Students with Special Needs

The Michigan Department of Education's Office of Special Education (OSE) unit provides a wealth of information to support students with special needs, including Parent Resources and Family Matters.

The MDE, Low Incidence Outreach provides technical assistance and resources statewide to serve and improve the quality of education for students who are blind or visually impaired (BVI), and students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH), including those with multiple impairments.

The MDE-LIO also has direct oversight of Camp Tuhsmeheta (Camp T), a 300-acre outdoor education facility that provides year-round programming for students with a visual impairment and others throughout the state of Michigan.

Michigan Alliance for Families

Provides information, resources, and support for families of children age (Birth-26) who receive (or may be in need of) special education services

Children's Special Health Care - Family Center & Family Phone Line 800-359-3722
The Family Center offers emotional support, information, and connections to community-based resources to families of children and youth with special health care needs.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council resources

Outlines information for parents on special education services.

Advocacy in Action: A guide to local Special Education Parent Advisory Councils

Supports for Students with Disabilities

Many offices, agencies, and organizations outside of the Office of Special Education (OSE) work with families and schools to support students with disabilities.

COVID-19 Specific Resources


Return to Learn for Students with IEPs Webinar Recording

Recording and slides from the MDE Office of Special Education hosted webinar 

MDE COVID-19 Special Education Information and Resources

IDEA COVID-19 Guidance

Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities 

Support for Parents of Children with Autism Document for COVID-19

Resources include social stories, visual schedules, creating routines, mindfulness, self monitoring, task analysis, behavior awareness, and fostering connections.

Guidance to Address Foregone Learning for Students with IEPs as a Result of the COVID19 Pandemic 

Students with IEPs may benefit from recovery services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recovery services are supplemental to the offer of FAPE and are in response to foregone learning that may have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school building closures and the potential additional impact of the loss for a student with an IEP.

Comparison of Compensatory Education and Recovery Services Due to COVID-19 


Guidance for Compliance with IDEA and the MARSE During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

This guidance document is designed to assist districts in meeting the IDEA
Part B and MARSE requirements in support of Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-35.

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Academic Supports

Personal Curriculum (PC)

A PC can be used to modify any content within the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC) for a student with an individualized education program (IEP). 

Alternate Assessment

MI-Access: Michigan's Alternate Assessment System

MI-Access is managed through the MDE Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability and is designed for students who have, or function as if they have a significant cognitive impairment. MI-Access satisfies the federal requirement that all students with disabilities be assessed at the state level. 

Assistive Technology


The Alt+Shift Lending Library contains assistive technology equipment and software that is available to Michigan’s PK-12 public schools for short-term use.

Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) Technology Resources

The MDE-LIO provides resources and workshops for assistive technology to support students who are blind or have a visual impairment.


Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START)

The START Project provides evidence-based training, technical assistance, and resources to school-based teams that support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Autism Little Learners provides resources and ideas for families and educators for autistic students.

Behavior Supports

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) supports schools, districts, and states to implement a multi-tiered approach to social, emotional, and behavioral support.

Blind/Visual Impairment

Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO)

The MDE-LIO provides educational materials and supports to students who are blind/visually impaired (BVI), their families, and school district personnel.

Camp Tuhsmeheta (Camp T)

Camp T is a campground in Greenville, Michigan owned and operated by the Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) and provides programming for students and their families. Camp T is also open to other education groups.

Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP)

The Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) helps students with a visual impairment become employed and gain independence. BSBP provides training and other services that empower people to achieve their individual goals.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Michigan Department of Education – Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO)

The MDE-LIO provides educational materials and supports to students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH), their families, and school district personnel.

Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD)

The MSD in Flint, Michigan is the state’s school for educating students in a bilingual setting: American Sign Language (ASL) and English.

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Early Childhood Education Services

Early On ® Michigan (Birth to 3)

Early On Michigan offers early intervention services for infants and toddlers birth to three years of age (and their families) with developmental delay(s) and/or disabilities.

Early Childhood Special Education (Age 3 to 5)

Preschool-aged children who are eligible for special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) from their local school district.

Office of Great Start (Birth to 8)

The Michigan Department of Education Office of Great Start has been charged with ensuring that all children ages birth to eight, especially those in highest need, have access to high-quality early learning and development programs and enter kindergarten prepared for success.

Health Care Consents


MDE Notice and Consent

Consent as Defined in IDEA 

This document focuses on the requirements for consent under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Refer to the federal regulations for the full description of initial evaluations, re-evaluations, initial services and Individualized Education Program (IEP) Teams.

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Special Education Mediation Program (SEMS)

SEMS provides free special education mediation and IEP facilitation.

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

Michigan’s MTSS Technical Assistance Center

The MiMTSS Technical Assistance Center works on behalf of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) to provide a continuum of technical assistance to intermediate school districts (ISDs), districts, and schools in a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)  framework.

Transition Services

Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE)

The Office of Career and Technical Education (CTE) oversees high school instructional programs that teach students skills in a specific career cluster.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)

Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) provides specialized employment and education-related services and training to assist teens and adults with disabilities to become employed.

Transportation for Students with Disabilities