Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

By Jessica Painter

Like many associations this past year, AzABA was presented with considerable uncertainty. Now more than ever, AzABA’s Board Members and leaders recognize the need to provide unique, relevant content and support to members. Over the last year, AzABA members demonstrated remarkable resiliency and dedication to personal growth, advancement of their practice, and to the science of behavior analysis. The AzABA’s mission and values were borne out in its many achievements.

Be a community resource: AzABA will strive to present learning opportunities and professional development across a wide variety of interests and seeks to maintain a pulse on the needs of those it serves.

In 2021, AzABA recorded 381 full and 425 affiliate members and proudly offered 36 CEU opportunities. Most of these events were led by one of its five special interest groups (Feeding, ACT/RFT, Expanding the Scope, Coordination of Care, and ABA in Schools) or its five committees (Ethics, Program, Marketing & Outreach, EDI, and Public Policy and Programs). All groups continued to see strong member participation. AzABA also began efforts to revise its mission statement, reflecting the organization’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion for members and the community it serves. In the spirit of equitable access, the EDI Committee opened access to all, regardless of AzABA membership. The AzABA website was redesigned to allow members better accessibility to view upcoming events and resources. 2022 objectives include increasing accessibility to recorded content for its members. Finally, to ensure AzABA is a resource for all its members and to evaluate membership makeup, it added demographic information to membership registration.

Advance our ability to practice: AzABA will fight for the integrity of behavior analysis in political and legal doings within our state.

This year, AzABA created a historical account of its achievements related to influencing public policy and legislative engagement. Since its founding in 2011, the Arizona Association has made tremendous strides in these areas. This resource will serve to engage and educate new members on this important work to ensure advancement. The Public Policy Committee participated in a re-write of the AZ Administrative Code that outlines how the rights of persons with developmental disabilities are protected and specifies the allowable methods for how challenging behaviors are managed. The Public Policy Committee engages in regular stakeholder meetings with representatives from government and state health plans to address barriers to care. The EDI committee successfully advocated for the addition of a cultural responsiveness CE requirements when renewing for licensure in AZ. The Equal Access to Services sub-committee launched a survey to gather data and information on baseline measure of access to care in AZ.
Purposeful governance: AzABA commits to process-driven, data-supported decision making and careful financial planning.

The organization maintained a strong financial position, due largely to stable membership, high conference attendance, and conference sponsorships. AzABA welcomed three new board members and developed scorecards for board members, officers, committee chairs, and SIG leaders. Board members continued to refine organizational processes, emphasizing the documentation of essential activities. In 2021, AzABA created two non-voting intern positions. The new RBT and Student interns provide representation at board meetings and strategic planning sessions. Throughout 2022, these individuals will lead efforts to increase collaboration with Arizona universities and provide additional content for RBTs and students of behavior analysis in Arizona.

AzABA works to create a place where the behavior analytic community can come together to connect with each other, other professionals and/or community stakeholders.

AzABA values the inclusion of its entire membership and the recognition of every voice. The necessity and demand for connection this past year was intensified against a backdrop of public health concern and civil unrest. AzABA demonstrated its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through its accomplishments. The EDI committee established formal partnerships with BABA and LABA and collaborated with multiple state associations to co-host culturally responsive events. A member of the Board assisted in the adoption of World Behavior Analysis Day. In response to health concerns, and after thoughtful consideration and deliberation, AzABA’s Board of Directors made the decision to hold a hybrid conference in October 2021. AzABA hosted exceptional speakers from all over the country and more than 75% of invited speakers came from diverse backgrounds or historically marginalized populations (exceeding the targeted goal of 50%). The two-day event was well attended with 189 in-person and 155 virtual attendees. Conference attendees and volunteers reported high satisfaction and adherence to safety protocols. The next AzABA conference will be held on October 28–29, 2022.

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