By Lindsey Lovelady
Arkansas ABA (ArkABA) is a small but growing association. In 2020, the state of Arkansas finally topped over 100 BCBAs. There are still counties in Arkansas where there are no BCBAs and where services are lacking. The board will continue to work on growth in those areas. Membership also grew to 111 by the annual conference in November 2020. At the start of 2020, a committee organized the administrative structure of the board and rewrote the by-laws of the chapter.
By-laws were voted on and approved after review by the board. New committees were created in 2020 as well, which include the Practitioners Committee, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Committee, Student Committee, Events Committee, Legislative and Ethics Committee, Research and Review Committee, and the Media & Marketing committee. Committees held their own meetings at least quarterly. At the start of 2020, we created a new website that was able to be updated by committee members and that was more user friendly to visitors. The website was also used as our platform for our virtual conference in November.
As a board, we started to notice that a lot of the emails we were receiving were around the topic of supervision. Due to this, we put together a list of BCBAs that supervise around the state. This list is then provided to those that are looking for supervision and the list is frequently updated. We are also compiling a list of clinics in the state that can be available to anyone. In March 2020, as COVID restrictions closed the state, ArkABA quickly pivoted to a virtual conference. Our theme was “Building A Community” which led itself nicely to the times we were in.
We invited speakers from Arkansas to present so that those in attendance could hear what was happening in the state. We also focused on Diversity as we had a talk from BABA as well as a panel from the Autistic Advocacy group. There was no cost to attend the conference if you were an ArkABA member. As a chapter, we felt that we could afford to hold a virtual at no cost to those in attendance. During this time, we also provided Round Table events for those that owned clinics to discuss moving forward with COVID and to help relay information and documents. None of our events from March to December had a cost due to the chapter wanting those that might have been affected by the costs of COVID to be burdened. In January of 2021, Jodie Bone took over as President of ArkABA.