Chapter Spotlight: Connecticut ABA
Connecticut ABA (CTABA) has had a productive year despite the challenges that came along with a global pandemic. Our Continuing Education, Membership, Organizational Members/Sponsorship, Family & Consumer Outreach, Home Services, Public Policy & Legislative Outreach (PPLO), Technology, Student and Early Career Support, Public Schools and Professional Issues committees have remained active and have allowed for robust member participation across this past year. We added an exciting new Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice committee in response to the need we saw both nationally and in our local member community. Our Board of Directors (BOD) has worked over the past year to refine roles and responsibilities across the directors to support the efficient completion of association business. With the support of our Technology Committee, we transitioned to a new membership platform and website. Both of these platforms allow for a smoother interface for members and organizational sponsors.
Legislative Activity in CT slowed to a halt during the 2020 pandemic. The governor passed a number of executive orders, two of which were helpful for BCBAs. First, he enacted telehealth through March 31, 2021, and included BCBAs in the executive order. Second, he waived the licensure requirement allowing newly certified BCBAs to practice in CT without a license during the pandemic. With the new year, most legislative activity focuses on renewing telehealth options as well as ensuring that students with disabilities have access to in person learning at school. The PPLO has continued meeting to discuss areas of need and a Legislative Needs survey has been sent out to membership. The PPLO committee has also met with the Office of the Healthcare Advocate and the Office of the Child Advocate to ensure appropriate access to ABA through health insurance.
CTABA Professional Issues Committee is in the process of establishing a mentorship initiative with the goal of having a means to connect less experienced behavior analysts with experienced mentors. The program is in the development stage with a needs assessment to be available for members and registrants to complete at the 2021 annual conference.
In addition to a mentorship program, the Student Support Committee has recently been modified to include those early career BCBAs. The newly expanded Student and Early Career Support Committee aims to provide educational, employment, networking and research support opportunities to students and early career BCBAs in the state of Connecticut. Through data gathered via survey responses, the Committee will work to expand its agenda this year to better support the given needs of its target population in the state.
Our 17th annual state conference was a great success. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s conference was held virtually. This year’s conference attendance included over 300 attendees and our sponsors represented over 20 organizations. We are greatly appreciative for our conference chair, Heather Teichman, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA (MA), LBA (CT) and the committee members, who managed to put on an excellent and well-rounded conference. Our speakers this year included a morning keynote by Lorri Unumb, followed by sessions with Dr. Judah Axe, Dr. Claudia Dozier, Dr. SungWoo Kahng, Dr. Paul Gavoni, Dr. Peter Gerhardt, Dr. Laura Grow, Dr. Brandi Simonsen, Janet Vasquez, Dr. Nicholas Weatherly, and Dr. Merrill Winston. We also hosted pre-conference workshops with Dr. Judah Axe, Dr. Justin Leaf, Dr. Melissa Olive, and Dr. Ravit Stein. We were excited to offer our attendees talks on a variety of topics within the field, including OBM, school-based services, self-care, and behavior assessment.
CTABA continues to offer several CE events throughout the year for our members. We held our 2020 Fall Workshop Series with talks by Dr. Bridget Taylor on Compassionate Care and Dr. Shahla Ala’i-Rosales on Culturally Responsive Supervision.
Since 2013, CT ABA recognizes an outstanding student in behavior analysis each year in memory of Rachel D’Avino, a Connecticut student of behavior analysis who was killed in the Newtown school shooting. This year, Samantha King received the award. Congratulations Samantha!
Our state continues to see dramatic growth in the numbers of BACB credentialed practitioners including 1118 licensed behavior analysts registered with the CT Department of Public Health.935 Board Certified Behavior Analysts live in CT.878 Registered Behavior Technicians reside in CT, all of whom must be supervised for 5% of their work in ABA. CTABA moved to a new membership portal and we are in the process of shifting members to the new platform. Our last membership reporting is 365. Please note this may not be reflective of accurate accounting until the transition is complete.
We are pleased with our continued growth and efforts to support and promote behavior analysis, and we look forward to our continued role as the voice of behavior analysis in Connecticut. Please go to www.ctaba.org for a list of our current Board of Directors and other information regarding CT ABA.