'Strengthening a Learner's Transition to Independence'

Welcome to the MITTIN Memo

It is so exciting to see how much MITTIN is growing and the commitment and passion for this work. Just a few weeks ago, I was privileged to connect

in-person with educators who participate in the PLCs, those who help design the modules, those who help present and facilitate learning of MITTIN and anyone else who is connected to the project. This was our first face-to-face MITTIN professional learning session. It was summed up for me with two feedback comments left in the final evaluation, "MITTIN is so much more complex than I realized" and "This work is amazing -- proud to be part of it!"

If you would like more information regarding MITTIN, visit our website: mittin.org.

Best Regards,

Dr. Derek Cooley,

MITTIN Committee Chair

MITTIN Professional Learning

At the end of June, MITTIN extended an invitation to all Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Professional Learning Community (PLC) participants, Learning Lab members, MITTIN Committee Members, MITTIN Leadership Team, partners and other consultants who design, support and strengthen MITTIN. This is something which was requested during Strategic Planning - in order to bring the many different components and people of our work together to learn with and from each other while gaining perspective the MITTIN as a whole. Dr. Lois Vaughan-Hussain (PLC Facilitator & Consultant), Ann Walton (Executive Director of Michigan Council for Exceptional Children), Karen Hairston (Director of Education Services for Great Lakes Reality Labs), Richard Gregory (Special Education Supervisor for Detroit Public Schools Community District) and Dr. Kristine Gullen (MITTIN Project Manager) volunteered to be the planning team and met to create the two day workshop.

The goals of this professional learning were to:

  • Grow and strengthen relationships within and between MITTIN roles and partners;
  • Build a mutual understanding of MITTIN;
  • Explore the MITTIN Strategic Plan; and
  • Create the 23-24 school year MITTIN presentation framework.

At the end of each session, participants provided an evaluation and feedback on the goals, along with reflections on the MITTIN. A sampling of comments included:

"Learned so much more about the amazing organization and thoughtful planning process associated with MITTIN"

"Great activities to help us meet and learn from each other"

"Learning about the trajectory of the project"

"MITTIN is so much more complex then I realized"

"Loved the possibilities of MITTIN impact & passion in the room as well as expert facilitation to keep our energy up!"

"This work is amazing - proud to be part of it!"

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 'Use Self Check-out' 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.

Use Self Check-out

When the learner begins the module, they will find themselves in the self-checkout section of the grocery store. Tasked with scaning and bagging each item, and weighing the produce, the learner will complete the module by paying for their groceries using a charge card.

Instructional Steps Include:

  1. Scan grocery items and place them into the bag.
  2. Look up produce on the self-checkout screen.
  3. Select the bananas.
  4. Weigh bananas and place them into the bag.
  5. Select "Finish and Pay" on the self-checkout screen.
  6. Insert the card into the card scanner.
  7. Remove the card.

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

Ann Walton

Ann Walton is the Executive Director of the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC). Previously she was the Special Education Supervisor/Monitor at the Calhoun ISD. She received her BA from Nazareth

College and her MA from Western Michigan University. During her career, she has served as a categorical and resource program teacher at the high school level, and after 10 years in the classroom, Ann became an administrator. In addition to her teaching and administrative duties, she has served on numerous state, local, and ISD committees; partnered with a vendor to collaboratively develop an electronic system for special education for the county; facilitated the Catamaran process within the 19 constituent districts; managed the Calhoun ISD pupil accounting submissions, reports, training and desk audits; and has been a member of the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE), Michigan Association of Administrators for Special Education (MAASE), Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE).

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