By Nasiah Cirincione-Ulezi

The Illinois Association for Behavior Analysis (ILABA) was established to provide a forum for behavior analysts in the state of Illinois to stay up to date on legislative issues as they apply to our field as well as to offer continuing education and advocacy for ABA practitioners throughout our state. The chapter promotes collaboration among behavior analysts in Illinois and fosters relations between practices and universities in Illinois.

In 2022, ILABA moved forward with a variety of initiatives via committees. The Academic Affairs Committee of ILABA serves to connect the behavior analytic academic community in Illinois, connecting students across universities, and collaborating with VCS across the state for the dissemination and advancement of the science. Apart from fulfilling its routine duties in service of ILABA and its members, the academic affairs committee has undertaken a series of initiatives in 2021, in collaboration with VCS partners in Illinois, to facilitate the transition to the BACB’s new fieldwork experience and certification requirements. The committee is also in the process of developing a research registry to connect researchers, practitioners, and students in both academic and applied settings.

The Legislative Affairs Committee of ILABA achieved several milestones. First, the committee expanded the scope to be more comprehensive in nature, specifically licensure of Behavior Analysts, Medicaid coverage of ABA, and related supportive legislation (e.g., adult and children services, etc.). In this expansion, the committee sought to become more knowledgeable about these efforts and share that information with the membership.

Second, the committee engaged in committed action around meeting and talking with stakeholders. These stakeholders included Early Intervention, other professional state associations (e.g., counseling, psychology, etc.), provider groups, and more. The goal of these meetings was to share information about ABA, ILABA, and find mutually beneficial priorities.

Finally, the Legislative Affairs Committee is spearheading House Bill 4769 Licensure for Behavior Analysts. The Bill is supported by various state and national stakeholders. At the time of this report, the Bill was passed out of the House unanimously. The Bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate and we eagerly await the opportunity to talk to Illinois Senators about our profession and work.

The Practitioner Education Committee hosted a neurodiversity and ABA panel where members of the autistic community who are BCBAs and a social workers spoke about their views on ABA. This committee hosted webinars on cultural humility and anti-ableism.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee facilitated a book study toward ILABA’s values of inclusivity, service, learning and openness.