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Audio Note-taking software; How I finally heard the pink elephants in my office.

| Proposal No: 846

Bios & Handouts


  • Scott Ritter, , Univ. of WI-Whitewater

Disability Area:            

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 2-hrFormat: Lecture Expertise Level: All Levels Type of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

1. Literature review of note-taking research and support for audio note-taking tools. 2. Technology trend data for 2 year/4 year college student 3. Overview of Madison College's audio note-taking project 4. Demonstration of the audio notetaking software Madison College is providing to students.


Brazeau (2006) argued that active learning, considered a key aspect of student engagement, is reduced when students are not directly involved in collecting and sorting information for notes. If a student with a disability only has a copy of another student’s notes or notes from an instructor, they may be missing out on the critical active learning that occurs during the notetaking process; thinking about the information, sorting it, writing it down, evaluating importance and synthesizing with other related course material. As a result, traditional note-taking accommodations may not be the most effective accommodation model. Many students who use notetaking as an accommodation also struggle with reading comprehension, dyslexia, and other print disabilities. This leads to the following questions: If a college provides a student with notes he/she can’t read, does a college actually create barriers to success? Has the playing field accidentally been tilted? Audio note-taking software provides a compelling solution to these "Pink Elephants".


  1. Traditional note-taking accommodation models are not effective for the majority of students with disabilities
  2. Audio Notetaking software is a compelling, effective alternative to traditional print notes
  3. Note-taking accommodation "pink elephants" are in all of our offices

Speaker Bio(s)

Scott Ritter

Scott Ritter, MS, began his work with individuals with disabilities on August 12, 1981-the day his brother, Matt was born. Matt is an individual with a multiple disabilities but the heart of a lion and has profoundly influenced Scott's professional path. Scott earned his MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin- Madison in 2003. He worked at Madison Area Technical College as a Disability Resource Specialist for 10 years, where his duties included case management and coordination of note-taking and alternative media accommodation services. He currently works as the Associate Director at the Center for Students with Disabilities at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. In his “free” time, he currently serves as Immediate Past President of WI-AHEAD, is a private AT consultant and presents on Assistive Technology and Self-Advocacy at local and national conferences.