Massachusetts ABA

Photo by Christopher Ryan on Unsplash.

By Susan Ainsleigh

Introduction
The Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavior Analysis (MassABA) was established in 2010 to support the science and practice of behavior analysis in Massachusetts. As the home of over 3000 BCBAs, 100 BCBA-Ds, and over 1400 BCaBAs and RBTs, Massachusetts boasts among the highest per capita concentration of certified behavior analysts in the world and an active behavior analytic community. The vision of MassABA is to serve as the trade organization for this community. MassABA has focused its efforts to fulfill this vision by:

  • Supporting behavior analysts seeking licensure by assuring that licensure applications are processed in a timely manner;
  • Supporting legislation that would strengthen the licensure process in Massachusetts with the creation of a separate licensing board for behavior analysts;
  • Supporting the expansion of insurance coverage for ABA services;
  • Advocating for timely reimbursement of ABA services by state funding sources;
  • Expanding regional continuing education events for behavior analysis practitioners in more remote locations of the region;
  • Expanding interaction and correspondence with MassABA members via social media;
  • Advocating for behavior analytic professionals practicing in public schools by organizing a monthly networking event and advocating for adequate supports for BCBAs in public schools;
  • Hosting an annual conference that brings diverse behavior analytic voices and applications to our membership.

2021– 22 Overview
In 2020, a global pandemic occurred which impacted all aspects of service delivery of applied behavior analysis in the Commonwealth of MA (as well as nationally and globally). This pandemic impacted MassABA operations significantly in 2020 (in terms of revenue loss) and continued to impact operations in 2021.

Annual Member Meeting
The Annual meeting of MassABA members occurred on June 6, 2021. Thirty-nine (39) members of MassABA attended. A CE Event was held concurrently; Dr. Mary Jane Weiss spoke to members at this event about Ethical Decision-Making. An election was held for two open seats on the MassABA Board of Directors.

MassABA completed a Strategic Planning Process in 2018 and has continued to steadily implement the strategic goals identified in this plan. Most of the strategic initiative are facilitated via committee work. A summary of each of the committee’s initiatives and goals is included below.

Policy/ Procedures Committee
This committee of MassABA was created in 2021. It’s first task was to draft a set of operating procedures for committees of MassABA. These were reviewed and accepted by the Board in June 2021.

The committee’s first policy related action was to draft and disseminate a position statement titled, “Massachusetts Association for Applied Behavior Analysis (MassABA) Position Statement on the Use of Electric Shock as an Intervention in the Treatment of Individuals with Disabilities.” This position statement was drafted by the committee and unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of MassABA on October 21, 2021. It was disseminated to all members of MassABA at that time. This position statement represents the opinion of the Board of Director of MassABA, and not the Association for Behavior Analysis, International (ABAI).

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Committee
This committee of MassABA was created in spring 2021. Its mission statement was developed and published on the MassABA website in April 2021. Initiatives of this committee in 2021 have included revision of the MassABA Membership application to better able the Board od Directors in assessing diversity of membership, development of a track for DEI Issues within the Annual Conference, creation of workgroups within the committee targeting mentorship/ scholarship, research, and CE Events. This committee meets monthly.

Legislative Committee Update
Over the past year MassABA has continued to work with state government leaders to keep them abreast of issues of importance to our membership, as well as to advocate for legislative change that would strengthen service delivery. This included continued support for a bill to create an independent licensing board to oversee LABA in Massachusetts. This bill refiled in 2021 after not having passed in 2020; it is currently being reviewed in Ways & Means Committee. Board Members Dr. Joe Vedora, Dr. Brian Liu-Constant, and Dr. Paulo Guilharhdi testified on behalf of MassABA and two MassABA Organizational Members.