ABAI U.S. Affiliated Chapter Updates
By Eric S. Murphy and Veronica Howard
The Alaska Association for Behavior Analysis (AKABA) was formed in January 2014 and became affiliated with ABAI in March 2016. AKABA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a goal to promote the science and theory of behavior analysis through the support of research, education, and practice. Association membership is open to everyone interested in behavior analysis in Alaska.
Membership benefits include low cost CEs, discounted registration for the annual AKABA Conference, access to private members-only online forum, and updates on legislation and other events related to the practice and research of behavior analysis in Alaska. Please visit our website (www.alaskabehavior.org) for current events, news, and membership information.
AKABA and its members had a challenging year in 2019. In the face of major turmoil in local politics and budgeting, 2019 was a year of frenzied advocacy and recommitment to many of our core mission offerings—namely advocacy and professional development for our practitioners. A summary of these key 2019 events and updates are provided below.
AKABA formed committees to address a handful of topics in Spring 2019: Telehealth registry, QASP certification/state licensure, and Medicaid issues. Volunteers on each committee spent time researching the challenges and brought issues to the members during the April meeting. For the QASP certification and Telehealth registry issues, letters were sent to State Licensing on behalf of AKABA. For both issues, clarification was received and AKABA helped to disseminate that information to our members and the community.
AKABA has helped to facilitate communication amongst members who are helping each other to work through issues Medicaid billing issues. The members discussion board on the website has served to notify others of changes and issues. Additionally, AKABA has hosted three Behavior Business Brunches during the year and one Business Brainstorming session during the annual conference. These have served as opportunities for practitioners to interact and discuss specific challenges.
Currently, AKABA is receiving information about these topics through notifications from our members. Moving forward, it is strongly recommended that AKABA designate a representative to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Governor’s Council, and other advocacy groups to ensure that the field of behavior analysis is accurately and fairly represented.
AKABA became a formal Authorized Continuing Education provider in late 2018 and thanks to generous volunteer speakers, AKABA offered over 175 CEs to members during 2019.
Third Annual Conference
The third annual AKABA Conference was held Friday, November 8–Saturday, November 9, 2019. In addition to the AKABA social (Friday) and conference (Saturday), the 2019 AKABA Conference committee added additional pre-conference programming, including a Behavior Business Brainstorm and University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Rat Lab tour.
The 2019 keynote speaker was Patrina Callahan, UAA graduate, owner of an ABA business, and mother of a son with autism spectrum disorder. Ms. Callahan’s presentation focused on tough ethical questions surrounding service provision and highlighted potential dual relationships that develop for practitioners who are also parents of children on the spectrum.
The conference also featured a number of local speakers, including Veronica Howard (UAA), Gwen Lupfer (UAA), and a panel of local practitioners, including Rachel White (UAA Center for Human Development, chair), Lyon Johnson (Special Education Service Agency), Phil Tafs and Leslie Rost (Mat-Su School District), and Julie Heimerl-Lee (Southcentral Foundation). This event was also hosted the first-ever student research symposium, featuring four student presentations.
This event would not be possible without the amazing contributions of volunteers and the conference committee. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make the 2019 AKABA conference possible!
By Tiffany Mrla
Values, action, and education were the focus for the fourth year following the reestablishment of the Arkansas Association for Behavior Analysis. Membership grew by over fifty percent with an increasing number of behavior analysts joining from across the state. In 2019, the Executive Committee provided new learning opportunities for members, continued advocacy efforts that lead to statewide changes in behavior analytic services available to children with autism spectrum disorder, initiated efforts for obtaining licensure for behavior analysts practicing in the state, and expanded our conference to include a day of workshops for participants while adding additional events for members. The fourth annual conference highlighted our focus on values and committed action with Dr. Evelyn Gould delivering a message on the importance of practitioners identifying values that focus their work in the rewarding times, as well as in the challenges that we all experience, and bringing those values into all we do in our lives. Dr. Gould also presented a workshop, with Denisha Gingles, focusing on ACT and social justice, calling practitioners to action on issues that matter. We were grateful that Dr. Joshua Pritchard and his team presented a workshop for conference sponsors on organizational behavior management, in addition to providing support for the conference livestream. Dr. Pritchard’s team spoke to the importance of developing systems within your organizational structure that are aligned to your values and mission. The committed action of board members, alongside committee representatives, lead to another successful conference with increased attendance, reduced fees, reduced costs, and increased funds, to further our mission. The Executive Committee worked throughout the year to ensure the association’s values and mission were carried through in all activities. Beth McKee, M.Ed., BCBA, served as past president during 2019, providing guidance and mentorship to the Board. Tiffany Mrla, Ph.D., BCBA, served as the 2019 president. Dr. Mrla continued to expand the work of those who served before, in addition to coordinating free continuing education events for members, developing committees to further the work of the Board in the year to come, and advocating for practitioners and consumers. The president-elect, Lindsey Lovelady, MS, BCBA, maintained efforts to disseminate information, expand our membership, increase engagement, and continue moving us forward, while our vice-president, Jodie Bone, MS, BCBA provided support and insight throughout the year. Appointed members of the Executive Committee include Brandon Thurman, MS, BCBA, who served an additional term as treasurer for 2019. Mr. Thurman’s time and expertise ensured that the financial needs were accounted for and obligations met in a timely manner. Katrina Lawson, BCaBA, served as secretary and continued to disseminate meeting minutes that were informative and accurate. Events coordinator, Lana Nelson, BCaBA, ensured necessary conference details were addressed and the conference was a success. The Legislative and Ethics Committee co-chairs, Dr. Sheila Barnes, BCBA-D, and Dr. Tiffany Mrla, Ph.D., BCBA, served an additional term learning and advocating for consumers of behavior analysis. The meetings attended and work delivered lead to increased access to services for children, with the doors open to continue the mission to ensure quality, evidence-based services are available to all individuals. The year ended with a successful beginning of efforts to obtain licensure regulations for practitioners in Arkansas, protecting both practitioners and consumers. In an effort to keep with our goal of increasing member engagement, board members surveyed members to identify interests for continuing education, for the annual conference, and the development of special interest groups and/or committees to increase participation and advocate for the clients our members serve in all areas in the field of behavior analysis. A Student Engagement Committee met throughout the year to identify ways to serve student members. This model will be carried in to 2020 with the addition of both a Practitioner Committee and a Behavior Technician Committee to focus on the needs of our direct care practitioners, while identifying ways to provide support, advocacy, and education to the varying population of service providers, in addition to a Regional Representatives Committee. A quarterly newsletter was delivered to members and an increase in social media engagement was a focus for 2019, led by Tiffany Mrla and Lindsey Lovelady, as they continue to focus on expanding our membership, as well as membership activities, across the state of Arkansas. We are looking forward to 2020 and the opportunities we will be able to bring to our membership. Last, and with great gratitude, the Arkansas Association for Behavior Analysis was honored to host Dr. Justin Leaf, Dr. Gina Green, Dr. Jonathan Tarbox, and Dr. Adel Najdowski, as they donated their time and expertise to our members through free continuing education opportunities. This initiative was realized through the support of Board Members from ABAI, the ABAI Affiliates Board, and the Autism SIG. We are grateful for those in our field, and in our state, who volunteer their time and resources to support shared values and a shared mission.
Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy
By Alan Harchik
BABAT is Massachusetts’s largest and longest-standing professional organization for behavior analysts. We celebrated our 40th anniversary in 2019. Our website is babat.org. BABAT’s mission is to advance behavior analysis in Massachusetts and beyond through professional advocacy, organization of continuing education and networking opportunities, professional recognition, and providing needed supports to our membership. The BABAT conference, held annually in October, continues to be a central focus of the board.
The chapter’s 40th annual conference was October 2–4, 2019. After 39 consecutive years at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, this year’s conference was held at a much larger venue, the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. This allowed for more than 2,000 attendees. The conference included more than 40 invited speakers and distinguished presenters. This was our fifth year of an expanded 3-day conference with an additional day of Master’s Series of Workshops. Our 41st conference is scheduled for October 7-9, 2020.
Last summer, the BABAT Board of Directors initiated a new online membership application process. Membership has continued to grow and stands at over 2,100 active members. More than two-thirds of BABAT members live in Massachusetts, however, members live in 37 other states and the District of Columbia, and in 12 other countries: the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Finland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Spain, and Saudi Arabia. Legislation and Professional Practice BABAT strives to advocate for our profession through legislative advocacy. The BABAT Professional Practice Committee helps support and develop legislation that advances opportunities for behavior analysts and the people they serve. BABAT also provides an ever-expanding array of resources for behavior analysts in Massachusetts and surrounding areas. A recently developed resource page on babat.org provides members with links to relevant supports. BABAT’s Professional Practice Committee also works to assist other national and state organizations that collectively advance the profession of behavior analysis.
VIP Meet and Greet
The VIP Meet & Greet is a new BABAT initiative that involves inviting a well-known behavior analyst to an informal gathering with the first 15–20 student members who respond to an invitation. The first successful VIP Meet and Greet took place with guest Dr. Jennifer Zarcone (senior vice president for Adult Clinical Services and Training at May Institute) who graciously joined students at Jack’s Abby in Framingham, MA, for an informal and exciting exchange about life and career choices in behavior analysis. Social Media BABAT has a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. These outlets share highlights and information regarding awards, upcoming events, and more.
Honors and Awards
BABAT proudly presented the following honors and awards this year:
B. F. Skinner Foundation/BABAT Student Research Award:
- Lesley A. Shawler, PhD, BCBA, Endicott College, “Establishing Derived Reinforcers via Equivalence-Based Instruction,” Faculty Advisor: Dr. Caio Miguel
- B. F. Skinner Foundation/BABAT: Natalie Mandel, University of South Florida, “Comparison of Behavior-Specific Praise and General Praise with Instructive Feedback on Skill Acquisition, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Catia Cividini-Motta
- The Jerry Shook Practitioner Award: Mark J. Palmieri, PsyD, BCBA-D
- Behavior Change for Sustainable World Research Award: Molly Benson, MS Sp.Ed., BCBA and Jonathan Kimball, Ph.D., BCBA-D
The New England Behavior Analyst
BABAT recently posted its semi-annual newsletter, The New England Behavior Analyst. It is available online and provides our membership with important updates on legislative matters, conference highlights, student award winners, reflections on recent trends in the literature, and upcoming events for behavior analysts in New England. BABAT Leadership Stacie Bancroft continues her term as president of BABAT. The Board of Directors has expanded, as have the number of committees focusing on specific initiatives. Through the development of our committees and committee member positions, we have been able to benefit from the hard work of more than 25 committee members.
By Kaori G. Nepo
Delaware Association for Behavior Analysis was established in 2011. The purpose of the organization is to promote the science, understanding, and practice of behavior analysis through (1) encouraging cooperation among local behavior analytic organizations; (2) advising political, legislative, and policy-making bodies with respect to all matters pertaining to behavior analysis in the state of Delaware; (3) arranging an annual meeting to discuss aspects of behavior analysis; (4) maintaining a website containing information about the chapter and behavior analysis in Delaware and elsewhere; and (4) functioning as a contact for and an affiliate of ABAI.
Current executive officers of Delaware ABA consist of a president, Kaori Nepo; vice president, Gary Allison; treasurer, Corey Bowen; secretary, Victoria Hetrick; and members at large, Susan Pfadt and Regan Root. The membership director is currently vacant and the duties are covered by committee members. The election is scheduled in September this year.
There are four categories for Delaware ABA membership:
- Professional member, defined as an individual holding a terminal degree in a discipline directly related to, or involving behavior analysis, and whose full or part-time professional commitment includes teaching, research, and /or practice in behavior analysis.
- Full member, defined as an individual engaged in a full or part-time basis in any profession or vocation that utilized the principles or procedures of behavior analysis.
- Affiliate member, defined as any individual evidencing interest in the discipline of behavior analysis but lacking formal training therein.
- Student member, defined as someone who currently attends undergraduate or graduate school. The membership fee is $5 for student members and $10 for the rest of members annually.
In May 2020, a representative of DABA attended the chapter training offered during the ABAI virtual annual convention. Delaware ABAI also presented a poster during the convention Expo session. In March 2020, the representatives attended an all-day chapter training/meeting at APBA. In October 2019, Delaware ABA hosted the second annual conference with invited speakers. In June 2019, a representative attended the first chapter association summit in New Orleans. In May 2019, a representatives attended the chapter training at ABAI annual convention. Delaware ABA also presented a poster at the convention in order to promote the chapter. Finally, in April 2019, a representatives attended the chapter meeting at APBA annual convention to learn the process of securing licensure in Delaware.
Activities for 2019-20
Delaware ABA also held the second conference with great speakers including Dr. Gina Green, Dr. Justin Leaf, Mr. Corey Bowen in October 2019.
Delaware ABA updated its website to make the membership application process and conference registration easier. The executive committee designed and sold t-shirts to promote the organization and behavior analysis in Delaware. The sub-committee approached the state stakeholders to address concerns regarding behavioral services provided in Delaware. The executive committee continued to explore the effective ways to promote behavior analysis as well as improve the quality of such services in Delaware. The executive committee discussed the necessary steps to establish behavior analyst licensure in the state of Delaware. The committee invited Dr. Gina Green to the annual conference to learn more about the licensure process. Executive committee continued to discuss the ways to increase the number of members through social media, conferences, and workshops. A committee member attended the first chapter association summit to network with other states’ associations and learn from strategies to increase revenue and members.
Plan for 2020–21
Delaware ABA will continue to hold a few events to offer CEs for members and to educate the general public regarding the science of behavior analysis. We will prepare for the third conference in fall 2020. Additionally, we will continue to gain knowledge and work on tasks to develop behavior analyst licensure in the state of Delaware through attending the meetings and workshops at the ABAI and APBA conventions.
By Amy S. Polick
The Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA) held our 39th Annual Meeting Wednesday, September 18–Saturday September 21, 2019, at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida (outside of Jacksonville). The conference was attended by over 1,800 members and featured 4 full days of conference programming (Wednesday–Saturday). The 2019 FABA conference included a broad array of presentations, symposia, meetings, workshops, socials, exhibitors, and special events, including FABAs Ignites at Night and Inside Behavior Analysis. Additionally, FABA 2019 was the largest conference FABA has organized yet and it was extremely well received by members. Our 2019 conference featured a keynote presentation from Ray Miltenberger and invited presentations from Tara Fahmie, Dave Palmer, Greg Madden, Lorrie Unumb, Gina Green, and Jim Carr, as well as high quality presentations and workshops from presenters who came from all over Florida and the country.
The FABA program committee and board of directors is currently planning FABA 2020—which will be a big 40th anniversary celebration. FABA 2020 is taking place September 16–19 at the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando, FL. FABA has the benefit of holding our meetings at some of the most popular tourist destinations, and next year will be no different. As always, members are encouraged to bring family members and significant others and use the conference as an opportunity for some added vacation time.
Outside of conference activities, FABA’s Board of Directors and its Legislative and Public Policy Committee were guided by lobbyist Eric Prutsman, and we recently hired a Public Policy Director, Steve Coleman, to serve the organization for state-related legislative and policy matters. The legislative committee, Steve, and Eric have been extra busy monitoring issues in the legislature related to funding and insurance coverage of ABA services, expansion of ABA services, access to ABA services in school systems. and policies regarding restraint and seclusion in public schools.
Looking ahead, FABA plans to continue their advocacy efforts for practitioners of behavior analysis services in Florida. FABA’s Board of Directors and Legislative committee work throughout the year to maintain our right to provide behavior analysis services in Florida and we continually work to fulfill our mission of promoting the “ethical, humane, and effective application of behavior principles in all segments of society.” By doing so, we plan to continue to disseminate our science throughout the state and alleviate barriers that practitioners face across Florida.
To learn more about FABA, view pictures of our 2019 conference, review information about our upcoming 40th anniversary meeting, shop the FABA store, or become a FABA member, you can find us at www.fabaworld.org.
Four Corners ABA
by Zach Maple
The mission of Four Corners ABA (4CABA) is to promote the science of behavior and evidence-based technologies derived from the basic science in the Four Corners region (Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico). Four Corners ABA had another strong year of providing behavior analysts in the Four Corners region with an intellectual home. Zach Maple, BCBA (Developmental Disability Resource Center) is now the past-president of 4CABA and organized our 12th Annual Conference in Colorado Springs, CO in April 2020. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference had to be canceled.
The safety and wellness of our members and speakers were the high priority, thus, providing a conference under the conditions the COVID-19 was impossible. We are appreciative to all the invited speakers that agreed to present at the 2020 4CABA conference in Colorado Springs. Those speakers included: Jim Partington (Partington Behavior Analysts), Leilani Felliciano (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs), Joshua Jessel (Queens College), Worner Leleand (Empowered: A Center for Sexuality), Sho Araiba (Positive Behavior Supports Corporation), Megan Kirby (Uncomfortable X), Barb Kaminski (Uncomfortable X), Jonathan Miller (University of Colorado School of Medicine), Paul Guinther (Anchor and Arrow Behavioral Health), Courtney Collins (The Realm of Care) and Joel Munson (The Realm of Care). We would like to thank all of the invited speakers for their dedication to the field and helping 4CABA promote experimental, theoretical, and applied analyses of behavior.
The 4CABA board are preparing to offer webinars to its members with presenters of the speakers slotted to present at the 2020 conference. Video conferences and individual meetings cannot typically replace what our annual conference provides, however 4CABA has opted to host online events to supplement the content and the engagement lost from our annual physical event.
In our ongoing efforts to increase membership and let other behavior analysts know what we’ve been up to, 4CABA hosted a virtual booth at the expo at the 46th ABAI Annual Convention.
4CABA is also very happy to announce recent additions to our governing board: our new board member is Brent Seymour, BCBA (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), our new secretary is Megan Mann (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center) our acting treasurer and ACE provider is Amy Kenzer, BCBA-D (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center), and our new president-elect is Anne Catherine Denning, BCBA (Consultants for Children). Congratulations to all our new officers!
4CABA is excited about our next annual conference in Tucson, Arizona! Please check out our website at 4CABA.org for more information.
By Colin Muething
We are proud to continue to support the behavior analytic community in the state of Georgia through an annual conference, social media, and networking as an affiliated chapter of ABAI.
We held the 12th annual GABA conference in Athens, GA on November 16, 2019. We had over 150 individuals attend the conference, which featured invited presentations by Hank Roane, Aubrey Daniels, Amy Odum, Jason Travers , Robert Pennington, Tiffany Kodak, as well as a poster session with more than 15 presentations. We also held two sold-out pre-conference workshops; one by Jon Bailey and the other by Ellie Kazemi. Additionally, we partnered with BehaviorLive to record some of our conference presentations and offer BACB continuing education credits for viewing them online.
In 2019, we continued to expand our membership, updated the functionality of our website and membership software, and worked on increasing our social media presence. We were represented at the APBA conference in Atlanta, at the ABAI conference in Chicago, and at the ABA State Association Summit in New Orleans. Additionally, we formed an ad hoc committee to explore the current climate relating to potential of licensure of behavior analysts in Georgia. We presented data on these activities on our poster during the ABAI virtual convention Expo in May 2020.
We plan to hold our 13th annual GABA conference on November 21, 2020 with two preconvention workshops on November 20. Due to COVID-19, we plan to hold the conference virtually in collaboration with BehaviorLive. We have an exceptional lineup of speakers including Chris Podlesnik, Dan Fienup, Jennifer Zarcone, Gina Green, Jason Vladescu, and Matthew Normand. We will also have pre-conference workshops from Matthew Broadhead and Mary Jane Weiss. Information about this year’s conference can be found on our website in upcoming months; www.georgia-aba.org.
In June 2020, we offered a CE event in collaboration with BehaviorLive so that members can view the presentations online, form an ad hoc committee related to diversity in behavior analysis in the state, and continue to explore licensure for behavior analysts in the state.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all board members for their hard work and dedication to the organization. This year, we welcome back returning board members Ginger Sunbom, MS, BCBA; Sherry Serdikoff, Ph.D., BCBA-D; Valerie M. Volkert, Ph.D., BCBA-D; Nina Gerenscer, Ph.D., BCBA-D; Christine Robison, MAT, BCBA; Ginger Hill, MS, BCBA; Sara Freeman, Ph.D., BCBA-D; Cassondra Gayman, MS, BCBA; and Kiel Scates, M.Ed., BCBA. We also welcome our new board members Rachel Yosick Psy-D, BCBA-D; Katie Smith, Ph.D., BCBA-D; Daniel Conine, Ph.D., BCBA-D; Jennifer Alexander, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and Kayla Greene, MS, BCBA.
By Kyle Machos and Angela Broff
Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA) had a successful convention in September 2019. HABA has also remained very active in local legislation by focusing on bills relating to the practice of behavior analysis and behavior change for environmental sustainability. HABA continues to advocate for quality ABA and support local families by participating in a variety of community organizations and events with parent groups. Come join HABA on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawai’i as we celebrate our annual convening of members on September 24–25. We are very pleased to announce that our keynote speakers this year will Dr. Mary Jane Weiss and Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez.
By Samantha Cermak
Des Moines, Iowa, in conjunction with the seventh annual conference. There were a number of newly elected board members. Lisa Daniel was elected president-elect, Jessica Crawford was elected secretary, Nicole Gaughan was elected member at large (2-year term), and Sidney Eby as student member.
In 2019, Iowa ABA offered 14 CEs to members through conference and workshop opportunities. In the summer of 2019, a 4-hour supervision workshop for members. Dr. Noor Syed, Lehigh University, presented “What makes a Quality Behavior Analyst? How to Identify Key Repertoires & Engage in Effective Supervision.” IowaABA continued to expand the Annual Conference to include a Pre-Conference Workshop. Conference presenters provided training and presentations on varied topics to 39 workshop attendees and 80 conference attendees. Sorah Stein, Partnership for Behavior Change, presented the workshop “Sexual Behavior, Functional Assessment and Human Rights.” The Annual Conference included five speakers including Sorah Stein, Partnership for Behavior Change, presented “Sexual Health for BCBA’s”; Brett DiNovi and Kate Harrison, Brett DiNovi and Associates, presented “OBM Systems to Increase Employment Engagement and Decrease Clinician Turnover while Developing Brand Ambassadors”; Dr. Claudia Dozier, The University of Kansas, presented “Recent Advances in Assessment, Intervention, and Prevention of Behavior Disorders”; Dr. Brett Kuhn, Monroe-Meyer Institute, presented, “Assessing and Treating Pediatric Sleep Disturbances”, and Dr. Janelle Ausenhaus, Carissa Serbousek, Drew Foster, and Sidney Eby, Drake University presented “Evaluating Differential Reinforcement Procedures to Decrease Problem Behavior with Individuals with Disabilities.” Monetary support for the conference was provided by local, state, and regional organizations with an interest in behavior analysis.
The eighth annual conference is currently being planned and will be in West Des Moines on October 8–9. Three additional CE opportunities will be held in 2020.
The board conducts open meetings on the second Thursday of each quarter and invites members to participate in meetings and on committees.
The Legislative Action Committee continues to advocate and protect Iowa licensure with the primary activity of ensuring the rules of licensure went into effect and to help inform processes. The application for licensure was active on March 15, 2019. Two seats on the Iowa Board of Behavioral Science were occupied by those with interest in behavior analysis, a BCBA and community member. A third seat still needs to be identified.
Iowa currently has 136 BCBA/BCBA-Ds, 1 BCaBA, and 81 RBT’s. Iowa ABA has supported several initiatives to recruit and retain BCBAs. Currently Iowa ABA has 100 members with 41 members with their BCBA, 1 member with a BCaBA, and 20 RBTs. The expansion of ABA services and BCBAs is of paramount importance to Iowa ABA. Iowa ABA has continued to support a state grant for individuals pursuing their BCBA, as well as Drake University’s new ABA master’s program, with members providing practicum opportunities for students, supervising clinical experiences, and promoting the program. Iowa has financial incentives for those new certificants who are employed in Iowa with a state funded grant program.
By Luna Weiss-Salinas
In February 2019, Kentucky ABA (KYABA) held a workshop in Louisville, KY pertaining to Writing Medically Necessary Treatment Plans for Insurance Reimbursement presented by Tim Courtney, MS, BCBA. In September 2019, KYABA held their Fall Conference themed Recent Advances and Ethical Considerations in the Treatment of Autism Specturm Disorders hosting Adel Najdowski, Gina Green, David Celiberti, Morten Haugland, and Rebecca MacDonald. In January 2020, KYABA hosted Dr. Vincent J. Carbone who provided a workshop on advanced topics in teaching verbal behavior to persons with Autism and related disabilities. KYABA will hold its annual conference on September 11–12, 2020 in Louisville, KY with confirmed invited speakers to include Dr. Becca Tagg; Sorah Stein, MA, BCBA, CSE; and Dr. Joseph Lambert.
By Janice Huber
The Louisiana Behavior Analysis Association (LaBAA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes ABAI’s mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice. LaBAA serves as a scientific, professional, and networking group for its members. LaBAA also promotes access to behavior analysis services in the state of Louisiana.
LaBAA was established in April 2012 as a 501(C)(4) and became the ABAI affiliate state chapter in the fall of 2012. LaBAA is also an affiliate of APBA and a BACB ACE provider.
LaBAA is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of a president, past president, president-elect, treasurer and secretary. The 2018–2020 officers are Janice Huber, BCBA, LBA, president; Derek Shanman, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, past-president, treasurer; Scott Williamson, BCBA, LBA, president-elect; and, Katie Jenkins, BCBA, LBA, secretary. The LaBAA Board of Directors is comprised of regional representatives from across the state, a parent representative, and a student representative. 2018–2020 regional representatives are Chad Favre, BCBA, LBA; Megan Matherne Perkins, BCBA, LBA; Channing Langlinais, BCBA, LBA; and Phyllis Rash, BCBA, LBA. Erica Lozy, BCBA from Louisiana State University is the student representative and Shannon D’Aquila is the parent representative. The legislative chair is Grant Gautreaux, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA. Elections for all officers and representatives are conducted in May/June every other year.
There are three classes of membership; Full, Affiliate, and Student. Benefits of membership include:
- Professional representation: LaBAA is committed to protecting the interests of licensed behavior analysts in the Louisiana state legislature.
- Consumer/Affiliate representation: LaBAA is committed to protecting the interests of consumers of ABA in the Louisiana state legislature.
- Full members have the right to vote in all matters brought before LaBAA.
- Full members have the option to be listed as a service provider on the website.
- Full and Affiliate members have the option to post employment opportunities on the website.
- Advocacy and professional networking provided for all levels of membership.
LaBAA has grown from 339 members in the spring of 2019 to 370 members at the time of writing. Member meetings were held in May 2019 in Chicago during the ABAI annual convention and in October 2019 in New Orleans.
LaBAA hosted the 7th Aannual Gulf Coast ABA Conference in October 2019 in New Orleans, LA. The 2019 conference committee was chaired by Daniel NoackLeSage, BCBA, LBA and co-chaired by Jeanne Donaldson, Ph.D., BCBA-D. Approximately 370 attended the 2-day conference. Presenters and attendees from across the United States took part in workshops, symposia, a poster session, a social, and a keynote address by Dr. Aubrey Daniels. Other invited presenters included Dr. Michael Dorsey, Dr. Peter Gerhardt, Dr. Jennifer Fritz, and Dr. Jon Bailey. Conference data indicate continued annual increases across attendee numbers, exhibitor numbers, and sponsor revenue. The 2020 Conference Committee is chaired by Tricia Clement, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA.
The LaBAA Award for Distinguished ABA Advocacy was presented to Dr. Grant Gautreaux and Janice Huber in recognition of their legislative advocacy over the years. LaBAA also held its annual Student Poster Competition during the conference. Allison Ruby from Louisiana State University was the winner. The eighth annual Gulf Coast ABA Conference is scheduled for October 16–17, 2020, in New Orleans at the Sheraton on Canal. LaBAA invites all of you to join in on the fun down in the Big Easy! For more information and updates on the conference go to www.labaa.net.
Other Activities and Initiatives
LaBAA has partnered with Louisiana Coalition for Access to Autism Services (LCAAS) to secure professional legislative services. As the state of behavior analysis continues to take shape within Louisiana, LaBAA has been very active in ensuring that the development and growth of behavior analysis remains beneficial to further developing the science of behavior analysis, the practice of behavior analysts, the mentoring of students of behavior analysis, and most importantly advocating for consumers of behavior analytic services. In addition, the coalition has worked with LaBAA to educate the public and raise awareness about the science of behavior, ABA services, and legislative advocacy.
In partnership with LCAAS, LaBAA successfully advocated for amendments to Act 696, which requires public schools to allow behavioral health services during school hours and was signed into law in 2018. As a result of the 2019 legislative session, amendments were enacted, Act 117, which specifically named behavior analysts as providers and defined ABA services as medically necessary services.
In 2019, LaBAA partnered with Families Helping Families to provide free, public informational sessions on the science of ABA and the implications of Act 696 and Act 117. Sessions were held in Baton Rouge in July 2019, New Orleans in November 2019, and Lake Charles in April 2020. Sessions will continue to be provided across regions of Louisiana throughout 2020.
By Carrie S. W. Borrero
The Maryland Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) held its 22nd Annual Meeting in Baltimore, December 6–7, 2019. Our conference is devoted to the dissemination of behavior analysis, both basic and applied, to our members from the Mid-Atlantic area. We had record-breaking attendance this year, with more than 450 members. This year, we welcomed workshops presented by Janet Twyman (Center on Innovations in Learning) and Evelyn Gould (Harvard Medical School), along with Denisha Gingles (Signature Behavior Analytic Services). Our conference included presentations from Ellie Kazemi (California State University Northridge), Valerie Volkert (Marcus Autism Center), Jeffrey Tiger (Marquette University), Thomas Critchfield (Illinois State University), Bethany Raiff (Rowan University), and Iser DeLeon (University of Florida). Our reception including an expo for sponsors and poster presentations.
Poster presenters included staff and students from organizations such as the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; Rowan University; Kennedy Krieger Institute; and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We would like to thank our sponsors for continuing to support the efforts of MABA. At the conclusion of the conference, Lynn Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute) stepped down as president, Meaghan Gregory (Kennedy Krieger Institute) assumed the office of president, and Alison Kozlowski (Kennedy Krieger Institute) was elected president-elect. Jessica Becraft (Kennedy Krieger Institute) was elected member at large. We would like to thank our executive committee for their time and dedication. Plans are currently underway for the 23rd Annual Meeting, to be held December 3-4, 2020 in Baltimore. We have a lineup of distinguished behavior analysts expected to present. For more information about our upcoming conference, please go to www.mdaba.org.
By Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt
The Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis (MABA) is a regional affiliate of ABAI. MABA is a membership organization devoted to promoting scholarly interchange in behavior analysis through its annual convention. The annual convention also allows for dissemination of the science of behavior analysis to the public and to professional behavior analysts residing in the Midwestern United States.
The 19th annual MABA convention was held October 18-19 in Omaha, NE at the Embassy Suites by Hilton. The 2019 MABA president, Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University), began the conference welcoming attendees and introducing our first Keynote speaker, Dr. Pat Friman. Dr. Friman (Boys Town) he presented “A Critique of Psychopathological Perspectives of Common Child Behavior Problems.” Our first symposium of invited speakers included Dr. Erin B. Rasmussen (Idaho State University) speaking on “Food Insecurity, Mindful Eating, & Delay Discounting for Food & Money,” and Dr. Brian D. Greer (Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School ) presenting “Using Quantitative Theories of Relapse to Improve Functional Communication Training ” to end the morning sessions.
Following our lunch break, our second symposium of invited speakers began with Dr. Claire St. Peter (West Virginia University) who presented “How Low Can You Go? Naturalistic Treatment Integrity and Its Impact on Outcomes”, which was followed by Dr. Scott T. Barrett (University of Nebraska – Lincoln) whose talk was entitled, “Characterizing the Value Enhancing Effects of Nicotine via Behavioral Economics.” Our final symposium on Friday after included Dr. Jeffrey Tiger (Marquette University) speaking on “On the Validity of Isolated and Synthesized Contingencies during Functional Analysis and Dr. Raymond G. Miltenberger (University of South Florida ) presented on “BST Is Not as Good as You Think: Lessons Learned from Research on Teaching Safety Skills.”
Saturday morning, Tiffany Kodak (Marquette University), opened the conference by welcoming attendees back for the second day and introducing our second Keynote speaker, Dr. Jesse Dallery (University of Florida) who presented “A New Frontier: Integrating Digital and Behavioral Technology to Promote Health Behavior.” Our last symposium of invited speakers included student award winners of our Forrest J. Files Student Travel Award (presented annually to the winner(s) of the Student Research Paper competition). Dr. Megan Vosters (University of Houston-Clear Lake) presented her paper, “Emergent Completion of Multistep Instructions via Joint Control” and Matthew D. Novak (University of Kansas) presented his paper, “A Behavioral Economic Evaluation of Cooperation in a Simulated Work Task.” Following the award winners, Dr. Christopher A. Podlesnik (Auburn University) presented “Modeling and Mitigating Relapse of Problem Behavior.”
To finish the conference, we introduced our inaugural winner of MABA’s Distinguished Contributions to Behavioral Science Award. Because MABA is devoted to promoting scholarly interchange in behavior analysis and ideas of our field to our region, in 2018 the Executive Board voted to initiate this award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the science of behavior analysis through their research, teaching, and or professional service. The inaugural recipient was Dr. Leonard Green (Washington University in St. Louis), presenting “Impulsivity, Impatience, and Risk-Taking: A Discounting Perspective.” Dr. Green’s extensive research in choice and decision-making in rats, pigeons, and people, with a particular interest in models of self-control, impulsivity, and choice and decision-making and impressive publication and teaching history made him the ideal individual for this award.
MABA also held an open business meeting on Friday evening. At this meeting it was decided that we would begin a Student Board made up of students from Mid-Western universities with behavior analytic graduate and undergraduate programs. This initiative is meant to increase student participation in conference preparation and help student gain experience serving their field in a new capacity.
We are looking forward to the upcoming 2020 convention, which is slated to be held October 15–17 in Detroit, MI at the Crowne Plaza. The conference will again include addresses on both basic and applied behavior analytic research and theory. Early registration fees for the conference include MABA membership and are $35 for students and $100 for faculty and professionals. These fees will be available online only until October 2, 2020. After this time, registration must be paid on-site and will increase to $50 for students and $125 for faculty and professionals. CEs are also available for pre-purchase at $10 each online until October 2. If purchased on-site, each CE will be $15. We will offer approximately 10 over the course of the conference. There will be an additional ethics workshop following the conference which may be attended for an additional three CEs. The registration information for the workshop will be announced in the summer of 2020 and will be separate from the conference registration.
Students and faculty are encouraged to present posters on their research or theoretical efforts. At the 2019 conference we had over 50 poster submissions, which made for an exciting and stimulating poster fair! In addition, we encourage students and recent graduates to submit papers for the Forrest J. Files student researcher award. There are 1–2 recipients of this award every year. We are also excited to announce a new presentation competition for graduate and undergraduate students. This will occur Thursday evening prior to the conference start and will include up to 15 presentations. More information will be announced soon!
The current president of MABA is Dr. Amanda Karsten (Western Michigan University) and the president-elect is Dr. Steven Walker (Aurora University). More information about MABA, the annual convention, lodging accommodations, student presentations and awards, registration information, and joining our email list can be found at the organization’s website: www.mid-aba.com or by contacting the Operations Coordinator: Dr. Julie A. Ackerlund Brandt (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology) at email@example.com.
Minnesota Northland ABA
By Elizabeth Harri-Dennis
Hello from the Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis (MNABA)! We welcomed some new faces to the full board this year; Carissa Jivery as the Northern Minnesota liaison, Odessa Luna as the Central Minnesota Liason, Emily Boduch as the Student Member Liason, and Joel Bakken as the president. We also added two new positions for board members-at-large for Kate Schroeder and Jolene Germaine. These new members will assist with conference planning and tasks to support our licensure efforts. Returning this year are Trista Knudson as the treasurer, and myself as the communications chair.
Our conference attendance and membership continue to grow for another record year! We added reduced rate workshops for direct support professionals on our workshop day and continued to offer conference attendance to direct support professionals at a reduced rate. With our financial status stable and growing we are excited to welcome Dr. Tim Vollmer as our keynote speaker this year!
We continue to make progress with the short-term and long-term objectives on our strategic plan through 2021. Our vision continues to be growing MNABA’s ability to support Minnesota’s behavior analysts and behavior analysis consumers dynamically and responsibly. Some additional highlights for 2019 are below:
- The annual Data Blitz was held in April at Mankato State University. We will continue to offer this free event to students and clinicians
- Our licensure bill is now supported by the Minnesota Board of Psychology. The licensure bill has sponsors from Democrats and Republicans in the Minnesota State House and Senate chambers.
- Our 2019 conference was a success! This year we stayed at the Crowne Plaza AiRE in Bloomington, MN, with easy access to the airport and the Mall of America. We will be evaluating our partnership with this venue this year as our workshops sold out and as our membership grows we may need a larger space. Additional conference highlights include the following:
- Two pre-conference workshops and direct support professional workshops
- Keynote speaker Dr. Pamela Neidert
- A new more convenient and simplified registration system with MeetingHand
Below are some exciting things coming up for MNABA in 2020 thanks to our strategic plan:
- Continued coordination with other organizations to pass our licensure bill
- Updates to our webpage to provide member only benefits and to allow members to join online
- Creating a new strategic plan with our executive board this month
- Coordinating with the Autism Recovery Foundation to plan for their fundraiser to occur the Saturday after the conference
We look forward to all that 2020 has to offer MNABA and its members, including our conference scheduled for September 24–25. Please check www.mnaba.org often for details on this event and everything else we have going on—we would love to see you in Minnesota!
By Lorri Coulter
Montana Association for Behavior Analysts (MTABA) has spent another year working hard to identify and cover all the important bases related to the growth of our association and promotion of applied behavior analysis on the frontier. The MTABA executive members as of September 2019 include Lorri Coulter, president; Ania Young, president elect; Autum Koska, treasurer; Bradley Tiefenthaler, secretary; and Jackie Mohler, past president. Three at-large members have been chosen to sit on the board in order to broaden and improve connections to our membership. Montana BCBAs are eligible to be licensed since passage of legislation in 2017. We are now part of the Montana Board of Psychology and a governor appointed licensed BCBA represents the profession on the board. This is a learning experience for all as we examine our common vernacular and necessary communication skills. MTABA is continually seeking new methods of dissemination of valuable information across our large and sparsely populated state. The use of social media allows for greater connections between our membership, which requires a serious commitment from our board to establish and maintain these platforms. MTABA hosts a website (www.mtaba.org) and a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MontanaABA.
BCBAs are becoming more frequently included in important settings such as public schools although this continues to be defined on a case by case basis and much work is needed in this area. MTABA includes Registered Behavior Technicians as a valuable part of our organization, teams and services in the state by providing well trained professionals and service providers. MTABA is encouraged by each successful interaction, relationship and connection made as a means of promoting the benefits of ABA. The worldwide demand for BCBA’s serves as a constant reminder to support our Montana membership and communities in every way possible. The 2019 MTABA annual conference was hosted in September by Montana State University-Billings, home to our BACB approved course of study. Dr. Vincent J. Carbone was our featured speaker for a full day and spoke on the topic of “Teaching Intraverbal Behavior” using video illustrations and methods in applied settings. The conference included a half-day experience of lighter fare from ZooMontana who brought animals and trainers as part of a demonstration of the use of ABA in the facility. Our 2020 annual conference will be September 11–12 at Montana State University in Bozeman with featured speaker Dr. Greg Hanley. Our chapter anticipates another year of increased need for ABA. The challenge remains of how best to connect and serve those in remote areas of Montana and the intermountain west region. Families continue to be faced with the dilemma of how to access reliable treatment for children or family members when the nearest professional may be hundreds of miles away. Technology may provide legitimate opportunities to address the isolation but there are still many hurdles to get by in order to make this a viable option. MTABA membership remains united in our efforts and encouraged by our steady growth.
New Hampshire ABA
By Mary Rachel Enoch
The New Hampshire Association for Behavior Analysis (NHABA) is an Affiliate Chapter of ABAI. Its mission is to promote the development and awareness of behavioral services in the state of New Hampshire by (1) supporting the development of standards of practice for behavior analysis; (2) promoting and supporting the conduct of behavior analytic research; (3) promoting research, education, and practice-based principles in behavior analysis; (4) promoting and supporting professional development of behavior analysts; and (5) raising awareness of the association and its services.
NHABA is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of a president, past president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The 2020 Executive Committee is comprised of Rachel Enoch (president), Kim Kelly (past president), Peg Chaffee (vice president), Bonnie Montague (secretary) and Curran Pope-Konner (treasurer).
NHABA offers three categories of annual membership: Full, Affiliate, and Student. Membership is open to all persons interested in or actively engaged in behavior analysis. Memberships start on the day of the annual of the annual conference and remains in effect until the date of the next annual conference. Full member status may be obtained by any individual holding a terminal degree in a discipline directly related to or involving behavior analysis and whose full-time professional commitment includes teaching, research, and/or practice in behavior analysis. An Affiliate member status may be obtained by any member evidencing interest in the discipline of behavior analysis who does not qualify under the standards of full membership. Affiliate members enjoy all the benefits of Full membership and are able to vote on decisions of the chapter. A Student member status may be any individual pursuing formal training in the discipline of behavior analysis on at least a half-time basis but not yet gainfully employed therein may apply for membership in this category. Student membership requires documentation to verify the applicant’s student status. Student members may also vote on membership decisions of the chapter.
There are multiple benefits to becoming a member of the organization. These benefits include, but are not limited to, reduced conference registration, free CEs at NHABA meetings, mentorship networking platform to connect behavior analysts with others to share expertise, notifications about continuing education opportunities, to the latest news in behavior analysis, a vote on issues pertinent to the organization, and the opportunity to hold office in the organization (Full members only).
NHABA has actively hosted events in the state since 2016. For the last four years, the organization has held an annual conference. The last three years the conference has sold out and continues to be a sought-after event for professional development in the state of New Hampshire and surrounding areas. The location of the conference is rotated each year to extend the association’s reach in the state. In November 2019, NHABA held a conference in Manchester, NH. The organization had the pleasure to host Mark Dixon, Sorah Stein, Jason Simmons, Evelyn Gould, Sandy Jin, and Sarah Campau. In March 2020, NHABA hosted a community workshop on the topic of ABA Treatment for Adults with I/DD. In September 2020, NHABA will hold its annual conference in Concord, New Hampshire with Dr. Emily Sandoz as our keynote speaker.
NHABA currently hosts quarterly chapter meetings with each offering a CE in either supervision or ethics. The association continues to determine the most effective platform to offer these meetings as to reach the most members across the state. Currently, the meetings are hosted in person and also offer a virtual option. In January 2020, NHABA had the pleasure to host a panel on supervision with Dr. Janet Robertson; Ally Dube, BCBA; Matt Cicoria, BCBA; and Allison Porreca, MS. In April, NHABA hosted Dr. Amy Davies Lackey. In November 2019, the association hosted Dr. Camille Kolu and in June, Dr. Patricia Wright. Finally, in April, we hosted Dr. Solandy Forte at the respective quarterly meetings.
Membership stands at 190 members and continues to grow. The association continues to seek effective ways to engage in outreach and disseminate information about the association activities and opportunities.
In this year NHABA has plans to create a mentorship directory, host additional workshops, and offer a mini web series discussing timely topics in the field. NHABA continues to seek to have a stronger and active presence as a resource for individuals in the state of New Hampshire interested in behavior analytic services. Through the work of NHABA the aim will remain to work towards the mission of the association as a whole and expand its reach and impact.
More information about New Hampshire Association for Behavior Analysis can be found on the organization’s website: https://nhaba.net.
New Jersey ABA
By Kate Britton
The New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis (NJABA) enjoyed another successful year in 2019. Dr. Kate Britton assumed the role of president and Dr. MaryLou Kerwin was voted in as president-elect for the 2019–20 term. Dr. SungWoo Kahng was voted in as University Liaison and Dr. Craig Domanski as a Representative-at-Large for the Association; Amy Golden was appointed the Secretary position, all of whom bring added diversity and demographic to the Board in its efforts to grow and mature as an Association. We continue to have dedicated professionals on the Board of Directors of NJABA.
Since its inception, NJABA has consistently held an annual conference. Our annual conference is now routinely attended by over 375 people. In 2019, the 14th Annual Conference, which was held on April 5, had attendance of approximately 400 people, 26 vendors, and 2 sponsors! We were honored to have Dr. Wayne Fuqua, deliver the keynote address, titled “Evidence-Based Practice in ABA: Detecting and Troubleshooting Treatment Failures.” In addition to Dr. Fuqua’s presentation, there were several workshops and symposia on topics including, but not limited to, CPT codes and their impact, maintaining interprofessional partnerships, the use of phonetic hand cues, daily ethical challenges as a behavior analyst, licensure of behavior analysts and insurance reimbursements. We also conducted a poster session that included posters on a wide array of topics. All presentations were required to be data-based with demonstrations of experimental control. We have continued to improve our conference based on evaluation feedback.
The 15th annual conference was rescheduled from April 3, 2020 to September 18, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also be holding our conference virtually this year. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Doug Woods. He is a professor of psychology and dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. His keynote is “Bringing Behavior Analysis to Mainstream Neurology: The Case of Tourette Syndrome.” Among other workshops and symposia, we will be featuring a supervision presentation, “Deliberate Coaching: The Role of Organizational Coaching Systems in Culture Change” and an ethics presentation, “Some Ethical Considerations When Conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment.” We will also be conducting a poster session on a variety of topics. We are expecting another great turnout at this year’s conference and anticipate greater participation.
A large initiative of the organization over the past year was to increase membership and member participation through our new website, social media postings and increased interactions with students of New Jersey colleges and universities with approved applied behavior analysis course sequences. Through this plan, NJABA can be an even more influential resource for current and future New Jersey behavior analysts. Following months of active preparation, legislative sponsors introduced licensure legislation on October 15, 2018. Throughout 2019, NJABA Government Affairs chair and Autism New Jersey executive director Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D worked to advance this legislation through meetings with the bill’s sponsors, legislators on relevant committees and their staff, legislative leadership, and stakeholders in the developmental disability and related disciplines communities. Two weeks into 2020, it was signed into law. Medicaid EPSDT Coverage for Autism Treatment—Dr. Buchanan worked throughout 2019 with state Medicaid officials to advocate for and design a benefit in the best interests of the community and the profession. Scheduled to launch on April 1, 2020, this benefit covers 40% of NJ’s children and will continue to be a NJABA priority in 2020 as reimbursement rates will determine access (or lack thereof).
The commitment and dedication of the NJABA Board of Directors certainly does not go unnoticed. These individuals continue to volunteer their time to promote the effective and ethical practice of behavior analysis. Without the individuals listed below, NJABA would not be the organization it is today.
Kate Britton, Ed.D, BCBA, president
MaryLou Kerwin, Ph.D., BCBA-D, president-elect
Amy Golden, MS, BCBA, secretary
Kevin Brothers, Ph.D., BCBA-D, treasurer
Sandra Gomes, Ph.D., BCBA-D, past-president
Board of Directors
Alexis Higgins-Battaglia, M.Ed, BCBA, Communications chair
Robert LaRue, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Events chair
Suzanne Buchanan, Psy.D., BCBA-D, Government Affairs chair
Catherine Taylor-Santa, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Membership chair
SungWoo Kahng, Ph.D., BCBA-D, University Program Liaison chair
Erin Richard White, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Continuing Education chair
Kelly Della Rosa, MA, BCBA, representative-at-large
Elena Garcia-Albea, Ph.D., BCBA-D, representative-at-large
Craig Domanski, Ph.D., BCBA-D, representative-at-large
Jack Bowker, student representative
We greatly appreciate the support of ABAI.
New York State ABA
By Nicole DeRosa
The New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) has had another successful year and we are looking forward to the year ahead. We continue to employ a part-time administrative assistant and part-time executive director to help organize and execute the activities of our organization in an effiecient and professional manner. Towards the end of theyear, the Board of Directors started discussion regarding the need for a communication liason to help improve the collaboration between the organizations nine committees, as well as practitioners, consumers, and outside organizations as we continue to expand our reach and productivity.
In November, we held our 30th annual conference at the Albany Convention Center. This was a new venue for our conference given the growth in our attendance numbers across years. That growth continued, with our 30th anniversary conference having the largest attendance number to date. Attendees included behavior analysts, educators, speech therapists, psychologists, other professionals, students of behavior analysis, and consumers of behavior analysis services. At our 30th anniversary conference, we were honored to hear keynote addresses by Dr. James Moore and Dr. Matthew Brodhead. Dr. Moore’s address focused on the application of behavior analytic technologies to the area of health and fitness. Dr. Brodhead discussed the need for behavior analysts to focus on our scope of competence within our daily work. In honor of the 30th anniversary of our conference, we welcomed seven other invited speakers, all of whom have previously served the NYSABA organization in some way: Rachel Cavalari, Frank Cicero, Beth Diviney, Joanne Gerenser, Helen Yoo, Randy Horowitz, and Linda Meyer. Topics included promoting collaboration (a) to improve the effective dissemination of ABA practices, (b) for effective treatment of challenging forms of behavior, and (c) between behavior analysts and speech and language pathologists; application of behavioral principles to sex education for individuals with autism, a novel explanation (i.e., neuromodulation) of autism spectrum disorders, and ethical decision making when designing, implementing, and evaluating fitness programs for individuals with autism. Additionally, we continued to have an excellent line up of presentations from members including workshops, symposia, paper sessions, and posters. Board members this year included Nicole DeRosa (president), Tricia Moss (president-elect), Dana Reinecke (past president, conference co-chair, and parent and family co-chair), Linda Matey (treasurer), Vicki Maudus-Knapp (secretary), Vanessa Patrone (representative at large), Joshua Jessel (representative at large and student activities chair), Nancy Dib (education chair), Bobbi Rogers (consumer representative and parent and family co-chair), Sally Izquierdo (legislative chair), Bobby Newman (fundraising chair), Sam Blanco (marketing chair), Shari Schatzman (conference co-chair), and Jenn Engheben and Amanda Narra (membership co-chairs). In 2020, we welcomed new committee chairs: Kenneth Shamlian took over as membership chair, Vanessa Patrone and Vicki Maudus-Knapp took over as marketing co-chairs, and Debbi Napolitano took over as legislative chair with Maureen O’Grady serving as co-chair. We continue to pursue increased membership and member involvement to assist with addressing not only important legislative issues, but other factors that influence the science and practice of behavior analysis in NY State. Future endeavors will focus on increased student activities and involvement to best help support newly certified and licensed individuals. Licensed and certified behavior analysts in New York continue to significantly outnumber members of NYSABA. All behavior analysts in the state are urged to join so that our voices can be heard by the state legislature and we can continue to support each other in our daily practices and dissemination of ABA to that of consumers and other professionals. If you are not a member of NYSABA, become one. If you are a member, get a colleague to join. If you and your colleagues are members, we thank you and encourage you to become active in the association. NYSABA continues to do important work regarding state regulation of behavior analysts. Licensing laws governing behavior analysis were fully implemented in 2016, and there is a continued need for educating new and prospective behavior analysts about how to become licensed and how to practice correctly and legally in New York. We will continue to focus on providing regular updates on our website and Facebook page, hold events at our annual conference, and disseminate information at other conferences around the state. We hope to increase the number of NYSABA sponsored activities throughout the state to increase our interaction with the community throughout the year. Although NYSABA is not the regulatory body for the state license, our organization continues to stay informed on the latest information coming from the New York State Office of Professions so that our members can be updated as soon as possible about any issues affecting the practice of behavior analysis. The restriction on our scope of practice continued to be one of the biggest issues facing behavior analysts in NY State. Namely, the practice of behavior analysis in New York is restricted to the treatment of individuals with a diagnosis of autism or related disorders who also hold a prescription to receive behavior analytic services, unless behavior analysts are employed by an exempt setting (though exemptions may end as early as 2020) or hold another license (e.g., psychologist, social worker). NYSABA is continuing to campaign to address this restriction of scope, through direct lobbying to pass bills to lift it, as well as media campaigns to draw attention to the problem.
Despite NYSABA’s efforts we cannot accomplish this goal alone. Thus, it’s important for everyone in New York who is affected or concerned by this restriction to speak up. Consider joining us for our Advocacy Day on April 21st, 2020 in Albany, NY. Please email NYSABAlegislative@gmail.com for information on how to help and In an effort to support grassroot legislative efforts, as well as to promote collaboration among fellow behavior analysts in various regions throughout the state, NYSABA continues to cohost “meet-ups” with sponsor agencies. Meet-ups are advertised by eblast and on Facebook. We also continue to have a focus on increasing our fundraising initiative, such as establishing partnerships between NYSABA and agencies, schools, and other entities around the state to present CE events. NYSABA provides a speaker, CEUs, and advertising, and the partner organization provides space and attendees, with profits benefiting NYSABA initiatives. Anyone interested in suggesting or hosting a meet-up or fundraising event in their area should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are now planning our 31tst annual conference, to be held in Albany October 22–23, 2020, which will include more great keynote and invited speakers. We will also continue to accept submissions from members. Members are encouraged to visit our website (www.nysaba.org) and the members-only portal, which we continue to update with information and events as it becomes available. Additionally, information and resources aimed at parents and family members of consumers of behavior analysis services can be found at the NYSABA Parent and Family website (www.nysabaparent.org).
By Sophie Millon
Oregon ABA (ORABA) has continued to experience growth in membership and BACB certificants in the state over the last year. In 2019, ORABA hosted its third annual conference, assisted members in navigating CPT code changes, and continued to provide continuing education to members across the state. Oregon’s largest school district, Portland Public Schools, was the first school district in Oregon to add formal Board Certified Behavior Analyst positions for its 2019–20 school year. In addition, at least three other Oregon school districts now have BCBAs working as part of their school teams. Oregon’s growing population of practicing behavior analysts has begun to slow. However, the number of registered behavior analysis interventionists has grown dramatically, demonstrating increased access to ABA services across the state. As of the end of 2019, there are 240 active licensed behavior analysts, 19 active licensed assistant behavior analysts, and 1673 active registered behavior analysis interventionists in Oregon.
ORABA has closely followed the activities of the Behavior Analyst Regulatory Board this year and is proud to have members serving on the board in 2020. ORABA’s third annual conference, Building Partnerships, occurred in October. The conference was held in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center. ORABA’s keynote speaker, Mary Jane Weiss, Ph.D., BCBA-D, presented to members on the topic of collaboration. William H. Edwards, MS, BCBA, discussed diversity and working with individuals from different cultures. Several of our local behavior analysts presented on a variety of topics. ORABA offered several continuing education events to members last year. Nancy Rosenberg, Ph.D., BCBA-D, presented strategies for addressing ethical dilemmas in practice. Michelle Sherbon, MA, BCBA, encouraged members to utilize functional analysis in their clinical settings. ORABA continued to offer most events both in-person and online so that remote participants could join. Oregon’s higher education system saw additional opportunities for students to engage in behavior analytic studies. Portland State University, University of Oregon, and Oregon Institute of Technology all provide course sequences for certification in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Rhode Island ABA
By Anamaria Arteaga
This year we launched our first ever CE event series called “Functionally Assessing Challenging Behaviors. A Four-Part Series” that was instructed by Cody Morris, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA. This series was scheduled on the first Friday of every month from February–May, 12–3 pm EDT. This series was highly attended by BCBA professionals and other related professionals. Since this was successful, RIABA plans to host 3-hour CE events once per month September-November and February-May. Being able to bring ongoing CE events to members helps to maintain their certification, collaborate with other professionals in the state, and disseminate current ABA knowledge to related professionals. We are excited to continue this new initiative for the chapter in hopes to eventually have a Rhode Island ABA Conference at some point in the future.
South Carolina ABA
By Kerri Pakurar
South Carolina ABA (SC ABA) had a very productive 2019! Board members included president, Zahra Hajiaghamohseni, vice-president Kerri Pakurar, past-president Anna Craft, secretary Jessica Scibilia, and treasurer Aaron Check, and student representative, Shaina Bermudez. A focus on building relationships between stakeholders has become a driving force to organizational efforts. We are proud to have increased our annual membership by 44% from 2017 to 2018, and an additional 22% from 2018 to 2019. SC ABA now supports approximately 270 members. In addition to our annual conference, SC ABA hosted membership networking events regionally across the state, collaborated with AZ ABA to bring ethics CEs to our membership, and drafted a bill to initiate licensure for behavior analysts in South Carolina.
Legislative Affairs Committee
In 2019, The Legislative Affairs Committee drafted a bill for licensure of behavior analysts in the state of South Carolina. A lobbyist was retained at the end of 2019 for a tentative legislative push in 2020. The chair of the committee is David Green. Committee members include Kerri Krauss, Zahra Haji, Scott Braud, and Anna Craft.
In 2019, SC ABA hosted three regional networking and social events, in Greenville, Charleston and Columbia. The Social Committee chair was Courtney Lasky.
In August 2019, SC ABA and AZ ABA collaborated to bring free ethics CEs to both chapter members. AZ ABA provided mentorship on their model for ethics webinars, paving the way for SC ABA endeavors for 2020. Brandon Clark was appointed the Ethics Committee chair for 2020. In June 2019, President Zahra Haji and Vice President Kerri Pakurar traveled to New Orleans for the first annual state association summit. State ABA chapters shared their experiences and resources regarding effectively running an organization and serving membership. Due to this collaboration, SC ABA implemented changes in their leadership board, bylaws, conference planning and membership benefits. In September 2019, SC ABA Membership voted to update the bylaws. Changes implemented included an increase to the executive board member term, from a 3-year to a 4-year term and the appointment of the secretary and treasurer positions. In addition to these efforts, SC ABA hosted the following presenters at our annual conference in Charleston, SC on Nov 4-5, 2019: Dr. Patrick Friman presented “Promoting Behavior Analysis in Plain Language”, Dr. Katie Wolfe presented “Variety is the Spice of Life: Strategies to Promote Varied Client Responding”, Shannon Biagi presented “Leadership in Behavior Analysis: Planning for Organizational Success!”, and Dr. Nicole Gravina presented “OBM in Healthcare: The Next Big Opportunity for Behavior Analysis.” Additionally, Dr. Gravina conducted the workshop “Effective Supervision Conversations.” Dr. Patrick McGreevy also conducted a workshop titled, “Life Skills Instructions for Learners with Limited Repertoires: An Ethical Issue.” We were thankful to have such talented speakers and received great feedback on their presentations from our members!
Our 2020 conference will be in Greenville, SC, October 26–27. Our invited speakers include Greg Hanley, Becca Tagg, Ashley Rose, and Jeanine Stratton. For more information about our conferences, membership, or upcoming events, please visit our website, www.sc-aba.org, or like us on Facebook (South Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis). As a perk of SC ABA membership, updates are regularly provided to members on relevant legislature, area events related to behavior analysis, and changes affecting providers.
By Christina Alligood, Karen Anderson, and Katherine Stewart
The Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis (SEABA) is a regional affiliate of ABAI. Like its parent organization, SEABA seeks to promote scholarly discourse within and about behavior analysis. SEABA membership is open to anyone with a scholarly interest in Behavior Analysis who registers for our annual meeting. Current members include established scholars, professionals, and students in psychology as well as related disciplines such as education, psychopharmacology, and social work. Most members reside in the southeast, although some members participate from other parts of the US.
In 1984, Aaron Brownstein (University of North Carolina, Greensboro) rallied a group of prominent behavior analysts in the Southeastern US around the idea of a regional conference on the science and philosophy of behavior analysis. The region contained a large number of strong, but geographically scattered, academic and research groups (e.g., Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and others) that were without a venue for scholarly interaction. For many, the Southeastern Psychological Association had served this purpose, but the content of that conference had become overwhelmingly professional rather than scientific (i.e., following the direction of APA). SEABA was founded to be that venue for behavior analysts. SEABA was structured specifically to foster high-level discourse on research and theory in behavior analysis. The organization’s sole activity would be to conduct an annual conference. The conference format was developed specifically to replicate the environment of early behavioral conferences, and scientific specialty organizations (e.g., the Behavioral Pharmacological Society). To this end, the conference was to be a day and a half, single-track program so that all participants could conveniently attend all presentations establishing a common basis for discussion and interaction. Speakers were to be selected based on content and quality of their empirical and theoretical work, and to comprise a well-balanced program of basic, applied, conceptual and philosophical presentations. The fall was selected to complement the main ABAI convention held in the spring, and the first meeting was held in the fall of 1984 in Myrtle Beach, SC.
A Special Emphasis on the Future of Behavior Analysis
A guiding philosophy of SEABA is that students are junior colleagues, with an emphasis on the latter portion of the term. Consequently, SEABA strives to keep membership and convention registration fees low to facilitate student attendance. By SEABA tradition, students typically assist in the planning and orchestration of the annual meeting, introduce the invited speakers, and contribute to its scholarly well-being through numerous poster presentations.
Mission for Behavior Analysis
SEABA serves the development of behavior analysis by advancing and reinforcing its scientific underpinning. A SEABA member who served as student introducer, speaker, and president summarized SEABA’s role in the development of behavior analysis as follows:
“SEABA has never sought to influence behavior analysis directly, but its influence is wide nevertheless. A disproportionate number of Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis editors and editorial board members in recent years are SEABA members and alumni. One could argue that the nurturing of students in the science and philosophy of behavior analysis is the organization’s greatest accomplishment.”
The 37th annual SEABA conference will be held October 15–17, 2020 in Columbia, SC. More information, registration, and CE pre-purchase are available at www.SEABAonline.org.
By Lindsey Brady and Tiffany Freeze Denton
The Tennessee Association for Behavior Analysis (TABA) was established in 1997 and strives to increase awareness, program creation, and the provision of applied behavior analysis services across the state.
Currently, TABA has approximately 320 members. This is an increase in membership since last year. New initiatives for this year include providing monthly webinars for CEs, providing a budget for the social media committee to assist in further advertising TABA events, hosting regional social gatherings so that BCBAs in each region can network more with each other, adding an RBT conference attendance rate, as well as membership discount for newly certified behavior analysts. There is one state conference and three regional meetings hosted each year-the annual conference held in Middle Tennessee as well as one in each of the three grand regions of the state—West, Middle, and East. The annual conference provides a central forum to discuss all aspects of researching and delivering applied behavior analysis services that are affecting behavior analysts across the state, while the regional meetings allow for those needs of local behavior analysts to be addressed.
The 22nd Annual Conference was held at the Music City Center in Downtown Nashville on November 14–15, with an additional workshop provided on November 16th. During this conference, approximately 342 Behavior Analysts came together to hear the following qualified invited speakers: Dr. Greg Hanley, Dr. Sara Bloom (University of South Florida), and Dr. Mark Dixon (Southern Illinois University). There were two additional Noted Speakers, including: Dr. James Moore, and Ms. Shannon Biagi (Chief Motivating Officers, LLC). Dr. Greg Hanley presented on two relevant topics including establishing and maintaining good rapport in ABA consulting services, as well as the Practical Functional Assessment of Severe Problem Behavior procedure that is utilized by First Things First Behavior Consulting. Dr. Sara Bloom presented research in trial-based functional analyses, as well as cultural and linguistic diversity in ABA. Dr. Mark Dixson presented about the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy by behavior analysts. Dr. James Moore followed with presenting a teaching session on Relational Frame Theory. Shannon Biagi presented about burnout and ways to incorporate organization behavior management to help address this.
Our student involvement continued this year with awarding three students BACB Exam Reimbursement Awards. TABA also continued with our exciting Behavioralympics, which showcased the knowledge of students from across the state. Awards were presented for a student’s best performance in a shaping race, terminology face-off, and other exciting activities. This is a forum for students to interact with each other and demonstrate their ABA skill set.
Our Executive Committee is made up of the following individuals: Tiffany Freeze Denton as President, Annie Cornelius as President-Elect, Pablo Juarez as Past President, Komal Noordin as West TN Regional Representative, Andrew Buchanan as Middle TN Regional Representative, Kieran Potterton as East TN Regional Representative, Jessica Lee Adcock as West TN Student Officer, Cassandra Standish as Middle TN Student Officer, and Lacy Fontenot as East TN Student Officer. Our committee chairs include Cady Conley and Michelle Hopton (co-chairs, Continuing Education), Erin Szarka and Kate Chazin (co-chairs, Publications), Logan York and Elizabeth West (co-chairs, Social Media), Clinton Smith (Professional Standards), and Zachary Stevens (Membership). Lindsey Brady continues as the Director of Operations. Collectively, this group is dedicated to advancing the presence of TABA across the state by focusing on new initiatives; providing engaging, professional and educational conferences, regional meetings, and newly instituted webinars; and focusing further on the future concerning how to best support TABA membership.
By Jane I. Carlson
The Utah Association for Behavior Analysis (UtABA) is a growing organization with a membership of almost 250 behavior analysts. Our community is growing and reflects the expanding reach of the field of behavior analysis in our state. Our mission is to encourage scientific activity, professional development, and intellectual activity related to behavior analysis.
This past year, our committees have made a variety of contributions to this mission. The Professional Development Committee has hosted another successful conference in August of 2019, featuring nationally recognized speakers including Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed and Dr. Mark Dixon. At the conference, Dr. Tyra Sellers was recognized with the UtABA Mentor Award, Utah School Department and Local Education Agencies and Dr. Tom Higbee were recognized as Contributors to Behavior Analysis in Utah, and Stephanie Mattson of Utah State University was presented with the Student Poster Presenter award. Plans are well under way for our 2020 annual conference to be held on August 6th and 7th at Utah Valley University. Presenters will include Dr. Jose Martinez-Diaz, Dr. Tyra Sellers, and Lorri Unumb. The Committee will also continue to host webinars throughout the year to provide additional, accessible training opportunities for behavior analysts across the state.
UtABA’s Public Policy Committee has been very involved with a number of critical issues in our state. The Committee has provided comment on the Medicaid Provider Manual on the issue of timelines for RBT credentialing, limitations on a behavior analyst in training’s practice and limitations on the use of BCaBA/licensed assistant behavior analysts. In addition, the committee provided input on the appropriate use of assessment hours in professional practice.
The School Collaboration Committee has spearheaded the creation of a guidance document to support collaboration between public schools and behavior analysts. They are currently in the process of providing input on the State of Utah Office of Education’s Least Restrictive Behavioral Interventions Technical Assistance Manual.
We look forward to the continued growth of our organization. Please join us and become a member of UtABA at www.ut-aba.org.
West Virginia BAA
By Nathel Lewis
The West Virginia Behavior Analysis Association (WVABA) has had an organizational year. The Executive Committee has been hard at work developing a working website to link the membership application, Facebook, and PayPal accounts for easier processing.
The WVBAA partnered with parent and community organizations to draft Senate Bill 708 and House Bill 4723. The sponsored bills endorsed a recruitment and retention of BCBAs within the state of West Virginia through tuition reimbursement. WVBAA made additional gains in employment opportunities for BCBAs in WV when the Executive Committee contacted state government entities developing a new Medicaid Waiver program entitled, “Children With Serious Emotional Disturbances.” WVBAA advocated for applied behavior analysis to be included as a treatment modality for children qualifying for this Waiver. With this update, I am excited to report BCBA’s are classified as “in-home therapist” in the policy that became effective March 2020.
The WVBAA held elections in June passing an addendum to our bylaws to include “virtual/face-to-face” to our annual business meeting format. Our annual business meeting scheduled for August 1, 2020, has been moved to a virtual platform where members will continue to have an opportunity to earn three CEs, provided in partnership with West Virginia University.
In the upcoming year, the WVBAA will continue to build bridges with state agencies, parent organizations, and state Universities to promote the field and practice of applied behavior analysis in the Mountain State.
By Nicole Scharrer
The Wisconsin Association for Behavior Analysis (WisABA) was founded in 2004 to foster networking and professional development opportunities for behavior analysts, promote consumer awareness of behavior-analytic solutions, collaborate with students and academics in related disciplines and those who may benefit from behavior-analytic services, raise awareness of behavior analysis, and advocate on the behalf of behavior analysts practicing in the state. WisABA continues to foster these goals. In 2019, the bylaws task force completed updates to the organization’s bylaws and successfully passed amendments. Additionally, WisABA started to collaborate with the Department of Health Services in stakeholder meetings regarding the behavioral treatment benefit through the state of Wisconsin. On August 9–10, WisABA held its 12th annual conference. For the first time, WisABA’s annual conference was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dr. Douglas Woods, PhD, was the recipient of the WisABA Award for Contributions to Behavior Analysis in the State of Wisconsin. In 2020, WisABA is excited to continue our organization’s mission. WisABA will continue to collaborate with DHS to facilitate communication between the state and providers as well as work on projects to help improve access and allow for dialogue between the department and providers. WisABA’s website and marketing committee is working to update and maintain our website as a resource for our members. WisABA’s public relations committee is working to identify goals for WisABA and priorities for our membership in the upcoming year to ensure that members’ needs are being met. Current areas identified include: outreach to grow WisABA’s membership; outreach, collaboration and information sharing with other organizations and stakeholders who work with populations that are commonly served by behavior analysts; and development of additional professional development opportunities for WisABA members. WisABA’s conference committee is busy planning the annual WisABA conference. WisABA’s 13th annual conference will take place August 14–15 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Marquette University’s Alumni Memorial Union. We hope that you will join us for internationally-recognized speakers, discussion, workshops, poster presentations, and opportunities to network. For information on becoming a member and our conferences, please visit www.wisaba.org.