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Center for Access & Disability Services

Accommodations: What They Are & How They Work

An accommodation is a legally mandated change to a class based on eliminating barriers that are experienced due to your disability.  While the college cannot change the requirements of a class and what is expected for you to do from a curricular standpoint, there are ways to address needs you have while you complete your required work.

Please note that these accommodations are not special treatment, they are your Civil Rights. 

Examples:

  • Extra Time for Testing
  • Testing in a Reduced-distraction Area
  • Note taking Assistance
  • Extended Deadlines for Assignments
  • eBooks
  • Class Materials Offered in Different Formats 
  • Early Availability of Class Materials
  • American Sign Language Interpreting

These accommodations and many others can give you the tools you need to succeed. Please note that the CAADS office is also available as a study area for you. In CAADS, we have CCTV, JAWS, Kurzweil and other software that can assist you while you are on campus. (Software is also available at satellite campuses.)   

Once your professor knows what you have as accommodations, the changes to your class will happen. For example, if you get extra time for a test, the next time you take a test, you will see that the extra time has been added. If you plan to take a test in CAADS, please notify us and your instructor of your plans as soon as you know. 

Please note that you are in control of how much of the accommodation plan that you use. You may opt to use all of them for all classes (recommended), but you are free to not use any of them or only some of them, if you choose.

How to Register

If you are someone with a disability, you must self-refer to CAADS in order to receive services. You may contact us at dss@chattanoogastate.edu. You may also call us at 423-697-4452.

  • We will need to get two items from you in order to set up your first appointment:
    Intake Form
    Medical Documentation: A letter signed by your diagnosing professional will suffice if it is on their letterhead with a diagnosis and description of barriers and recommended accommodations.
     
  • If more information is appropriate and needed, please use one of these forms that can be completed by your diagnosing professional:
    Medical
    Psychiatric/Behavioral Health

     
  • Don't have documentation from a diagnosing professional?
    CAADS staff may also use your IEP or 504 paperwork from high school if current and if the diagnosis is indicated.
     
  • Don't have any documentation?
    Please reach out to CAADS staff to learn more about community resources and other ways of getting registered with us.
     
  • Once these are received...
    It's time to set up your intake appointment to discuss what accommodations you will be eligible to receive. Please note that the documentation may be hand delivered to our office, scanned and emailed to DSS@chattanoogastate.edu, or faxed to 423-697-2693.
Who We Are

The Center for Access and Disabilities Services (CAADS) is here to help those who have disabilities reach their academic goals.  Our Director and Counselors have many years of experience in helping students to develop accommodation plans that have helped many students to succeed in college classes. 

CAADS adheres to federal laws that oversee the processes for developing accommodations for students who self-refer to us regarding their disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973-Section 504 are the two primary Civil Right laws that promote access for people who have applicable disabilities. To learn more about these laws, please click here.

The staff members of CAADS strive to make this office student-centered and friendly. You will find that you will be treated with respect when you reach out to us. We want to see you succeed!

Student Rights & Responsibilities

Students with disabilities are encouraged to know their rights and responsibilities in order to help them become self-advocates. It is important for students to assertively communicate their needs and to understand fully what their rights regarding their accommodations are. Students must communicate with the CAADS office each time a semester starts. The following is a list of rights and responsibilities for students with disabilities:

RIGHTS
Non-Discrimination
Equal Opportunity to Learn
Reasonable Accommodations
Confidentiality
Grievance Procedure

RESPONSIBILITIES
Meet Academic Standards
Meet Code of Conduct
Self Identify for ADA Needs
Provide Documentation
Advocate for One’s Self
Meet with ADA Staff Often

Testing in CAADS

If you know that you have a test that you would like to take in CAADS, please notify us as soon as possible so we can put you on the schedule. You may call 423-697-4452 or email dss@chattanoogastate.edu to get an appointment. Our business hours are 8 – 4:30 Monday through Friday; you must be finished with the test before we leave at 4:30. 

When you come for testing, we will need to see a photo id. Please be advised that you will be asked to lock up your personal items. You will also be asked to show the contents of your pockets. You will be monitored throughout the time that you are taking the test.   

We can provide a reduced distraction area, but we cannot promise that there will be no distractions. We make every effort to keep a quiet testing area with limited visitors, but there may be times that others are present.

Giving to CAADS

We respectfully ask potential college donors to consider giving to the Disabilities Support Fund. The needs in this department are many, and your investment into the education of our students with disabilities could make the difference of whether these students stay in college and succeed. 

  • Did you know that an investment of $50 would pay for one hour of ASL interpreting services for a deaf student?
  • Did you know an investment of $25 would help share the cost of note taking software for students with ADHD or dyslexia.
  • Your ability to plant a seed with a donation will flower in these students’ lives now during their education and later on in their careers.
  • To give go to Give.chattanoogastate.edu.  Look for the Disabilities Support Services Fund. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity.

Infinity Summer Bridge Program

This is an annual program. Applications are closed for now, but check back in early 2022.

Chattanoga State Disability Services offers the Infinity Summer Bridge program for neurodiverse students including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and Dyslexia. Students take Composition 1 as well as work on time management, prioritizing assignments, etc., to prepare them for their college experience. The Infinity Summer Bridge is in partnership with UT Chattanooga. Please contact Kristi.strode@chattanoogastate.edu to enroll.