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Notetakers, Scribes, and Readers for STEM Classes

Proposal No: 210

Bios & Handouts


Disability Area:            

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1Format: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

STEM courses present extra challenges for notetakers, scribes, and readers, who must work with specialized vocabularies, complex diagrams, and difficult material. Discipline-specific knowledge and preliminary training can improve the quality of the assistance provided for the STEM student.


College and university courses in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) present extra challenges for notetakers, scribes, and readers. Aides need to use specialized vocabularies correctly, work with intricate diagrams accurately, and organize complicated material knowledgeably, all with precision and ease. Simple peer support is often inadequate in STEM courses due to the difficulty of the material. Complete accessibility for STEM students includes providing high-quality assistance in challenging courses. Preliminary training on the problems and subtleties of reading and writing for one particular subject can improve the caliber of the results, especially with faculty participation in the process. Faculty can also help select, train, and evaluate aides within the specific domain.


  1. STEM material includes specialized vocabulary, complex diagrams, and other difficult-to-convey information
  2. scribes, readers and notetakers must be well-versed in the subject matter
  3. faculty input and oversight is important for quality and correctness

Speaker Bio(s)

Judith Gurka