Students are eligible for special education and/or related services if they have been evaluated and found to have a cognitive impairment, emotional impairment, hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical impairment, other health impairment, speech and language impairment, early childhood developmental delay, specific learning disability, severe multiple impairment, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury, or deaf-blindness. Special Education in Michigan is regulated by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE).
The State Education Agency
The Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education (MDE, OSE)—referred to jointly as the State Education Agency—works to make sure that children receive special services that help meet their educational needs. State and federal regulations require special education services to be offered to eligible students and their parents at no cost. The OSE oversees various projects, some of which are part of the OSE, such as Low Incidence Outreach (LIO). The OSE also works closely with the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC).
IDEA Grant Funded Initiatives
To meet the diverse needs of students with special education needs, the State Education Agency has created IDEA Grant Funded Initiatives. Together, they create an integrated system of support focused on the achievement and success of students.
Each IDEA Grant is funded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Some provide direct assistance to parents/guardians of diverse learners, while others support intermediate and local school districts in serving students through training, data collection, or other services.