Audio Recording

Audio Recording - Current Students

Audio recording is an appropriate accommodation for many classes. Students can use their own recorders or check one out from Center for Accessible Resources (CAR).

Accommodations provided

Audio recorders are available on loan to record lectures and class discussions.

How to request this service

Image of a silver Olympus brand digital voice recorder. There is a screen displaying the time of the recording. Under the screen is a record and stop button and small speaker. The device is about one inch wide, 5 inches tall, and half an inch thick.

Please see our Requesting Accommodations Page for step-by-step instructions on requesting accommodations like audio recorders. 


  • Recordings need to be for the private educational use of the student and cannot be shared.
  • Nondisabled students' comfort does not trump disabled students' civil rights to equitable access to the class content.
  • Students shall not release recordings to others, post on the internet, or disseminate any part of the recordings or course materials to others, or in any other way prevent the instructor’s ability to copyright the lecture.
  • Only lecture/theory based information shall be audio recorded. Small group discussions or confidential information shall not be recorded at any time. If a course or portion of the course involves personal comments or sharing of private information that would be inappropriate to record, the student will stop recording and resume recording when/if lecture resumes.
  • This accommodation is specifically mentioned on the OCR (Office of Civil Rights) website as an appropriate student accommodation. (See the question: what academic adjustments must a postsecondary institution provide?)
  • A free trial of a speech-to-text transcription service, IBM Watson, is available for students to transcribe and print audio recordings. After plugging the audio recorder into the computer, visit the IBM Watson website, click "select audio file," and navigate to the audio recording. Watson will transcribe the entire audio file in the space below. For help using this service please contact CAR.

Instructional Video: How to use IBM Watson

For more information, please see our PDF: Audio Recorder Instructions and PDF: IBM Watson Instructions


Echo Desktop for Smartpens webpage—Echo Desktop is computer software allowing people to view and listen to content created using a Smartpen. When a student uses a 

Student using a smartpen, which is a pen with a computer inside that remembers what is written and later will upload it to a computer.

Smartpen provided by the Center for Accessible Resources (CAR) they will be given instructions for how to upload this software on to their computer; students can also find the instructions below. 

IBM Watson-- IBM Watson is a free online speech-to-text tool for transcribing audio recordings into typed text, which can be read from the screen or printed out. For complete instructions, please see the PDF below.

PDF: SmartPen/Echo Desktop Instructions

PDF: IBM Watson Instructions

Note: Do not register the Smartpen when prompted. The pen is property of Lane Community College’s Center for Accessible Resources (CAR).

Notetaking Software

PDF of Notetaking Software options

This pdf contains links to and descriptions of softwares and apps that may help students with notetaking.

Note: This accommodation is not appropriate for all classes, especially those where a lot of personal information is shared. In this case, discuss the accommodations you will be using with the instructor, and consider specifically what you need to have recorded. Some instructors will allow recording of lectures, if the recorder is turned off when requested, for example when someone is about to share something private that they would prefer not be recorded.

Please see the student agreement for handling audio recordings and checking out equipment on CAR's Student Agreement Page

Questions or concerns? Students should immediately contact their CAR Accommodation Specialist from CAR's Contact page. If needed, visit CAR's Grievances Page for information on informal and formal complaint processes.

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