For information on MDE-LIO's scholarships, visit the Scholarships page.

Mini-Grant Criteria

Mini-grants are available for eligible district programs, up to $2,000 per fiscal year. Programs must include students who:

  1. Meet the definition of having a visual impairment, including DeafBlindness, as defined in the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education.

    • R 340.1708 Visual impairment explained; determination

    • R 340.1717 DeafBlindness defined; determination

  2. Are eligible for financial need as demonstrated by a Bridge Card or proof of eligibility for free/reduced school lunch. No exceptions will be made.

Maximum Funding Amount

The maximum funding per district is $2,000 per fiscal year. For each district, MDE-LIO allows one mini-grant per fiscal year (October 1 - September 30). The number of available grants varies each year and are awarded on a first come, first served basis. If more than one teacher from a district would like to apply, the maximum amount of funds must remain within the $2,000 limit per district. No exceptions will be made.

Application Process

The MDE-LIO mini-grant coordinator works with you at every step to ensure proper reimbursement after your program has ended.

Submit an Application

  • Fax or mail in a Mini-Grant Application [PDF]. Please include ALL of the following:
    • An implementation plan, including expected outcomes of the program.
    • The name and Unique Identification Code (UIC) for each student who will be served.
    • Proof of financial need (copy of current Bridge Card or qualification materials for free/reduced meals).
    • Verification of each student’s eligibility in the area of visual impairment (upon request only).
    • A complete budget, indicating the activities that will be paid for by the grant.

Receive Notification

  • MDE-LIO reviews and scores applications as they are received.
  • Applicants are notified of a decision within six weeks of receiving the application.

​Implement the Program

  • Provide the program as specified in your grant application.
  • Pay all expenses up-front and keep all itemized receipts for reimbursement.

​Submit a Final Report

Write and submit a written report, including the outcomes of the program, when the program is over. MDE-LIO must receive this report before we can complete your reimbursement.

Reimbursement Procedure

  • Submit itemized receipt(s) to MDE-LIO.
  • Provide a short article highlighting your event (picture(s) optional; a photo release is required).
  • MDE-LIO will reimburse the district for the full amount awarded, up to $2,000. For each district, MDE-LIO allows one mini-grant per fiscal year (October 1-September 30).

​Effective Practices

A clear implementation plan must be included with the application. Proposals should include:

  1. Established best practices or innovative ideas.
  2. Research and data to support the effectiveness of the implementation plan and practices.

Expected Outcomes

Applications must include the expected outcomes of the program. Outcomes must:

  • Positively impact the students and families.
  • Meet a documented need for students.
  • Help students access the general education curriculum or achieve goals in the expanded core curriculum.

For questions regarding MDE-LIO mini-grants, please email