How Technology helps Students with Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety disorders affect 18.1% of the US adult population, making them the most common type of mental illness in the country according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). It’s a similar story for depression, with the ADAA citing it as the ‘leading cause of disability in the United States among people aged 15-44’.

The relationship these widespread and debilitating conditions have with learning is something we’ve explored before, but what we wanted to explain in more detail is how institutions can use assistive technology for depression and anxiety to improve independence and attainment.


These tools are developed to address specific problems that stand in the way of learning. In our case, we’re focused on note taking.

We developed Sonocent Audio Notetaker to help students with disabilities and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression hurdle obstacles they might be facing with this skill, and learning more generally.

Here’s a quick video demonstration of the software:

How does it help students with anxiety and depression?

Being able to simultaneously listen to a lecture and take notes requires a level of engagement and concentration that anxiety and depression make difficult.

Technology can ease the strain by transforming the whole process. Sonocent Audio Notetaker, for example, allows students to record their lectures interactively. They can review the information later, as well as highlight sections of audio, annotate in a separate panel, import lecture slides and more. It’s a scaffold to build multimedia notes on, in one workspace.

So if focus is lost in a lecture, the user can simply flag areas to revisit, and even extract these color-coded sections into another document for easy and quick review.

In short, the software is designed to make note-taking less dependent on the immediacy of the moment.

Taking students away from the need to write notes immediately could mean that their experience of lectures isn’t unfairly harmed by the symptoms of their illness, like:

  • Sensory Overload
  • Energy Levels
  • Confidence
  • Stress
  • Organization

All of these symptoms are potential obstacles to independence. Having the tools to help offset them will give your students a better chance of reaching their potential as learners.

Sonocent Audio Notetaker is used in over 500 institutions in the US to provide this support. And in a survey of our users, 92% said they felt able to take notes independently thanks to the software.

What students say:

Because of my anxiety my brain can get quite scattered and full of ideas. Audio Notetaker allows me to splurge and then organize, which is the best way of working for me.*

I use Audio Notetaker because there may be snippets of information I would have otherwise missed and having this equipment with me makes me feel less anxious.*

Looking for more insight?

Choosing the right assistive technology for your students is an important process. Read our blog to discover how we developed our product with different cognitive abilities in mind.

Looking into AT? It's important to make sure the solutions you choose are suitable for users of all cognitive abilities. Read our blog to find out more.

*Taken from Sonocent user surveys

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