Self-Advocacy, or representing your views and interests to others, is an important part of the college experience. It allows you to take charge of your education and your academic supports. Maintaining good communication with your instructors and other campus staff will allow you to better access and use your authorized academic accommodations and enhance your overall college experience.

These examples may help you better self-advocate for your authorized academic accommodations.

Services and Accommodations

Informing instructors of your authorized academic accommodations and support services is a helpful way to ensure timely and appropriate access and use. Although it is not required, you may show, provide, or e-mail, to your instructors, a copy of your Authorized Academic Accommodations (AAA) letter to help start a conversation about your services. The AAA letter an important tool that verifies your participation with the A.R.C. and summarizes your authorized academic accommodations. 

You may say:


“My name is __________. I am a student with the A.R.C. I’d like to discuss the approved academic accommodations I plan to use for your class. These include: __________.”




“My name is __________. I am a student with the A.R.C. Here is my accommodations letter, which verifies my A.R.C. services and shows my authorized academic accommodations.”

Notetaking Assistance

Notetaking assistance is a great way to get a set of lectures notes for your personal study use. This extra set of lecture notes will come from a volunteer peer note-taker (another student in the class), who will take their own notes in a specialized notebook containing no carbon required (NCR) paper, which is designed to make a duplicate copy of every page of notes completed. These NCR notebooks are available for free at the A.R.C. (Building 60-120). You are responsible for providing your volunteer peer note-taker with an NCR notebook and for collecting your extra set of lecture notes at the end of each class session.


You may ask your instructor to confidentially recruit a volunteer peer note-taker in the classroom. Be sure to bring the NCR notebook with you when approaching your instructor. You may also want to explain to your instructor how the NCR notebook works. 


You may say:


“I have been approved for notetaking assistance and would like to use this accommodation. Would you please help me recruit a student who takes good notes to act as a volunteer peer note-taker? I have an NCR notebook here for the note-taker to use.”

Audio Recording Lectures

Audio recording lectures is a great way to capture lecture material for personal study use. Lectures may be recorded with a personal device that records audio including a physical digital recorder or cell phone. Video recordings are not permitted. 


The A.R.C. offers free access to a subscription to Otter, a digital app that you can download to your smart phone and use to record your lectures and receive a text transcript. A limited number of physical digital recorders are available to students. All physical and digital equipment is subject to availability. Contact in the Assistive Technology Center (ATC) for more information.


You may say:


“I have been approved to audio record lectures and would like to use this accommodation. I will use my recordings for personal study purposes.”

Exam Accommodations

For information on exam accommodations, including how to use them for both in-person and online classes, visit the Testing Center.


For in-person classes, you may say:


“I have been approved for exam accommodations and would like to use them. I have already activated my accommodation with the A.R.C. Testing Center. They will e-mail testing accommodations paperwork to you on my behalf. I will schedule my exams and quizzes with the A.R.C. Testing Center so that I can use my accommodations. The exam accommodations I plan to use are: __________.”

For online classes, you may use this example e-mail text:


“Dear Professor __________,


My name is __________. I am enrolled in your COUN 120, section 1234 class. I am sending you this email as a friendly reminder of my exam accommodation of extended testing time (1.5x) for our upcoming quiz/exam on Wednesday, April 16th. Would you please adjust my quiz/exam time in system to reflect my authorized exam accommodation? Thank you.”