'Strengthening a Learner's Transition to Independence'

Welcome to the MITTIN Memo

MITTIN has been advocating for and implementing our innovative digital and curricular resources around the state and have invited parents, students and educators to join this work. One example of this implementation is through the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and Learning Labs.

Anyone who was interested in participating in a PLC to learn more about MITTIN's innovative resources and modules, was welcome to attend. Under the expert facilitation of Dr. Lois Vaughan-Hussain, teachers, transition coordinators, curriculum experts, assistive technology consulants and more joined this amazing virtual collaborative. Over the past 2 years participants worked together to create lesson plans, extension activities, manipulatives, videos, homework assignments and community experiences to enhance the modules topics. This work for the 22-23 school year culminated with a face-to-face field trip to UPrep in Detroit.

If you are interested in joining the 23-24 PLC cohort, email our Kristine Gullen, our project manager at: kristinegullen@maase.org or Ann Walton, MCEC Executive Director at: waltonamcec@gmail.com.

Best Regards,

Dr. Derek Cooley,

MITTIN Committee Chair

Michigan House Subcommittee Testimony

On Thursday, May 18th, Abby Cyper, MAASE Executive Director and Derek Cooley, Director of Special Education Godwin Heights and MITTIN Committee Chair, provided testimony in front of The Michigan House of Representatives, Appropriations Subcommittee on School Aid and Education in support of MITTIN, and advocating for students and educators across Michigan.

Also in attendance was Sarah Winslow, Director, Statewide Project SEARCH and MITTIN Committee Member. We are fortunate to have such amazing educators advocating for MITTIN. Video of their testimony can be found beginning at 22 minute mark by clicking on this link.

PLC Fieldtrip to UPrep

Throughout the 22-23 school year,

Dr. Lois Vaughan-Hussain facilitated a series of virtual PLC cohorts and Learning Labs with educators from around the state. During these sessions, educators learned with and from each other as they shared stories of facilitating the MITTIN modules in their classrooms. These amazing teachers also created lesson plans, extension activities, assessments, parent letter, homework assignments to support the strengthening and generalization of the independent living skills supported in the MITTIN modules. These resources and more are available at MITTIN.org.

On Tuesday, April 18th, PLC participants were hosted at UPrep by Ms. Cherese Harrell, Assistant Director of Student Development. After spending the year in a virtual format, it was exciting to have a gathering of teachers from programs around Detroit to learn together in our first face-to-face PLC.


Consultants from the Wayne Assistive Technology Team, came to our face-to-face PLC at UPrep to share the many devices that can be used to support learners in accessing our MITTIN modules and instructional resources. Participants were able to try out a plethora of switches, buttons and other types of assisted technology. Educators were able to talk with the consultants regarding specific needs in their classrooms.

Thank you to Pamela Cunningham, Laura Begley and Amber Wade for sharing their expertise in support of student learning.

Newly released - Two More MITTIN One-Touch Modules

On April 28th, the amazing designers at Great Lakes Reality Labs released two more one-touch navigation modules. You can find a description of Putting Away Groceries and Using a Microwave below. These two new modules and all of our re-released modules are available on STEAM, the Google Play Store or can be downloaded via a zip file at mittin.org.

Putting Away


When the learner begins, they will find themselves in the kitchen with a grocery bag on the counter. They will be tasked with removing the groceries from the bag and placing them on the counter. Next they will need to put away all grocers in the appropriate locations.

Instructional Steps Include:

Step 1: Take out all groceries from the


Step 2: Put away freezer items.

Step 3: Put away refrigerator items.

Step 4: Put away cupboard items.

Step 5: Put away drawer items.

Using a


When the learner begins the module, they will find themselves in the kitchen. They will be tasked to heating a packet of pizza rolls using the microwave.

Instructional Steps Include:

Step 1: Wash hands prior to handling


Step 2: Inspect the pizza rolls box for


Step 3: Place the pizza rolls onto the


Step 4: Cover plate with the splash


Step 5: Place plate into the microwave.

Step 6: Heat pizza rolls for 1:00-minute

to 1:15-minutes.

Step 7: Put on oven glove.

Step 8: Take the plate out of the


Step 9: Close the microwave door.

MITTIN Partners

Michigan Association of Administration of Special Education (MAASE), Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC), Great Lakes Reality Labs (GLRL) and Public Policy Associates (PPA) are the four partner organizations which create MITTIN. Each partner brings unique skills to this work and when put together, creates an extraordinary collaboration. Over the next four MITTIN Memos, we will be highlighting a member from each partner organization who serves on the MITTIN Leadership Team.

MITTIN Leadership Team Member Spotlight

Karen Hairston

Karen Hairston, Director of Education Services at Great Lakes Reality Labs, brings with her over 20 years of project management, instructional design, content development, training, consulting, “systematizing,” and management experience. Karen is currently the Chairperson of the XR Association (xra.org) Education Workgroup. She has experience in corporate, start-up, K-12 education, higher education, and government settings. One of her favorite things to do is solve problems others think are impossible using a combination of interpersonal skills and more traditional problem-solving skills. Karen received her MA in Instructional Design and Educational Technology from Michigan State University and has a BS in Education and a BS in Sports Medicine from Central Michigan University.

What is MITTIN?

MITTIN – MIchigan Transition To INdependence is a dynamic collection of modules and curricular resources which foster the development of independent living skills in the home and community. Designed to support special education transition-related instruction, these resources are free and available to for all parents, schools, educators and learners in Michigan. MITTIN is a partnership of the Michigan Association of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE), Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC), Great Lakes Reality Labs (GLRL) and Public Policy Associates (PPA). These resources can be found at: mittin.org

Safety and Independence at Home

MITTIN currently has seven topics which focus on strengthening skills which promote safety and independence at home. 

  • Change a Light Bulb
  • Clean Flat Surfaces
  • Clean the Bedroom
  • Put Away Groceries
  • Use a Microwave
  • Use an Oven
  • Use a Stove

Safety and Independence in the Community

MITTIN currently has four topics which focus on strengthening skills which promote safety and independence in the community.

  • Cross the Street 
  • Shop for Groceries
  • Walk Through a Parking Lot
  • Use Self-Checkout
For more information, visit our website:  mittin.org