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INDIANAPOLIS — You’ve time and again about the teacher shortage plaguing hundreds of school districts all over Indiana. A shortage of special education teachers is no different.

Many schools are light of teachers who are skilled and certified to teach students with disabilities. SpedActs is a non-profit that is looking to help fill some of those gaps.

“There’s always been a shortage; however, COVID-19 impacted the field,” SpedActs founder Sheri Anderson said on WISH-TV.

With the fear that children with disabilities are falling even further behind than their peers who are not in special ed, SpedActs is getting people who do not of a teaching background certified to teach special ed.

“You can be an individual who has a bachelor’s degree in something other than education, and have decided now that your calling is to teach and particularly teach students with disabilities,” Anderson said.

The organization’s first cohort of prospective teachers began their path towards certification on Monday. Right now the plan is to certify people who are already working within school districts.

Anderson added that she has observed more children of color in special ed classes recently, and felt compelled to start SpedActs not only to fill gaps in the number of special ed teachers but to also recruit more special ed teachers of color.