Some disabilities, or sometimes side-effects of medications, may affect basic cognitive abilities such as writing, spelling, reading, memory, attention, concentration, visual perception, or comprehension. In such cases, permission to audio-record a class might be an appropriate accommodation that may enable students to gain full advantage of a class that might not otherwise be fully accessible to them.
Prior to approving this accommodation, DAS usually has a lengthy conversation with students about the benefits and limitations of this accommodation. If the accommodation is approved, the accommodation will be noted on the Faculty Letter and the student is asked to sign the Audio-Recording Agreement (please see below). The audio-recording agreement is designed to protect all parties involved.
The permission to audio-record classes applies to on-campus classes only. Should a student use their personal cell phone for the purpose of recording, they agree to use the phone solely for this purpose while in class. Fieldwork, internships, clinicals, etc. will be handled on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the instructors, programs, site and/or others as appropriate.
Below is some more information about audio-recording from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights:
What if an instructor objects to the use of an auxiliary or personal aid?
Sometimes postsecondary instructors may not be familiar with Section 504 or ADA requirements regarding the use of an auxiliary or personal aid in their classrooms. Most often, questions arise when a student uses a tape recorder. College teachers may believe recording lectures is an infringement upon their own or other students’ academic freedom, or constitutes copyright violation.
The instructor may not forbid a student’s use of an aid if that prohibition limits the student’s participation in the school program. The Section 504 regulation states:
A recipient may not impose upon handicapped students other rules, such as the prohibition of tape recorders in classrooms or of dog guides in campus buildings that have the effect of limiting the participation of handicapped students in the recipient’s education program or activity.
Link to Office of Civil Rights, Information on Auxiliary Aids: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/auxaids.html