In addition to student notetakers, DSS also offers the use of two note-taking programs as accommodations. Because students' needs differ based on individual diagnosis, DSS staff work with each student to determine which notetaking option is most supportive for them. Technological, tactile, and other considerations are discussed with the student during this interactive process. 


  • What is a SmartPen?

    SmartPen is a note-taking program that allows students to write hard-copy notes which are further supplemented by audio recordings. Students use a specialized rechargeable pen and set of notebooks in order to organize their information by both written notes and audio simultaneously.

  • How do I know if SmartPen is right for me?

    SmartPen is usually best utilized by students who like to hand-write notes and/or take classes that involve the drawing of graphs, formulas, charts, etc.

  • What comes with the SmartPen?

    1. The SmartPen: DSS will provide students with the SmartPen itself, along with a charger and a pen cap.

    2. LiveScribe Notebooks: SmartPens are designed to be used with specialized notebooks, allowing the student to organize their audio by the pages of notes. While students are given their first set of notebooks by DSS, the student is responsible for buying their own LiveScribe notebooks for future semesters. Students have two choices for their first set of notebooks: one 3-subject notebook or four 1-subject notebooks.

    3. SmartPen Ink: As SmartPens are actual pens, they require ink that must be replaced about once a semester. While DSS does provide students with ink when they receive their new SmartPen, the student is responsible for buying their own ink for future semesters. If the SmartPen runs out of ink within the first few weeks of receiving it, students should contact DSS and we will work with you to provide a new ink cartridge.

  • How do I receive my SmartPen for Fall 2020?

    Please contact DSS to set up a time to pick up your SmartPen. DSS will provide additional information about social distancing and safety protocols when you schedule your pickup time.

  • How do I use my SmartPen/Where can I learn to use my SmartPen?

    Typically, a trained DSS employee (either a technology specialist or one of our Learning Specialists) will provide in-person training on SmartPen with a demonstration of day-to-day use and a discussion of any particular questions a student may have. Due to social distancing practices during COVID-19, DSS is not conducting in-person training at this time. Please see the links below for Livescribe's official instructions on SmartPen setup as well as their support database.

    SmartPen Setup

    SmartPen Support

    If students have further questions that are not answered by the above links, please contact DSS at and a technology specialist will assist you.

  • What happens if my new SmartPen runs out of ink?

    Students are responsible for buying their own ink for their SmartPen once the ink provided has run out, with one exception:

    Because SmartPen are reusable, some students receiving their pens may receive ink cartridges that are only partially filled. In the event that your SmartPen runs out of ink within the first few weeks of receiving it, please contact DSS and we will work together to get your pen refilled in a timely manner. You will not need to buy a new ink cartridge in this case until the second cartridge we provide runs out of ink as well.

  • Where can I buy new notebooks and ink?

    Students can purchase Livescribe notebooks for their SmartPen from multiple online distributors. The official Livescribe website offers a variety of notebooks for all SmartPens. Livescribe notebooks are also available at distributors such as Amazon for faster shipping times.

    Students can purchase ink from the official Livescribe website here.



  • What is a Sonocent?

    Sonocent is a software for laptops, tablets, and phones that allows students to record audio and type their notes simultaenously, with many other features such as the ability to color-code audio that allow for a more efficient note-taking experience.

  • How do I know if Sonocent is right for me?

    Sonocent is most often best utilized by students who prefer to type notes and/or whose classes involve powerpoints and other electronic forms. It is not recommended for students whose workload is pen and paper heavy, such as math, chemistry, or physics concentrations, as there is no hard-copy component of Sonocent. Students in these concentrations may still have an accommodation for Sonocent, however, as each student's needs are unique.

  • What comes with Sonocent?

    DSS provides a digital license for Sonocent. Students with the acommodation of Sonocent should email each academic semester to receive or renew their license.

  • Will DSS provide me with a laptop to install Sonocent on?

    While DSS provides the license for Sonocent free of charge, DSS does not provide laptops or other electronic devices to install Sonocent on.

  • How do I set up Sonocent on my computer?

    Students can find the download link for the Sonocent software on the Sonocent website here. Students can hen select the right software for their operating system (either Windows or Mac). Follow the instruction on the website and prompts from your computer in order to download and successfully install the software. If you have any issues downloading Sonocent, please email DSS at for further guidance.

  • How do I use Sonocent?

    Sonocent can be used by simply loading the program before class starts and hitting "record" as the professor begins talking. The student can then take notes by typing as the audio is being recorded. Sonocent has also uploaded a series of tutorials on how to best utilize all features of the program on their official Youtube page. These videos will help students to customize their experience with the program. The first video in their tutorial series can be found here.

  • Which operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) does Sonocent run on?

    Sonocent currently runs on both Windows and Mac computers. There is also an app called Sonocent Link which will sync to your Sonocent software for Apple and Android products.

  • What if my professor has a no-laptop policy?

    If a professor has a no-laptop policy, students will still be given their reasonable accommodations. Students should set up a time with their professor before classes begin to go through their letter of accommodations and discuss their use of Sonocent and laptop or other device.

  • What happens if I get a new computer?

    If you are currently using an active Sonocent license and want to transfer your license from one laptop to another, please contact DSS at We will guide you through the process and will authorize your new license as soon as possible.

  • Where can I find more information about Sonocent?

    Sonocent has provided a series of over 30 videos on their official Youtube page in order to help students maximize their experience once they are familiar with the basics of the program. The first video of the series can be found here.