It was an interesting and unprecedented 2020 for all of us last year. As the pandemic began, many associations were working with their membership to help navigate changes in applied behavioral clinical practice due to COVID-19 restrictions and continue to provide education and networking opportunities through our annual conference. Like many other associations, the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA) went virtual for 2020 and hosted our 40th Annual Meeting September 17th and 18th of last year. FABA 2020 was the first ever virtual conference of the association, and our program committee did an amazing job pivoting the annual meeting to a virtual one. We owe a huge thanks to our presenters and members who attended the successful meeting, which included 1,026 participants. While the number of attendees was lower than what FABA usually sees in our in-person annual conference (normally between 1500–1800), we appreciated the ability to still serve our members and provide a single-track conference amidst the pandemic.
For this year, we are planning a mixed event for our 41st Annual Meeting in September 2021. FABA 2021 will consist of both in-person events at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa (limited number of seats will be available for the in-person attendance) and online access to events for participants who would rather participate in FABA from home or their regular office without travel. Additional information about FABA 2021 will be forthcoming on our website and Facebook page. We are looking forward to catching up with members, celebrating our 40th anniversary which got pushed back last year, and providing ultimate flexibility for our membership for their educational and networking needs.
Outside of conference activities, FABA’s Board of Directors and its Legislative and Public Policy Committee continued to have the good fortune of being guided by lobbyist and attorney Eric Prutsman, and our 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. FABA has also established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee to complement the existing Multicultural Special Interest Group of FABA. We look forward to these groups of behavior analysts working together for enhancing FABAs outreach across the state and in a variety of new directions.
Looking forward, 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 recent conferences, review information about our upcoming 41st annual meeting in Miami, shop the FABA store, or become a FABA member, you can find us at www.fabaworld.org.