Notetakers provide support in a variety of settings, predominently within education and training organisations (secondary schools, higher education and VET providers) but they can also work in work-related meetings, legal settings and doctor’s appointments. They work with people of diverse needs, such as deaf and hard of hearing indviduals and deafblind people and people with other disabilities.

Our focus, however, is on notetakers who with deaf and hard of hearing students in VET. The information below discusses the role and training opportunities available for notetakers working with these students as the skills required in each situation will differ slightly.

In the VET sector one role of a notetaker is to support deaf and hard of hearing students who may, or may not, also request an interpreter. A student who is hard of hearing may require a notetaker in some practical classes because there is too much background noise for them to understand the teacher but not want one in theory classes while another student may require both a notetaker and interpreter in all their classes as they cannot simultaneously take notes and watch the interpreters.

The following are generally accepted responsibilities of a notetaker.

The role of the notetaker

The role of the notetaker is to provide access to the information being conveyed by taking concise and accurate notes of class content, discussions and instructions as well as information presented visually.

The notetaker is to take down the information as it is presented, regardless of how ride, illogical, incorrect or offensive it may appear to be.

The notetaker is not to allow their own opinions to influence their notes.

The notetaker is to refrain from becoming involved in the class, by, for example, participating in activities, interacting with other students, answering questions directed at students or discussing the progress of the student with the teacher.

The notetaker is required to respect the student’s confidentiality and information about their progress in the class and other personal information is not to be discussed or relayed to others.

Notetakers are generally employed by the relevant Disability Support Unit or HR department where the deaf or hard of hearing student is enrolled. Training is often provided on the job, with additional feedback between students and notetakers encouraged to ensure the needs of students are met.

deafConnectEd is able to offer access to an online training program for notetakers.

Contact us to discuss enrolling prospective notetakers in this course.