Applying for Additional Certification to Teach Students with Disabilities

  • You must have initial New York State certification in effect (verify on your TEACH account).
  • You must complete the certification requirements .Requirements for certification can only be verified by the NY State Office of Teaching Initiatives. Please consider sending your transcripts for evaluation to that office and applying for your certification before you complete your requirements.
  • Refer to the memo Special Education Certificate Titles and Teaching Assignment.
  • You must have sealed copies of all of your transcripts, which you can order from the registrar. Ask for copies to be sent to your home. Keep the transcripts in their sealed envelopes. Transcripts are kept by the Office of Teaching Initiatives for about three years. 
  • You must have copies of your mandated workshop completion certificates if they are not posted on your TEACH account. Please refer to the Mandated Workshops link for information about the new required workshop. You must complete the workshop for Needs of Students with Autism.
  • You must complete the CST (Content Specialty Test) Students with Disabilities.
  • You must complete the CST (Content Specialty Test) multi-subject test.  The CST is not required for speech-language pathology. The new multi-subject tests will be released on Sept. 22,2014. Click here for more information about the multi-subject tests. If you are working towards the Students with Disabilities Grades 7-12 Generalist certification, and if you have not already completed the requirements for that application, you will  be required to take the Multi-Subject: Secondary Teachers (Grade 7 – Grade 12) examination once it is becomes available on September 22, 2014, not  the current Multi-Subject Content Specialty Test (CST) (002).

Apply as Follows

  • Log in to your TEACH account
  • Verify and update your profile.
  • Select your certificate:

Students with Disabilities Early Childhood or Childhood Grades 1–6

  • Area of interest: Classroom teacher
  • Subject area: Early childhood or childhood grades 1–6
  • Grade level: Early childhood or childhood grades 1–6
  • Title: Students with disabilities
  • Select a type of certificate: If this is your first application for this program area, select initial certification. If you have three years of teaching experience, select professional certification.

Students with Disabilities Adolescent grades 7–12

You must apply and pay for two certifications so you can teach in your subject area of record. Refer to Special Education Certificate Titles and Teaching Assignment. Select both certificates as follows:

  • Area of interest: Classroom teacher
  • Select a subject area: Secondary education
  • Select a grade level: Adolescent grades 7–12
  • Select a title: Students with Disabilities — Grades 7–12 generalist
  • Select a type of certificate: If this is your first application for this program area, select initial certification. If you have three years of teaching experience, select professional certification.

Students with Disabilities Generalist grades 7–12 with Extension

  • Area of interest: Classroom teacher extensions
  • Select a Subject Area: English Language Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Social Studies, or Mathematics. See note below about other subject areas.
  • Select a grade Level: Adolescent 7–12
  • Select title: Students with Disabilities plus your subject area Grades 7–12: English Language Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Physics, Social Studies or Mathematics. See note below about other subject areas.
  • Certificate type: initial extension annotation (or professional extension annotation if you have three years paid teaching experience already and this is your first application for this certification area)

For All Applications

A program code is not needed and  a college recommendation is not needed. 

For "Educational Preparation for this application only," do not enter a program code. Instead select "B. No, I have not completed, nor am I enrolled in, an Approved Teacher Preparation Program at a New York State College or University for this certificate and type." This is because you are applying for certification in addition to your initial degree area. You should see choices for different pathways. Select "individual evaluation for additional teaching certificate" if this is your first certification in this area. Exception: Students with Disablitites Generalist with extension Adolescent grades 7–12 select "individual evaluation." If you have initial certification to teach students with disabilities, a master's in another area, and three years of teaching experience, select "certificate progression."

Write a cover letter explaining your request, and send the cover letter with your sealed transcript(s) and your workshop certificates (if they are not posted on your TEACH account) to:

New York State Education Department
Office of Teaching Initiatives, Room 5N-EB
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12234

Send by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep copies for yourself.

What's Next

Monitor your TEACH account, and check for any application evaluations that may be posted. Automated evaluations are posted when the computer has completed an evaluation. Manual evaluations are posted when your transcript and other documentation has been examined by an officer at the Office of Teaching Initiatives. Allow about three months for a manual review of your records.

Note: For candidates who hold initial certification in art, music, physical education, Italian teacher, Spanish teacher, French teacher, speech language pathology or health or nutrition, you may need to complete more course work. This certification is not available for grades 5–9. Refer to the New York State Education Department, Office of Teaching Initiatives and the Certification Requirements.