By Scott Williamson
Mission and History
The Louisiana Behavior Analysis Association (LaBAA) is a nonprofit organization that promotes ABAI’s mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice. LaBAA serves as a scientific, professional, and networking group for its members. LaBAA also promotes access to behavior analysis services in the state of Louisiana.
LaBAA was established in April of 2012 as a 501(c)(4) and became the ABAI affiliate state chapter in the fall of 2012. LaBAA is also an Affiliate of APBA and a BACB ACE provider.
LaBAA is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of a president, past president, president-elect, treasurer, and secretary. 2020–2022 officers are: Scott Williamson, BCBA, LBA, president; Tricia Clement, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, president-elect; Megan Matherne Perkins, BCBA, LBA, treasurer; and Janice Huber, BCBA, LBA, past-president. The LaBAA Board of Directors is comprised of regional representatives from across the state, a parent representative, and a student representative. 2020-2022 regional representatives are Chad Favre, BCBA, LBA; Channing Langlinais, BCBA, LBA, Phyllis Rash, BCBA, LBA, Amber Myers, BCBA, LBA, and Julie Mendes, BCBA, LBA. Heidi Lester is the student representative and Shannon D’Aquila is the parent representative. Tara Freeman is the Secretary. The legislative chair is Grant Gautreaux, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA. Elections for all officers and representatives are conducted in May/June every other year.
There are three classes of membership: Full, Affiliate, and Student. Benefits of membership include:
- Professional representation: LaBAA is committed to protecting the interests of Licensed Behavior Analysts in the Louisiana state legislature
- Consumer/Affiliate representation—LaBAA is committed to protecting the interests of consumers of ABA in the Louisiana state legislature
- Full members have the right to vote in all matters brought before LaBAA
- Full members have the option to be listed as a service provider on the web site
- Full and Affiliate members have the option to post employment opportunities on the web site
- Advocacy and professional networking provided for all levels of membership
LaBAA has grown from 370 members in the spring of 2020 to 370* members at the time of writing.
In lieu of an in-person conference in the fall of 2021, LaBAA hosted a virtual one-day event. The Gulf Coast ABA Conference was hosted on October 16, 2021 where a series of online symposiums was conducted. The 2022 conference is tentatively being planned for the fall of 2022. Please check labaa.net for updates.
Other Activities and Initiatives
Louisiana Coalition for Access to Autism Services (LCAAS): LaBAA has partnered with LCAAS to secure professional legislative services. As the state of behavior analysis continues to take shape within Louisiana, LaBAA has been very active in ensuring that the development and growth of behavior analysis remains beneficial to further developing the science of behavior analysis, the practice of behavior analysts, the mentoring of students of behavior analysis, and most importantly advocating for consumers of behavior analytic services. In addition, the coalition has worked with LaBAA to educate the public and raise awareness about the science of behavior, ABA services, and legislative advocacy.
Current initiatives include advocacy for permanent telehealth coverage and expanded access to ABA in school settings.