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Recorders may be used to record lectures and notes from teachers or for students to dictate written composition or test answers. Students who have difficulty writing, but who have good speech skills, can dictate information orally and have it recorded on the device. This can then be turned in as an alternative to a written product. Students may use this type of technology solution in several ways to support writing and note-taking skills.

There are a variety of recording devices that provide different features. It is important to match the features to student need. There are cassette tape recorders, adapted cassette tape recorders, and digital recorders.

Many adapted-tape recorders have a special feature known as an ‘indexer’ that can mark key points on the tape as students record lectures in classes. When the student listens to the tape at a later time, this feature gives them the ability to fast forward to the key points without having to listen to the entire lecture. Adapted tape recorders are available from the American Printing House for the Blind and LS&S.

Digital recorders may be used instead of tape recorders as aids for note taking for students with disabilities. Some digital recorders may hold 8 hours or more of recorded information. Digital recorders with the capability of downloading sound files to a computer enable students to save the lecture or notes for later listening clearing the recorder to record additional notes. Although these types of recorders are ideal for some students, they are generally inaccessible for people with physical or vision impairments. Digital recorders are available at most office supply stores.

Recording devices may be beneficial for students who have difficulty writing due to motor, visual, or learning difficulties.


 Resource Name

Web Address

HandiCassette II



 Vendor Name

Web Address

American Printing House for the Blind