Tech’s Office of Disability Services renamed Accessible Education Center

COOKEVILLE – Anyone looking for disability services on the campus of Tennessee Tech will be directed to the new Accessible Education Center (AEC). While the name of the office may have changed, the staff is still committed to providing the same quality services as before.

“Our office has become a lot more comprehensive in what we do and what we provide,” said Chester Goad, director of the AEC. “We continue to grow. We want to recognize what we actually do here, which is provide an accessible education for students.”

The mission of the AEC is to ensure equal access for all qualifying individuals to Tech’s academic and physical environments, and to providing quality services to students and faculty through a variety of resources including academic adjustments, assistive technology and software, as well as other support programs that promote awareness of the law and other disability-related services.

“Some of the services we provide are academic accommodations, housing accommodations, any kind of accommodations related to food or meal plans. It can run the gamut of all of those services,” said Ed Beason, assistant director of the AEC. “The number of students has grown quite a bit and the services we provide have increased as well.”

There are currently 398 students receiving academic accommodations and an additional 82 students receiving housing accommodations. With 127 more incoming students having initiated the process of receiving some sort of accommodation, the AEC will be assisting more than 600 students this fall.

“There were 69 students receiving services 10 years ago,” said Goad. “We have grown a lot. Research shows that 11-15 percent of a student body has some sort of disability which could receive some sort of services. We still have a lot of work to do.”

The AEC staff is very active on campus, collaborating with other departments in order to get the word out about the services they provide. 

“We need to market more. We need to let everyone know we are here for all students who need it,” said Tambra Sweet, coordinator of the AEC. “We are here to help students and provide a lot of different resources for them.”

Getting to know the students and helping provide the services they need is a rewarding part of being on the AEC staff.

“You learn these students and you know who they are and what type of services they need,” said Beason. “It’s not like it’s a one-size-fits-all. Each student needs something different. We want to serve each student to the best of our ability.”

The AEC is located in Roaden University Center, 112. The office is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information on the AEC, go to

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