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      Notetakers

      You may find a notetaker useful if you have hearing loss and need to take notes at school and college while you are also lipreading or watching a sign language interpreter.

      Who are notetakers?

      Notetakers produce a set of notes for people who can't take their own because they are lipreading or watching a sign language interpreter. They're most common in schools, colleges and universities, but are also used at work, on training courses and at other events.

      What are the different types of notetaking?

      Electronic

      Electronic notetakers take notes on a laptop. Most use two devices – one for the notetaker and one for the person with hearing loss (the user). The operator types a summary of what's being said into the computer and the text appears on the user's screen. This allows the user to interact with the operator and add their own notes. It's up to the user, not the notetaker, to decide what they want to keep. Or they can just take notes directly on their own laptop and pass them over to the user afterwards.

      Electronic notetaking doesn't produce a full verbatim (word for word) account of what's been said. If this is what you need, you should use a speech-to-text reporting service.

      Manual notetaking

      A manual notetaker is trained to take clear notes in handwritten English – they're often used in educational settings.

      Finding the right notetaker

      If you have specific needs, you may need to spend some time finding the right notetaker to support you. For example, if you're studying for a science degree, it's important that your notetaker knows something about the subject. Some notetakers specialise in a particular area.

      Notetakers need regular breaks, and you shouldn't expect them to work through lunch and coffee breaks. If the event is longer than two hours, you should book two notetakers.

      More information

      See our factsheet Working with a notetaker

      Book a notetaker

      Find out how to book a notetaker, or alternatively, contact us for more information on 0845 685 8000 (telephone), 0845 685 8001 (textphone) or email communication.services@hearingloss.org.uk.