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

Mini-grants are available for districts in Michigan that offer programs and events for students who are Blind/Visually Impaired. If a mini-grant is awarded, MDE-LIO will provide funding after the program ends.

Mini-Grant Criteria

A district program is eligible for a mini-grant if it includes students who:

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

    • 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 formal documentation from the school confirming the student receives free or reduced meals

Funding Amount

The maximum funding amount for which a district may request reimbursement is $2,000 per fiscal year (October 1 - September 30). Each district is allowed one mini-grant per fiscal year. A request may be split between multiple teachers. Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis.

How to Apply

Complete and submit a Mini-Grant Application Form [PDF] at least three weeks prior to the program. This gives MDE-LIO time to approve or deny the application before the program begins.

Please include all of the following:

  1. Description of the program or service, including expected outcomes.
  2. Detailed budget, outlining expected activities that will be covered by the mini-grant (e.g., supplies, materials, travel, personnel costs).
  3. Name and Unique Identification Code (UIC) for each student who will be served.
  4. Proof of financial need:
    • Copy of each student’s Bridge Card.
    • Formal documentation from the school confirming the student receives free or reduced meals.
  5. Detailed budget, outlining the activities that will be covered by the mini-grant (e.g., supplies, materials, travel, personnel costs).

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.

​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:

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

Next Steps

MDE-LIO reviews applications as they are received. Applicants are notified of a decision within six weeks after MDE-LIO receives the application. If your application is approved, follow these steps:

Start the Program

  1. Provide the program as outlined in your grant application.
  2. Pay all expenses up front and keep all itemized receipts for reimbursement.

Reimbursement

After the program ends, submit the Mini-Grant Reimbursement Form in the Mini-Grant Application Packet [PDF], including itemized receipt(s). MDE-LIO will reimburse the district for the full amount awarded.

Questions

If you have questions regarding MDE-LIO mini-grants, please email msdb-outreach@michigan.gov.