Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis

By Melissa Diaz & Stephen Wood

The Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis (KYABA) is an Affiliate Chapter of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). It’s mission is to advance awareness, development, and access to the science and practice of behavior analysis in the Commonwealth of Kentucky by (1) encouraging the understanding of behavior analysis in academic, research, and the natural environments; (2) supporting the design and application of effective behavioral procedures to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Kentucky; (3) serving as a professional reference group for those who identify themselves as scientists or practitioners in disciplines that embrace the principles and practices of behavior analysis; (4) advising political, legislative, and policy-making bodies with respect to all matters pertaining to behavior analysis; (5) organizing colloquiums, symposiums, and conferences that shall serve as a forum for the presentation of scientific and technological achievements, clinical practice, as well as for discussion of the affairs of the organization; and (6) publishing and distributing information on behavior analysis.

Executive Committee
KYABA is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of a president, past president, president-elect, three representatives and one student representative. The 2022 Executive Committee is comprised of Melissa “Missie,” Diaz BCBA, LBA (president), Stephen Wood BCBA LBA (past president), Sally Shepley BCBA-D, LBA (president-elect), Amanda Chavez, BCBA, LBA (representative), Tammy Hammond-Natof BCBA-D, LBA (representative), Jessika Vance-Morgan, BCBA, LBA (representative) and Ashley Varney (student representative). The Executive Committee is assisted by a director of operations. The 2022 director of operations is Taylor Webb BCBA.

Committees and Task Forces
In effort to improve the services offered by the organization, KYABA has committees and task forces headed by a representative from the Executive Committee. Other committee members are drawn from the membership.

Membership Committee: Chaired by Melissa Diaz BCBA, LBA. The mission of the Membership Committee is to increase membership in the association, disseminate information about association activities and opportunities, and develop new initiatives that increase the value of membership in the association.
Events Committee: Chaired by Melissa Diaz BCBA, LBA. The mission of the Events Committee is to assist in the planning and implementation of events sponsored by the association.

  • Social Media Committee: Chair by Jessika Vance Morgan, BCBA, LBA. The mission of the KYABA Social Media Committee is to disseminate information relevant to the association’s events and initiatives.
  • Awards Committee: Chaired by Sally Shepley, BCBA-D, LBA. The mission of the Awards Committee is to develop, plan and implement the nomination, selection, and presentation process for awards given by the association.
  • Outreach & Activism Committee: Chaired by Amanda Chavez, BCBA, LBA. The mission of the Outreach Committee is to represent the association’s interests to external organizations that operate activities relevant to the association’s interests.

KYBA offers three categories of annual membership: Full Membership ($50.00 Annually), Affiliate Membership ($40 Annually), and Student Membership ($25 Annually). Full membership status may be obtained by any individual who holds at least a master’s degree in a discipline that is explicitly related to behavior analysis with training or professional experience in behavior-analytic teaching, research, and/or clinical applications. Only Full Members of KYABA are allowed to vote on matters of interest to the organization and hold office. Affiliate membership status may be obtained by any individual who is interested in the field of behavior analysis but does not hold the required credentials for full membership. Affiliate members are non-voting and cannot hold office but are valued members of KYABA with access to all other benefits of membership. Examples of affiliate members include registered behavior technicians (RBT’s), parents and family members of individuals receiving ABA services, and students not enrolled in an ABA training program. Affiliate members enjoy all the benefits of voting membership, except for the right to vote on matters of interest to the organization and the right to hold office. Student membership status may be obtained by any individual enrolled at least half-time in a behavior-analytic or related degree program. There are multiple benefits to becoming a member of the organization. These benefits include, but are not limited to, reduced conference registration and CEU fees, notifications about continuing education opportunities, listing of the latest job opportunities in the field, eligibility for chapter adjunct membership in the Association for Behavior Analysis International, subscription to our professional listserv network, access to the latest news in behavior analysis, a vote on issues pertinent to the organization (Full Members only), and the opportunity to hold office in the organization (Full Members only).

KYABA has actively hosted events in the state since 2012. For the last few years, the organization has held an annual conference and a workshop series. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, KYABA hosted a monthly virtual/online CEU opportunity for its members, “Behavior Analysis & Brews,” including speakers: Dr. Manny Rodriguez DBA, BCBA, Dr. Tyra Sellers BCBA-D, Dr. Youkie Kurumiya BCBA-D, Dr. Margo Uwayo BCBA-D, Dr. Shane Spiker BCBA-D, and Dr. Amanda Kelly BCBA-D. A 1 Day in-person Annual Conference was held in November 2021, with presenters Dr. Amanda Kelly BCBA-D, Dr. Shane Spiker, BCBA-D, and Dr. Robert Pennington, BCBA-D.

Contact Us
More information about Kentucky Association for Behavior Analysis can be found on the organization’s website:

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