'Strengthening a Learner's Transition to Independence'

Welcome to the MITTIN Memo

MITTIN has been undergoing a Strategic Planning process to set the goals, strategies and direction for the next 3-5 years. Under the expert faciltation of Dave Campbell & Rob Fowler from Public Policy Associates, this work brought together the four MITTIN partners, along with parents, teachers, administrators, transition coordinators, designer, developers, facilitators, subject matter experts, directors, researchers, evaluators, consultants, representatives from MDE and more. In this issue of the MITTIN Memo, you will be able to explore the 5 focus areas and strategies which will lead MITTIN for years to come. It is exciting to see the passion for MITTIN and the plan to expand and connect these innovative digital and curricular resources, to learners around the state.

You can read about these topics below or find more information regarding MITTIN at our website: mittin.org.

Best Regards,

Dr. Derek Cooley,

MITTIN Committee Chair

MITTIN Strategic Planning

Dave Campbell and Rob Fowler - our expert facilitators from Public Policy Associates, used the SOAR model to frame the MITTIN Strategic Planning process. SOAR stands for Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. This Strategic Planning journey began with interviews and visitations of partners, contributors, PLC meetings and the design facility. As information was gathered, it was determine beneficial to engage in additional interviews as well as partner conversations. PPA was committed to seek out any and all information which would be informative and insightful to the process. Taking this foundational SOAR information, a two day in-person session with 28 participants, began to dialogue on a Vision, Mission, Values, Guiding Principles and Focus Areas. A smaller work group was brought together to synethsize and create an initial draft. The MITTIN Leadership Team over the next couple month came to consensus. The draft Strategic Plan was then shared with the MITTIN Committee for their review and approval.

On May 11th, all those who had been involved with the MITTIN Strategic Planning process were invited to review and put the finishing edits on the document which will guide MITTIN for the next 3-5 years.

MITTIN Strategic Plan

Vision: Strengthening a learner's transition to independence.

Mission: MITTIN provides innovative digital content

supported by curriculum resources

to bridge gaps between the classroom and the outside world

Values: Act with integrity

Respect multiple perspectives

Communicate effectively and frequently

Assume positive intent

Pursue innovation

Guiding Principles: Learner-centered

Responsive to innovation and solutions

Collective responsibility and support

Experience and data informed

Equity and access

Focus Areas: Operational Systems and Structures

Development of Tools and Resources

Engagement and Implementation

Continuous Improvement


MITTIN's Updated Look

You might have noticed a new banner at the top of this MITTIN Memo along with other beautiful graphics. With a completed MITTIN Strategic Plan and the creation of our Vision, Mission, Guiding Principles and Focus Areas, some of our branding needed updating in response. We are most fortunate to work with Royal Galah and the amazing Carly Staunton. You will see her work and designs all through the our MITTIN resources -- from our communications, modules, curricular resources and presentations. We are so grateful for her creativity and expertise. Thank you Carly!

Building a Story --

Connecting MITTIN One-Touch Modules

After you have practiced individual modules, you can sequence modules to build a story and strengthen your independent living skills. This edition of the MITTIN Memo highlights the tasks of 'Shop for Groceries' and 'Put Away Groceries.' These and all of topics in our MITTIN library of modules can be found on STEAM, the Google Play Store or can be downloaded via a zip file at mittin.org.

Shop for


When the learner begins, they will find themselves in the grocery store. The module will task them with gathering all the groceries on their shopping list.

Instructional Steps Include:

  1. Grab the grocery cart.
  2. Review the shopping list.
  3. Gather the non refrigerated items on your list.
  4. Gather the refrigerated items on your list.
  5. Gather the frozen items on your list.
  6. Go to the self check-out area in the grocery store.

Put Away


When the learner begins the module, they will find themselves in the parking lot. The module will task them with safely navigating to the front of the store.

Instructional Steps Include:

1.Walk down the lane up to the crosswalk:

  • Avoid car pulling out.

2.Look both ways down the driveway.

3.Wait for a large enough break in traffic.

4.Cross the driveway while you:

  • Stay within the crosswalk.
  • Cross completely to the front of the store.

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

Daniel J. Quinn, Ph.D

Daniel J. Quinn, Ph.D., is PPA’s director for education policy. He provides analytical, strategic, and evaluation capacity building support to this project. Dr. Quinn is an accomplished organizational leader and group facilitator with experience coordinating qualitative and quantitative research on a variety of issues. He is an experienced policy professional with a demonstrated history of working on complex issues across sectors, including federal and state policy. Dr. Quinn draws on his 20-year career as a classroom teacher to inform and guide his work. He has experience funding and disseminating a nationally recognized education policy research agenda, coordinating and managing coalitions, and building relationships with key strategic partners across government and the private sector. His current clients include a range of education-related, small business, and philanthropic organizations. He helps executives organize and prioritize critical issues to facilitate efficient decision making among divergent thinkers. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Mid-Western Educational Research Association. In 2019, he was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to serve on Michigan’s A–F Peer Review Panel.

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