By Miriam Elfert
he British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA) has had another productive year. We are excited to share our accomplishments and future directions with other affiliated chapters.
The BC-ABA board consists of 12 elected board members who meet 10 times per year to advance behaviour analysis in the province of British Columbia. We have a dedicated and active board with diverse experiences and abilities. Our membership also represents a diverse group of behavior analytic practitioners providing services throughout the province.
Regulation of BCBAs and BCBA-Ds has continued to be an area of focus for BC-ABA. BCABA has been working with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia and in conjunction with the provincial government’s Ministry of Health towards regulating the field of behaviour analysis in BC. Due to recent developments, namely, the review by the provincial government of the Health Professions Act and the BC regulatory framework, progress on this issue has been stalled; however, we hope to continue engaging with the government and stakeholders on this important issue, with the goal of eventually becoming a regulated profession in BC.
BC-ABA’s annual conference will be held in April 2021; this year the conference will be held virtually due to the pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings. There will be two live keynote presentations, one by Dr. Bridget Taylor on compassion practices in the profession of behavior analysis and the second by Dr. Nirbhay Singh on mindfulness. The conference will also include a number of pre-recorded “on-demand” presentations by local behavior analysts on a variety of topics including sexuality, telehealth services, and practical functional assessment in school settings. The call for papers for the 2022 conference will go out in by the end of this year. We welcome anyone to submit and look forward to expanding the variety of presentations we can offer.
In response to the pandemic and the shift to remote service delivery, we hosted a series of online webinars for our members. Ashley Rose and Dr. Siri Ming presented on telehealth and Dr. Evelyn Gould presented on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Another important area of focus for BC-ABA has been issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). BC-ABA conducted a survey of its members about DEI issues and received valuable feedback and a number of suggestions on what we can do to ensure Page 2 of 2 Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) voices are heard and represented in our conferences, discussions, and communications. Based on feedback from the DEI survey, we expanded our training in an effort to provide more diverse continuing education opportunities. To include perspectives of autistic individuals, we hosted a presentation by autistic adult and advocate Oswin Latimer on how to better understand the autistic brain. We also launched a 16-hour anti-racism training with Dr. Alana Tappin, a clinical psychologist from Toronto. The training is divided into a series of four 4-hour workshops, one time per month for four months. We recently completed the first workshop in the series and look forward to learning more from Dr. Tappin and each other in the coming months.
Based on another suggestion that came out of the DEI survey, BC-ABA asked for volunteer members to form a DEI committee which has met three times. The BC-ABA board is working with the DEI committee to identify future opportunities for collaboration.
BC-ABA is unique in that we have a Student Alliance committee run by our elected student representatives. The committee is comprised of students enrolled in behaviour analytic programs in BC. They work at advancing behaviour analysis among the student population and host various events throughout the year to facilitate this goal.
BC-ABA’s membership continues to maintain at approximately 300 members which includes full, student, and associate memberships. Benefits to being a BC-ABA member include continuing education opportunities (e.g., annual conference); access to presentation recordings and slides; access to board meeting minutes for up-to-date information regarding BC-ABA events and activities; current information, news, and job advertisements via our monthly newsletters; and networking opportunities with other BC-ABA members. All this for only $30 CDN per year for a full membership!
BC-ABA continues to be an active chapter affiliate of ABAI and is honoured to represent ABAI in the province of British Columbia.