie what is with the materials, or what you prepare for the session ahead of time may cover it. In your example, that could be more of what the teachers asked them to do (such as read page xx and answer questions from the text book. Discussions, what you physically demonstrate, and draw/write on the board are much harder. A good note taker – open to page xx and do activity y and z.

    • Your state may have a definition, but this is probably determined at the district, campus or IEP team level. Typically teams do not clarify this term, so a teacher ends up deciding what they think it means. You can try working with the IEP team or principal.

  5. My student’s IEP say the same. He has vision problems so for him having to go to the teacher’s web site, download the file and print it out, is visually demanding. One teacher had a problem printing them out because she didn’t have time. I agreed to print them out, but the teacher never posted them to her page. It became a really big problem. Eventually he got the notes printed out at school, but nobody wins when you’re fight over something like paper or electronic. Like the other comment says, ask the kid. It should be about what works for them. Not a lawyer, but the law says FAPE at no cost to parents. Is your district willing to buy student a computer and printer for home to print your notes? I’m pretty sure they’ll ask you to print them out for your student.

  6. Does the IEP specify how the class notes will be provided? If not, it is probably “legally” okay to provide it in either format. But why not just ask the student what they prefer?

    Electronic copies seem the best route as they can be read online, edited, printed out, etc. But the student may have barriers to accessing them in this format, like lack of consistent internet access, inability to print at home, etc. You can’t lose if you ask the student their preference!

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