Applying for Additional Certification to Teach Students with Disabilities

Follow these instructions if your degree did not lead to students with disabilities certification, and you took additional courses for this certification as a non-degree student
  • You must have initial New York State certification in effect (verify on your TEACH account).
  • You must complete the certification requirements. Check your transcript to see if you have completed or will be completing the requirements listed. Requirements for certification can only be verified by the NY State Office of Teaching Initiatives (OTI). You can send your transcripts for evaluation to OTI and apply for  certification before you complete your requirements to be sure you have completed the core requirements. Applications are valid for three years from the application date or for two evaluations, which ever occurs first, unless you are applying under the individual evaluation pathway.  
  • Refer to the memo Special Education Certificate Titles and Teaching Assignment.
  • Refer to this information:  Frequently Asked Questions about Special Education Certification
  • 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. If you sent your transcripts to OTI yourself within the last three years, they should still be on file at OTI. If not, you will need to send official sealed copies of all of your transcripts to OTI if/when you apply for additional certificates that are not considered to be related to your college program/certification age group/subject. 
  • You will need 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. You must complete the workshop for Needs of Students with Autism. Send your workshops for OTI if they are not posted on your TEACH account.
  • You must complete the CST (Content Specialty Test) Students with Disabilities.
  • You must complete the CST (Content Specialty Test) multi-subject test.   If you are working towards  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, now in effect (as of September 22,  2014). New information: there is now a Safety Net for the Multi-Subject grades 7-12 test. Refer to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/tcert/certificate/multi-subsecteachgrade7-12safetynet.html   .
  •  If you do not meet the requirements for the certification area you are working toward yet, you may be eligible for a supplementary certificate while you are completing the requirements for your additional certificate. You can check by searching the certification requirements.

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 you have less than three years of teaching experience, select initial certification. If you have three years of teaching experience related to any of your certificate areas, select professional certification. The first  professional certification that you apply for should be related to the age group/subject you have been teaching. The other professional certificate applications should be based on the issuance of the first professional certificate.

Students with Disabilities Grades 7–12 Generalist

You must apply and pay for two certifications so you can teach in your subject area of record.  

  • 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 you have less than three years of teaching experience, select initial certification. If you have three years of teaching experience related to any of your certificate areas, select professional certification. The first  professional certification that you apply for should be related to the age group/subject you have been teaching. The other professional certificate applications should be based on the issuance of the first professional certificate.

Students with Disabilities Generalist grades 7–12 with Extension. Note that Students With Disabilities - Grades 7-12 - Generalist Certification is required for this 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 for any of your certificate areas)

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. Your pathway should be "additional certificate/must hold valid certificate". Exception: Students with Disablitites Generalist with extension Adolescent grades 7–12 :  "individual evaluation." 

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

You may opt to send these 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. Allow about three months for this to be done. Automated evaluations are posted when the computer has completed an evaluation, and some requirements may be marked "unmet" until your application is reviewed. Manual evaluations are posted when your transcript and other documentation has been examined by the Office of Teaching Initiatives.

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 core course work.  Be sure to check the requirements.