Chapter Spotlight: Ontario ABA
The Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA) continues to expand capacity, grow membership, and increase visibility among other professionals and levels of government in Ontario and Canada. Although 2020 was a very unpredictable year with pandemic related challenges the organization accomplished many goals related to our 2020-2022 strategic plan. We have outlined some of the highlights here.
Member Services & Educational Opportunities
- For the first time ever, ONTABA received funding from the provincial government to provide a service to the community.
- The Ontario Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services commissioned ONTABA to produce free educational materials in both English and French based on our newly released Jurisprudence & Ethics Standards: https://ontaba.org/je.php
- Under the leadership of Dr. Julie Koudys (technical lead) and Dr. Rosemary Condillac (administrative lead), a dedicated working group created key resources for behaviour analysts, those interested in ABA, and other professionals.
- The working group also developed comprehensive online training modules, “The Ethical Behaviour Analyst”, which cover the new Jurisprudence & Ethics Standards.
- A series of live and interactive virtual training sessions that built on the training modules were also offered in both English and French.
- All materials are now hosted on our training website: https://training.ontaba.org/.
- The Education Task Force disseminated a white paper titled, “Applied Behaviour Analysis: Applications in Schools” to educators and policy makers.
- The Membership and Member Services Committee released 3 issues of the newsletter, “The ONTABA Analyst” in April, August, October. https://ontaba.org/newsletters.php
- We held our first virtual conference on December 10 & 11th with over 600 attendees. Guest speakers were: Drs. Stelios Georgiades, Marc Lanovaz, Linda LeBlanc, and Janet Twyman, as well as many local behaviour analysts and trainees.
- We also hosted our annual Evening of Behavior Analysis virtually. The focus of the event was on diversity and inclusion in behaviour analysis: “Culture and Race as Variables in Behaviour Analysis: An Exploration of the Contingencies” Speakers were Kade-Ann Henry, and Dr. Sonia Levy with Dr. Val Saini as the discussant.
- We offered other two CEU events in partnership with the Ontario Behavior Analytic Community of Practice and the Manitoba Association for Behaviour Analysis.
- We partnered with Autism Ontario to provide a series of webinars for professionals and caregivers (some related to pandemic related responses and legal implications for service providers).
- We offered a virtual town hall for members to receive guidance from clinicians about pandemic related reopening guidelines.
- We offered weekly “Physically Distanced, but Socially Connected” virtual social hours for members for several weeks at the beginning of the pandemic.
- The Advocacy & Communications Committee formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion working group and will finalize the terms of reference in 2021.
- We developed a Public Relations Road Map with our PR consultant to be enacted in 2021. The focus will be on elevating the voices of people who have benefitted from behaviour analytic services and clarifying misconceptions about the field.
- The Education and Advancement Committee prepared a comprehensive report with responses to questions about professional regulation of behaviour analysts for the relevant provincial ministries.
- We continued to work closely with the provincial government and the College of Psychologists on the process of professional regulation of behavior analysts in Ontario.
- We continued to meet with ministry representatives about changes to the Ontario Autism Program and offer consultation.
Governance & Operations
- In 2020 we finalized the terms of reference for a new committee structure.
- We hired an association management company to help with day-to-day tasks and accounting.
Board Transition and Eye on 2021
In 2020, we finalized the strategic objectives for 2020-2022: (1) provide leadership and advocate for ethical, effective, and safe behavioural services in Ontario; (2) enhance services and supports for all ONTABA members, in all parts of the province; and (3) build the capacity of ONTABA to achieve its mission and goals. We will continue to strive to meet these objectives in 2021.