DSP Volunteer Note-taking

The Disabled Students' Program (DSP) is looking for volunteer student note-takers who are enrolled in select courses, and are willing to share their notes. If you take detailed, well-organized notes, this is a wonderful way to make a positive difference for a fellow classmate—and receive a monetary stipend at the end of the semester. The stipend amount varies depending on the frequency or format of the course. The stipend will be prorated if you begin volunteering after 25% of the semester has elapsed or if notes are shared for only part of the semester.


  • You must be currently enrolled as a student in the course in which you are willing to share notes.
  • You must have a Social Security Number or Tax ID Number. For further information, go to www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Taxpayer-Identification-Numbers-(TIN).
  • If you are an international student without an SSN, you will be required to apply for an SSN. You will receive further information on the process if selected as a notetaker.
  • You must take detailed, well-organized notes.
  • Freshmen are welcome to apply. If you do not have a Berkeley GPA, just write your high school GPA on the application with a small notation that indicates that it is from high school.
  • You cannot be a DSP student who receives notetaking services at the same time (Students who receive the LiveScribe accommodation can be notetakers.)

Duties & Responsibilities as a volunteer note-taker

  • Take detailed, well organized notes. Notes are not required to be in any particular format, but should be easy to follow. Except in the case of math- and science-based classes, typed notes are preferred. If notes are handwritten, please write very legibly in pen, and be willing to re-scan notes if necessary.
  • 24-hour deadline: Upload notes to a DSP bCourses site, or deliver to the DSP office within 24 hours of the conclusion of each class. Please be advised that the deadline will be shortened if there are class assignments/quizzes/exams due.  If an assignment is due before the next class meeting, notes should be uploaded by the end of the day the lecture occurred.
  • Class anomalies: If you are absent from class, you are still responsible for sharing notes from that class meeting (either by asking a friend who is a fellow student, or a GSI). Not being responsible will result in a decrease in your stipend, or being released as a volunteer. In order to notify DSP, you may upload a document on the bcourse that says "No Notes: REASON." If you scan your notes, you can just create a folder with the title "No Notes: REASON." Please email dspnotes@berkeley.edu if you are absent, or if there is an exam, or if there is any other reason that notes will not be provided for that class meeting.
  • Schedule changes: Notify DSP immediately if you drop a class for which you are sharing notes. We will notify you immediately if the DSP student for whom you are sharing notes drops the course. Please be aware that you may be asked to stop sharing notes at any time during the semester due to enrollment changes. Student volunteer note-takers may still receive partial stipend for sharing notes for part of the semester.
  • Confidentiality: If a DSP student with whom you are sharing notes elects to introduce himself or herself to you, his or her identity must be kept confidential.


  • Stipends are disbursed at the end of the semester either via check or direct deposit. The current rate of pay $37.50 per unit. We will inform you via email when the stipends are going to be dispersed.
  • If you take notes for multiple classes, you will receive one stipend per class.
  • Stipends are also pro-rated. However, if you choose to share all of your notes from before you were hired, you will be eligible to receive one hundred percent of the stipend, rather than the pro-rated amount. We encourage you to share all of your notes from the beginning, however this is not required.

How to apply

Fill out the Volunteer Note-taker Application, and email a copy of the notes to dspnotes@berkeley.edu in the format in which you will be taking them (typed or handwritten). Scans of handwritten notes can be made in the DSP office, open Monday through Friday 8-12 and 1-5. Bring both documents to the DSP office, 260 César Chávez Student Center, and email them to dspnotes@berkeley.edu.

After you complete the DSP note taker application, we will also need you to create a profile on Scarab, our online system. By creating a profile, DSP will be able to match your schedule with new requests for note-taking which we will receive throughout the semester. If there is a match between your schedule and our requests we will contact you with further directions on registering online.

1. Go to Services Provider Login

2. Log in w/ your Calnet ID

3. Click on the ‘Create Profile’ tab.  *Note: when creating a profile, make sure to use the two-letter abbreviation for the state when entering your address.  For example, you must write "CA" and NOT "California."

4. Enter your personal information, save, and logout

5. Log back in (If you do not see the additional tabs you need, logout and try back in about half an hour)

6. Click on the ‘Offer Services’ tab, select the term(s) you are interested in and Note Taking, and choose save

Please be advised once you have created a profile, you will be able to log in and offer services for any term in which you are currently enrolled as a student. You will not have to create a new profile. (e.g. at the end of Spring 2015, you can offer for Summer 2015) 


Last updated: January, 2015