By Thea Furbert & Erica Smith

2021 was the second year that Bermuda, as well as the rest of the world had to deal with the impacts of the global pandemic! COVID-19 continued to take its toll on the world and Bermuda was not spared, but through the challenges Behavior Analysts in Bermuda persevered, pivoted, and adapted all with the goal of finding a way to continue to provide the necessary services and therapy to clients and families who needed it.

Members of the Bermuda Association of Behavior Analysis (BABA) and generally the behavior analyst profession in Bermuda proved how to still be effective in 2021! BABA continues to be comprised of Behavior Analysts, Verbal Behavior Therapists, Junior Therapists, Non-profit Leaders, and Parents. Its close partnership continues with Tomorrow’s Voices – Bermuda Autism Early Intervention Centre, Bermuda’s first and only autism early intervention center, and this enables the majority of its members to come through that relationship.

BABA’s membership numbers contracted due to the impact of COVID-19 and former members focused on surviving through the pandemic and supporting clients. In spite of declining membership numbers, the growth in the awareness and use of ABA in Bermuda continues to be directly linked to the development and continued sustainability of Tomorrow’s Voices Autism Centre.

The formation of BABA in fall 2011 was due mostly to the ongoing work by Tomorrow’s Voices Autism Center and continues to be sustained through this synergistic partnership, as most of the professionals who practice ABA in Bermuda are employed with Tomorrow’s Voices. In 2021, Tomorrow’s Voices celebrated its 14th year of existence in Bermuda, validating the need for an international center providing services dedicated to those with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. Since its inception, the clinical center has hired and trained 55 professionals (Bermudian and Non-Bermudian) in the use of applied behavior analysis and verbal behavior, not to mention the thousands of parents, volunteers, students, educators, medical and allied health professionals trained and engaged through workshops, seminars, consultancies, internships, and work shadows.

Currently there are 11 active RBTs in Bermuda registered with BACB, of which 7 gained their certification through Tomorrow’s Voices. Likewise, there are 4 active BCBAs in Bermuda registered with BACB and all 4 gained their certification through the partnership with Tomorrow’s Voices. In spite of the global pandemic, compared to 2020, there was a growth of certified behavior analyst from 10 to 15 professionals, which bodes well for the growth of the profession in our Island. The partnership between Tomorrow’s Voices and the Bermuda Association of Behavior Analysis has directly contributed to the ability of 73% of these professionals to gain the necessary professional development and skills required to become registered.
Although the Coronavirus Pandemic essentially shut Bermuda down for a substantial period of time in 2021, behavior analyst professionals pivoted to use Telehealth as a way to assist families when needed. Through the partnership with Tomorrow’s Voices, the following seminars and training workshops on subjects related to ABA and special needs were presented by BABA members led by Tomorrow’s Voices’ senior verbal behavior therapist Jahnae Harvey, BCBA as follows:

  • Training Institute – 99 attendees
    • February 17, 2021: What’s on the Menu! Strategies for Managing Picky Eating!
    • June 16, 2021: Let’s Shake Things Up and Down – A Workshop on Increasing Skill Acquisition While Reducing Unwanted Behaviors in the Classroom
    • September 15, 2021: Different But Not Less – A Workshop on the Assists in Blending Different Abilities Within A group Setting or Household
    • November 17, 2021: Motivation: What Are We Really Working For? A Workshop on Motivation
  • First Annual Autism Awareness Conference – 73 attendees
    • April 10, 2022 – Different Not Less
    • 5 ½-hour, full-day conference

In 2021, a total of 172 persons attended the four virtual workshops and 1 full day virtual conference, consisting of parents, teachers, college students, health professionals, government officials, and others in the community resulting on 599.50 hours of professional development hours and increase of 107% in PD hours over 2020. Attendees of these workshops and of the conference received professional development certificates of attendance.

BABA members committed to their own professional development and growth in Behavior Analysis through participating virtually in many international seminars, workshops, and events some of which are as follows:

  • Bachelor’s Degree University Programs
  • Master’s Degree University Programs
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Certification Training
  • Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) Certification Training
  • Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) Professional Development Training
  • Central Reach ABA EMR Platform Training

BABA members are honored to continue to lead the way with regards to growing the ABA profession in Bermuda and are actively involved in national policy and legislative projects in Bermuda. Tomorrow’s Voices Board Chair, Thea Furbert and Jahnae Harvey, both BABA members are part of the Bermuda Government’s ASD Task Force, while Thea is also a member of the team working on the Bermuda National Intellectual Disability Plan. This involvement provides a behavior lens to addressing the issues facing our Island’s students and adults with ASD and related disorders.

BABA is actively looking to expand its Executive Board with Behavior Analyst professionals and continues to work on growing its membership, but the past two years have been difficult with the impact of the global pandemic. In 2020 and 2021, it has been about survival and having resilience to persevere.
In 2022, our goal is to grow our outreach as such, we are actively seeking persons, especially those beyond Tomorrow’s Voices, interested in the ABA field to join. Anyone interested in becoming a member of BABA or finding out more information should contact Erica Smith at