October 2022 - Volume 61
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In this issue:

Special Strong provides adaptive special needs fitness personal training for individuals with mental, physical, and cognitive challenges.

Accessible Materials Made Right (AMMR)

Some minor changes are coming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). A new update is scheduled to be finalized by December 2022. As many of you are already aware, these guidelines are not the be-all end-all of digital accessibility, but they do provide perspective and a framework for what we should be looking for in our digital accessibility work.

WCAG 2.2 is expected to include the following adjustments:

  • Focus Indicator Visibility will be upgraded to an A-level requirement with certain minimums at the AA-level (1 pixel in width and 3:1 contrast).
    • Focus indicators are what you see when tabbing-through an interface and objects are either highlighted or appear with a box around them when selected.
  • Dragging Movements (AA-level requirement) will require that any interface that requires clicking, holding, and dragging items with a mouse must also provide a way to use single clicks and arrow buttons to move items around.
  • Target Size Minimums (AA-level requirement) will require that any object that may be targeted (like buttons) must be at least 24 pixels wide and 24 pixels tall, in particular if there is not at least 24 pixels of space between adjacent targets.
  • There are also adjustments related to the predictability of websites, forms, and online tools that aim to cut down on users having to enter the same information multiple times, getting lost or stuck in loops while trying to find assistance, and general inconsistency in navigation.

You can read the full list of proposed updates on the website, as well as information about the future WCAG 3 guidelines that are still a few years away but should include exciting updates that make the guidelines more specific and flexible and address needs of users with cognitive disabilities. Please keep in mind that these are only guidelines and formal adoption of them varies widely by organization, state, and country.

Assistive Technology (AT)

One aspect of growing your skills and knowledge in the area of assistive technology includes expanding your professional learning network (PLN). Here are some Michigan-based opportunities to network and connect with like-minded professionals:
  • AT Lunch & Learns: This educator-run group organizes quarterly opportunities to network and learn more about hot topics under the vast assistive technology umbrella. Information including agendas and Zoom connectivity is shared on the AT-Contacts Listserv. The first date was September 29. Future dates include:
    • November 28, 2022 (in-person: Bay City area)
    • January 26, 2023 (virtual)
    • March 14, 2023 (virtual)
  • AT Cohort: Join this smaller subset of professionals to reimagine how to approach AT needs in your district or intermediate school district (ISD). Contact Carolyn O’Hearn for dates and Zoom connection information.
  • AT-Contacts Listserv: This Listserv is open to any educator interested in being connected to other AT professionals in Michigan. Information about AT Lunch & Learns, professional development opportunities, and specific questions about strategies and tools are shared on an ongoing basis.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Including Building Blocks to Autonomous Communication and Comprehensive Literacy for Autonomous Communication

The Michigan Schools in AACtion is a great way to network with other educators who support students with complex communication needs. During the 2021-2022 school year, this group met monthly to collaborate, discuss, and deepen their learning. Dates and times for the group will be announced shortly. Join the Michigan AAC Listserv to receive updates on the Michigan Schools in AACtion meetings. The Listserv also offers a platform for educators to connect and problem solve with other educators that support AAC users. 

Delta Math

The Delta Math implementation support website is aligned to the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recommendation, “Intervention materials should include opportunities for students to work with visual representations of mathematical ideas and interventionists should be proficient in the use of visual representations of mathematical ideas.”

Teachers can begin learning about using visual representations through a quick read about the Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) instructional sequence, watch a Graham Fletcher video and look for visual representations provided within district adopted core instruction resources. Then, teachers can identify similarities and differences between these resources to create a manageable list of non-negotiables to increase student access to their current grade level standards and provide an equitable experience for all students in their classroom, school, and district.

The Delta Math Progressions implementation support page includes quick reference guides for Components of Number Sense, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Fraction Concepts, and Algebra Concepts. These guides are intended for teachers and interventionists to consolidate their understanding of how the C-R-A instructional framework is integrated within the Delta Math intervention lessons. Each manipulative and math drawing was selected by a team of regional math consultants throughout Michigan to provide connections within a grade level and across grade levels to help all students build procedural fluency from conceptual understanding.

If you have questions about the Delta Math Response to Intervention (RtI) program resources or implementation opportunities, please contact Mike Klavon at

Foundations of Math (FoM)

The 8th annual Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together (MRALT) conference is an opportunity for general and special education staff, elementary through secondary, to participate in shared learning experiences focused on meeting the needs of our diverse learners.

The conference will be offered as a virtual conference with a “live” virtual keynote session. The asynchronous sessions will be about 45 minutes in length and cover a wide range of topics.  They will be available for viewing at your convenience, November 14 through December 2. The synchronous, or “live” portion of the conference, will take place on Monday, November 14 at 4 p.m. The keynote session, “Engaging All Students in Learning Mathematics," will be an interactive experience with Kevin Dykema, 2021-2022 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) President-Elect. The session will examine how we can implement effective teaching practices equitably to help each and every student succeed in math.

To learn more about this great opportunity, or to register now, please visit the MRALT Conference website!  8th Annual Mathematics Reaching All Learners Together (MRALT) Conference Information and Registration

Lending Library: Borrower Highlight

Lisa DiMusto
Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
Hillsdale ISD

AS: How long have you been using the Lending Library?
LD: Two years
AS: How did you hear about the Lending Library?
LD: Through my fellow SLP colleagues
AS: What items have you borrowed through the Lending Library?
LD: Several iPads and Accent devices
AS: What are the results from borrowing items from the Lending Library?
LD: Being able to trial devices before purchasing them is a HUGE benefit to the success of implementation. Plus, allowing my students immediate exposure to a device through the Lending Library while waiting for their dedicated devices prevents any lag time in communicating with AAC. Ashley at the Lending Library is amazing at supporting any lendee with possible other options when devices are loaned out and is incredibly prompt in sending devices out. She is awesome to work with!
AS: Would you recommend the Lending Library to others?


Looking for a fun way to incorporate estimation into your number sense routines? Consider exploring the 150 different Esti-Mysteries found on Steve Wyborney’s Blog. In the 20 days of Number Sense and Rich Math Talks, each day contains multiple levels. This makes it possible for a 2nd grade teacher, a 5th grade teacher, and a high school teacher to use the same file and access to other grade levels.

Upcoming Events: Michigan

10th Annual Autism Conference
October 6-7, 2022
Kalamazoo, MI

Understanding the Brain and Cerebral Visual Impairment
October 10 and 17, 2022
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. each day

Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics Annual Conference
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Live - Virtual Conference
#TalkingAAC Conference
October 4-5, 2022 Online Pre-conference Workshops
November 2-3, 2022 In-Person Conference (East Lansing)
November 2-3, 2022 Limited Virtual Sessions

Mathematics: Reaching All Learners Together (MRALT) Conference
Live (virtual) Keynote Session - November 14, 2022 at 4 p.m.
Asynchronous Sessions available November 14 - December 2, 2022

Michigan CEC
March 1-3, 2023
Grand Rapids, MI
March 15-18, 2023
Detroit, MI

Upcoming Events: National

Closing The Gap 2022
Pre-conference Workshops: October 17-18, 2022
Main conference: October 19-21, 2022
Minneapolis, MN
November 15-18, 2022
ASHA Convention 2022: Resilience Reinvented
November 17-19, 2022
Hybrid Virtual Conference (New Orleans, LA)

ATIA 2023 Conference
January 31-February 4, 2023
Orlando, FL

Lending Library Update

There are 66 items out on loan. 
Nova Chat 5 Product Photo

Nova Chat 5

The Nova Chat 5 is an AAC device on a small Android tablet featuring the WordPower Suite, myCore, VocabPC, MulitCChat 15, and more. It has an integrated amp that can be heard in a variety of environments and accommodates single or dual switch scanning via Bluetooth.

Connect to Other MDE OSE Grant Funded Initiatives

Michigan Alliance for Families

Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF)

Subscribe to the newsletter to stay up-to-date on events and special education news.


Michigan Department of Education Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO)

Sign up for email notifications and the newsletter from MDE-LIO.
Michigan Multi-Tiered System of Support Technical Assistance Center

Michigan's Multi-Tiered System of Support Technical Assistance Center (MiMTSS TAC)

Visit the MiMTSS TAC website and look under “Announcements” for updates and events.

 Special education mediation services

Visit the SEMS website for updates and information.

Statewide Autism Resources and Training

Statewide Autism Resources and Training (START)

Subscribe to “START Connecting,” a monthly email with an article and information about START’s project activities, events, and resources.

Request Technical Assistance

If you have any questions about our offerings or resources, request technical assistance and someone from our staff will follow up with you.

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Alt+Shift is an Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant Funded Initiative out of the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education.