IDEA Grant Funded Initiatives

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Office of Special Education (OSE) established various Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Grant Funded Initiatives to enhance its support for special education in Michigan. IDEA Grant Funded Initiatives are funded by IDEA Part B and are awarded through the OSE.

IDEA Grant Funded Initiatives provide statewide assistance in advancing evidence-based practices to support diverse learners. Each initiative addresses different needs identified through state or federal mandates and stakeholder-based concerns.

IDEA Grant Funded Initiatives support a variety of stakeholders, including school districts and families of students with disabilities. Some examples of support include:

  • Providing professional development and training.
  • Implementing proven programs in schools.
  • Producing or loaning materials for students.
  • Disseminating critical guidance and information.


With a focus on collaboration and impact, Alt+Shift, encompassing Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative (Mi)2, offers professional learning, including training, technical assistance, and co-constructed implementation planning, that strives to shift adult mindsets and provide alternative options to improve outcomes for every student.


Catamaran is the system used to track activities and data related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) for the Michigan Department of Education Offices of Special Education (OSE) and Great Start. Catamaran is designed to support districts and service areas in meeting their obligations of the IDEA, MARSE, and state identified priorities. Catamaran is managed by the OSE.

Michigan Alliance for Families

Michigan Alliance for Families works through regional sites that offer individual support, mentoring, and learning opportunities for parents of children with disabilities. Education partners and parent mentors are available to deliver supports and services to parents in their area.

Michigan's Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi)

Michigan's Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSI) helps districts implement an integrated behavior and reading Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) in its schools. The MTSS helps students become better readers and use appropriate behavior, which results in increased student success in the school and the community.

Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative

Michigan's Integrated Mathematics Initiative (Mi)2 assists the state in creating a cohesive and collaborative system of support and professional development among existing mathematics resources. The initiative identifies and promotes factors that facilitate improved outcomes for all students in mathematics.

Special Education Mediation Services

Special Education Mediation Services (SEMS) provides trained, neutral facilitators to assist with individualized family service plan (IFSP) meetings, IEP team meetings, and resolution sessions. SEMS also offers various workshops on special education related topics, including conflict resolution.

Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START)

The Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START) supports the education and transition needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). START provides technical assistance, including year-long intensive training, at the district level to implement best practices for students with ASD.