Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash

By Kerri Pakurar

South Carolina ABA (SC ABA) had a productive 2020, considering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic! Board members included President Kerri Pakurar, Past-President Zahra Hajiaghamohseni, Secretary Jessica Scibilia, Treasurer Anslie Patrick, and Student Representative Shaina Bermudez.

A focus on celebrating community became our theme during the pandemic. We shifted our annual in-person conference to a virtual experience and featured a line of up presenters from the state of South Carolina. We offered pandemic supports and free CEUs to our membership to help navigate the uncertainty of the times. We collaborated with other state chapters to bring shared supports and discussion to our membership. We managed to exceed fiscal and conference attendance goals in spite of the uncertainty of the year, and we drafted a bill to initiate licensure for behavior analysts in South Carolina.

Legislative Affairs Committee
In 2020, The Legislative Affairs Committee continued drafting and revising a bill for licensure of Behavior Analysts in the state of South Carolina. It was determined not to submit a bill for consideration in 2020, but to delay submission to continue refining the licensure language. Information and educational opportunities were made available to SC ABA membership regarding licensure, including a licensure discussion and update featuring Gina Green on March 13, 2020, frequently asked questions and informational postings on our website, a conference presentation hosted by our lobbyist and house representative sponsor, and a series of Q&A town hall events. The chair of the committee is David Green. Committee members include Kerri Krauss, Zahra Haji, Scott Braud, and Anna Craft.

Social Committee
In 2020, SC ABA had to adjust their original plans of hosting regional social networking and community services events due to the pandemic. Two online socials were hosted instead featuring opportunities for members to play trivia, share experiences, and collaborate. The Social Committee Chair was Kimberly Snyder.

Ethics Committee
In March 2020, in response to the pandemic, SC ABA sponsored a free webinar entitled “Ethical Service Delivery Models in the Time of COVID-19: A Risk-Benefit Analysis Tool” and offered free CEUs to attendees. This webinar was created to help service providers adjust their service delivery models in the height of the pandemic when there were so many unknowns. In August, SC ABA collaborated with the Behavior Analysis Association of Mississippi to offer a town hall discussion on Diversity within Behavior Analysis and offered free CEUs to attendees.

During the height of the pandemic, SC ABA supported its membership by advocating for telehealth billing codes and offering bi-weekly business owner/clinical director collaboration meetings for members to share resources and supports as they adjusted their service delivery models and procedures to keep their staff and clients safe in during a pandemic. Additionally, SC kept its membership informed via social media on the regional and state data regarding the COVID-19 pandemic using celeration charts.

In October 2020, SC ABA Membership elected a new president-elect, Katie Wolfe, Ph.D., BCBA-D, and appointed a new student representative, Tameeca Comer, to the leadership board!

In addition to these efforts, SC ABA hosted the following presenters at our annual (virtual) conference the week of Oct 26-30, 2020:

  • Dr. Rick Kubina presented “An Examination of Linear and Ratio Graphs: Implications for the Future of Visual Displays in the Science of Behavior.”
  • Jay Cole presented “Taking Behavior Analysis into South Carolina Public Schools.”
  • Dr. Katie Wolfe presented “Being a Critical Consumer of the ABA Research Literature.”
  • Dr. Zahra Hajiaghamohseni and Meka McCammon presented a workshop titled, “5.0: The Behavior Analyst as a Supervisor: Breaking Down Fieldwork Supervision One Behavior at a Time.”
  • Stacie Neff presented “It’s Never Wrong To Do The Right Thing: A Journey Through the Ethics of Professionalism.”
  • Andrew Patrick and State Representative Shannon Erickson presented on legislative advocacy.
  • William Edwards presented “Culturally Responsive Program Development.”
  • Vincent LaMarca and Jennifer LaMarca presented their submitted paper, “Designing Receptive Language Programs: Pushing the Boundaries of Research and Practice.”
  • Ashlin Blum presented “Coordination of Care: Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health and ABA”
  • Lorri Unumb and Dan Unumb presented “Do You Want Help Running Your ABA Business?”

We were thankful to celebrate and unify our local community during an unprecedented time in our field by offering a virtual conference featuring a line of up presenters from the state of South Carolina. We received great feedback on their presentations from our members!

Our 2021 conference took place in Greenville, SC, October 26-27, 2021.

For more information about our conferences, membership, or upcoming events, please visit our website, www.sc-aba.org, or like us on Facebook (South Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis). As a perk of SC ABA membership, updates are regularly provided to members on relevant legislature, area events related to behavior analysis, and changes affecting providers.