British Columbia ABA
By Miriam Elfert
The British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA) has had another productive year. We are excited to share our accomplishments and future directions with other affiliated chapters.
The BC-ABA board consists of 13 elected board members who meet 10 times per year to advance behaviour analysis in the province of British Columbia. We have a dedicated and active working board with diverse experiences and abilities. Our membership also represents a diverse group of behavior analytic practitioners providing services throughout the province.
Regulation of BCBAs and BCBA-Ds has continued to be an area of focus for BC-ABA. BC-ABA has been working with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia and in conjunction with the provincial government’s Ministry of Health towards regulating the field of behaviour analysis in BC.
Due to recent developments, namely, the review by the provincial government of the Health Professions Act and subsequent overhaul of the BC regulatory framework, progress on this issue has been stalled; however, we hope to continue engaging with the government and stakeholders on this important issue, with the goal of eventually becoming a regulated profession in BC.
This past year the board underwent training in strategic planning, with the overall goal of increasing efficiency and effectiveness. The board participated in 3 sessions totaling 9 hours of strategic planning led by a local consultant and revised its vision, mission, and values to better reflect our priorities and objectives. Our vision is to support the members of BC-ABA to engage our diverse community through individualized, effective, and compassionate practice. The training also entailed setting specific short- and longterm goals such as developing an annotated agenda for board meetings, creating terms of reference for committees, and developing more standardized and comprehensive onboarding manuals for new members.
BC-ABA’s annual conference will be held in April 2022; this year the conference will be held virtually for a second year due to the pandemic and restrictions on in-person gatherings. There will be two live keynote presentations, one by Dr. Ellie Kazemi on developing a culture of care in behavior analysis and the second by Dr. Jomella WatsonThompson on using a behavioral community approach for social validation. The conference will also include pre-recorded “on-demand” presentations by local behavior analysts on a variety of topics including behavior analysts’ experiences with diversity, equity, and inclusion; addressing procrastination in supervision; and collaborative school consultation. The call for papers for the 2023 conference will go out in by the end of this year. We welcome anyone to submit and look forward to expanding the variety of presentations we can offer.
Another important area of focus for BC-ABA has continued to be issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). BC-ABA conducted a survey of its members about DEI issues and received valuable feedback and a number of suggestions on what we can do to ensure Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) voices are heard and represented in our conferences, discussions, and communications. Based on feedback from the DEI survey, we expanded our training in an effort to provide more diverse continuing education opportunities. In spring 2021 the board and some of our members participated in a 16-hour anti-racism training with Dr. Alana Tappin, a clinical psychologist from Toronto. The board has decided that anti-racism training will be required training for the board each year. Based on another suggestion that came out of the DEI survey, BC-ABA asked for volunteer members to form a DEI committee which meets monthly and reports on their activities and identifies areas for additional input/work/collaboration at the board meetings. Discussions with the DEI committee and amongst board members during strategic planning led to the creation of an elected DEI position on the board. The newly elected DEI board position begins their two-year term in April 2022.
BC-ABA is unique in that we have a Student Alliance committee run by our elected student representatives. The committee is comprised of students enrolled in behavior analytic programs in BC. They work at advancing behavior analysis among the student population and host various events throughout the year to facilitate this goal. A particularly popular recurring event has been monthly Zoom chats with local behavior analytic practitioners and students about various issues (e.g., supporting adults in group home settings, exam preparation, feeding issues). BC-ABA’s membership consists of approximately 200 members which includes full, student, and associate memberships. Benefits to being a BC-ABA member include continuing education opportunities (e.g., annual conference); access to presentation recordings and slides; access to board meeting minutes for up-to-date information regarding BC-ABA events and activities; current information, news, and job advertisements via our monthly newsletters; and networking opportunities with other BC-ABA members. All this for only $30.00 CDN per year for a full membership! BC-ABA continues to be an active chapter affiliate of ABAI and is honoured to represent ABAI in the province of British Columbia.