When walking around campus, it’s hard to recognize that each individual student has their own story; they aren’t merely background characters to your life, but they exist on their own account. People’s outer shells often deceive. It’s not always easy for students to put on a happy face; concentrating in class and managing work can become formidable, and pose a threat to ones GPA.
LIU Post strives to create a comfortable environment for all types of students. From the available and confidential counseling, to the Learning Support Center, students are presented with an assortment of options to help pinpoint and address their problem areas. The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS), focuses on providing students with equal opportunities and various accommodations for special needs and disabilities.
These accommodations are provided by individual academic departments, according to the Student Life Services tab on the LIU Post website, which states, “…accommodations include but are not limited to extended time for tests, note takers, use of a tape recorder in class, reading exam questions to a student, a scribe to record a student’s answers to test questions, and the use of a computer for an essay exam.”
The DSS has available on campus job opportunities as note takers for any student, work-study or not, who is willing to take legible, constructive notes for disabled students, and get paid $7.25 an hour for it. Not only is the payment itself an incentive, but the cause is one as well. Marie Fatscher, Assistant Director at the Learning Support Center, expressed the importance of note taking as a supplement for certain students. She stated that the note taking option has been in place since the mid-1980s. The notes, after being submitted via e-mail to the Learning Support Center, are published on a Blackboard tab for easy access. However, according to Fatscher, not all students with disabilities require note takers. The office of Disability Support Services, located in the Learning Support Center, must approve the accommodation. The documentation is further reviewed by professional staff, which later interviews the student, and provides them with completed Accommodations Forms (describing the nature of their learning disability) for presentation to their professors.
Note takers are employed by The Learning Support Center at the start of each semester. The responsibilities of a note taker are straight forward: be diligent in making it to every class, be observant and focus on what the professor is saying, and take notes in a coherent format. Not only are you accountable for writing down what the professor writes down on the board, but also things that they say that are significant. As a note taker myself, it makes my class hours go by faster, and I am more attentive. I am not only paying attention for my own apprehension, but I am also motivated to follow along so that I could comply with my position as a note taker, and provide helpful notes that students could actually learn from.
When note takers are needed in a class, all applicable students are contacted. Students interested in positions as note takers or another learning support option (to be a reader and/or amanuensis, which is someone who translates the students’ words onto paper) can contact or visit the Learning Support Center. The office is located in Post Hall, and the phone number is 516-299-3057.