Photo by Josh Berendes on Unsplash

By Lisa Daniel-Way

The Iowa Association for Behavior Analysis annual members’ meeting was October 9, 2020. Due to COVID-19, it was held virtually and was held in conjunction with the eighth annual conference. There were a number of newly elected board members. Autumn McKeel was elected president-elect, Shelby Meyerink was elected treasurer, Jennifer Kuhle and Aerika Budd were elected member at Large (2-year term), and Allison Canaday as Student Member.

In 2020, Iowa ABA offered 19 CEU’s to members through conference and workshop opportunities. In the summer of 2020, a 4-hour ethics workshop was held for members. Dr. Matthew Brodhead, Michigan State University, presented “A Behavioral Systems Approach to Ethics Training and Supervision”. Iowa ABA continued to extend on the Annual Conference to include a Post-Conference Workshop. Conference presenters provided training and presentations on varied topics to 46 workshop attendees and 80 conference attendees. The Annual Conference included four speakers including Dr. Sarah Mead Jasperse, Emirates College for Advanced Education in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, presented “Treatment ‘Failures’ in ABA: What They Are and How to Remedy Them”; Shannon Biagi, Chief Motivating Officers, LLC, presented “How We Know THEY Know: Evaluating Staff Training Effectiveness”; Dr. Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, Chicago School of Professional Psychology, presented “Creating Compassionate Cultures: Acceptance and Commitment Training in Human Service Settings”; Dr. Becca Tagg, Del Mar Center for Behavioral Health, presented, “”Providing for the Provider: Burnout, Self-Care, and Community Care”. Shannon Biagi, Chief Motivating Officers, LLC, presented the workshop, which was on “Planning for Growth: Creating Professional Development Pipelines in ABA.” Monetary support for the conference was provided by local, state, and regional organizations with an interest in behavior analysis.

The ninth annual conference was held virtually again on October 1, 2021. A post-conference workshop was held in conjunction with the annual conference.

The board conducts open meetings on the second Thursday of each quarter (with the exception of the final quarter during which the meeting is held at the annual conference) and invites members to participate in meetings and on committees.

BCBA licensure remains in effect in Iowa after the application for licensure became active on March 15, 2019. The Legislative Action Committee continues to advocate for and protect Iowa licensure and currently occupies two seats on the Iowa Board of Behavioral Science by individuals with interest in behavior analysis, a BCBA and a BCaBA. A third seat still needs to be identified. The legislative committee has been involved with a variety of initiatives that impact BCBAs in the state, such as Medicaid supporting and reimbursing for ABA services via telehealth and BCBA’s being recognized by the Board of Education in Iowa.

Iowa currently has 149 BCBA/BCBA-Ds, 2 BCaBAs, and 135 RBT’s. Iowa ABA has supported several initiatives to recruit and retain BCBAs. Currently Iowa ABA has 125 members with 75 full, 16 affiliate, and 34 student members. The expansion of ABA services and BCBAs in Iowa continues to be of utmost importance to Iowa ABA. For this reason, Iowa ABA has continued to support a state grant for individuals pursuing their certification and has also shown support for Drake University’s ABA master’s program, with members providing practicum opportunities for students, supervising clinical experiences, and promoting the program. Iowa has financial incentives for those new certificants who are employed in Iowa with a state funded grant program.

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