Disability Resources for Students

Audio Recording Lectures

Permission to Audio Record Lectures is an accommodation to provide access to lecture content presented in a course either as a record of material covered or to review material post.

In cases where faculty/instructors are hesitant about recording of lecture content, DRS will consult and support their alignment to requirements while balancing integrity of course content concerns. Students and faculty are made aware of the recording agreement that is completed for each course the accommodation is activated in.

Student Responsibilities

  • Activate accommodation by checking the appropriate box in student myDRS profile per the services timeline OR as soon as possible once approved by the DRS Coordinator.
  • Complete the DRS Recording and Presentation Agreement, in which the student agrees to not share any course recordings and acknowledges that the recordings are solely for their personal educational use.
    • Meet with faculty about whether a course involves personal reflection, self-disclosure, or confidential discussions.
  • Discuss any concerns regarding this accommodation with assigned DRS Coordinator.

DRS Responsibilities

  • Discuss different technologies that allow for audio recording with the student based on their request and identify the most appropriate option.
  • Work with faculty/departments to help facilitate process in the cases where there are concerns (including privacy, copyright, academic freedom, etc.)
  • Ensure that appropriate accommodations are provided per stated timelines based on submission dates of requests.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Consult with DRS if any concerns or issues arise related to impact to course content.
  • Implement activated accommodations in a timely manner, consult with DRS as needed.

Audio Recording FAQs

Does a classroom count as a private conversation per WA State 2 party consent law?

No. Two-party consent applies only where the conversation is private, and the back-and-forth interchange in a classroom (or group virtual) is not considered private per the UW ADA Coordinator and Assistant Attorney General Offices.

Can any student record a class without instructor permission?

No, except when a DRS accommodation is presented to the instructor. Per WAC 478-121-107(8), it applies only where the student has an approved accommodation. The DRS Faculty Notification letter is the notice granting permission of the student and informing the instructor(s).

Does the ability to record a class as an accommodation violate the UW Student Conduct Code?

No. WAC 478-121-107 describes various forms of “academic misconduct” that violate the code, one of which (under subsection (8)) is “[t]he recording of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), unless approved as a disability accommodation, and/or the dissemination or use of such unauthorized records.” WAC 478-121-107(8).

Are group sessions in courses allowed to be recorded as an accommodation?

Yes. Recording is an accommodation for a student to have access to a record/notes of class. If other students are allowed to take notes from group discussions then audio recording as a form of notes/record of class is allowed.

  • DRS students will have completed the DRS Recording Agreement and can be held to the UW Student Conduct Code if they do not follow its terms.
  • Possible exception: If the course is discussing sensitive information in a group setting or as a whole class and the faculty informs all students they are not allowed to take notes for a period of time (i.e. all students are required to put down writing devices) then the recording may have to be stopped as well. In those instances this arises the DRS office should be in direct contact with the faculty to understand what is sensitive and if any of the material that no one can take notes will be part of the graded coursework to know if alternative accommodations need to be put into place. If the sensitive information is just adding context and not the content of the course then there is no need for recording.

Are office hour conversations that are 1 on 1, only between a faculty and student, something that can be recorded?

Depends. If there is not a directly written accommodation about this educational environment specifically (and that would have to be talked about with the faculty member as well) then that may be considered a private conversation. So both parties would have to talk about why the recording would be needed and how it would be stored/shared or not. An alternative to a recording is for the student to take notes and/or an email summary of the meeting shared.

Does there need to be an announcement of recording happening to let others in the class know they will be recorded? If so, is there a statement?

No. There is no announcement required because no consent is required, as class recording does not fall in the WA state 2-party consent law.

Can the class be recorded when the content displayed on PowerPoints/slides/notes are my intellectual property?

Yes. DRS accommodations are approved through a University process to ensure equal access and non-discrimination to our academic courses. Material presented in class to all students is course material and thus required to be accommodated if DRS presents you with a notification. The UW Student Conduct Code is the process to hold students accountable if material is shared outside of the stated DRS agreements.


Regulations References–with notations stating recordings are allowed as disability accommodations:


Students approved for audio recording may find the following links useful. These links clarify the rights of students approved for audio recording and identify some of the technologies available to effectively record audio in class.

Audionote for Android, iOS, Mac and Windows

Link to myDRS Student Guide

Notability for iOS and Mac

Office for Civil Rights – Q & A Regarding Audio Recording


(Updated 9/2020)