By Liz Knapp

The California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) continues its commitment to actively serving our membership, stakeholders, community, and consumers of Applied Behavior Analysis. CalABA continues to remain the largest state association representing over 26,446 certified professionals (BCBA-D, BCBA, BCaBA, and RBT). In CalABA’s continued efforts to recover from impact related to the Pandemic, the organization has successfully held two in-person conferences (2022-Santa Clara, 2023-Long Beach), and has restored membership and revenue to pre-pandemic levels. CalABA held its 41st Annual Conference in-person March 9th-11th, 2023 in Long Beach, Ca with over 2,300 attendees. At this conference, CalABA, in partnership with Raven, debuted its first annual Technology Summit on March 9th, 2023. The pandemic turned out to be a proving ground for technology in health care, and in turn behavior analysis, as the industry was forced to adapt quickly to a changing world. In convening stakeholders, sharing information, and making connections with one another, the summit brought together thought leaders interested in moving our industry forward through technology and innovation. In the Fall of 2022, CalABA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, in partnership with the Equity in ABA Non-Profit Organization, hosted a virtual CEU event presented by Anim Aweh, LCSW, titled “Creating an Anti-Racist Mental and Behavioral Health System.” The event focused on education to provide agencies and providers key strategies and actionable steps to address the foundation of anti-Blackness in healthcare, current mental and behavioral health care issues, and frameworks, to dismantle the systems of oppression that impact the clients that we serve. This event provided 1.5 CEUs to the 500 members and non-members who attended. The CalABA Board of Directors convened in-person for their Annual Board of Directors retreat September 29th-30th, 2022. At the retreat the Board engaged in a Strategic Plan Review, toured the Convention Center for the 42nd Annual Conference, held an EDI Workshop, met with APBA (Gina Green), met with the BACB (Melissa Nosik), and engaged in team building exercises, among other activities. CalABA has a continued commitment to serving the interests and needs of our membership, and this year approved and supported the development of three new Special Interest Groups:

Adult Service Provider SIG (ASPSIG): The ASPSIG provides a professional platform for Behavior Analysts working with adults, or have an interest in adult services, to share resources, cultivate continued professional development, and create an expansive support network. Further, the ASPSIG will contribute to the field of Behavior Analysis by developing, enhancing, and supporting access to resources for Behavior Analysts in a position to make socially significant improvements in environments where adult services are provided.

Bay Area Behavior Analysis Collective SIG (BABAC): BABAC is an inclusive collective of Applied Behavior Analysis professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. BABAC empowers our community through education and grassroots connection with an emphasis on ethics, compassion, and equity. The focus of the SIG includes mentorship of ABA professionals, dissemination of information, providing a network and infrastructure to connect members, and community building for the Bay Area and its surrounding areas.

Business in Behavior Analysis SIG (BIBA): BIBA is focused on promoting the highest standards of professional and business practice within ABA business organizations, working collaboratively to achieve professional goals that are unattainable individually. The focus includes public policy and legislation surrounding behavioral health treatment; collaboration with California funding sources, legal and ethical employment practices, organizational behavior change, and other topics related to operating an ethical and high-quality ABA business. BIBA provides opportunities to meet and network with professionals within our science, creating connections and collaboration. Networking amongst ABA organizations allows our members to become resources for one another and build out professional communities. To create, nurture, and maintain an inclusive and diverse culture, where differences drive innovative solutions to meet the needs of our membership. BIBA is committed to intentionally create diverse environments where all members feel supported and valued. CalABA continues to be actively involved in Public Policy matters that are related to the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis in California. This year our Public Policy Committee called our organization to action asking them to contact Governor Gavin Newsom to stop SB 562 (Portantino). SB 562 was written in an attempt to expand the definition of behavioral health treatment and reduce provider qualifications for behavioral health practitioners for several years. While it passed the Senate and Assembly making it all the way to the Governor’s office, Governor Newsom sent a clear message in his veto which included many of the points that CalABA has been making over the past 6 years. This was a big win again for families ensuring access to evidence-based interventions. The CalABA Public Policy Committee also continues to monitor the following matters related to ABA in California:

AB 2581 (Salas): Signed into law by the Governor
took effect on January 1st, 2023. This will allow providers to be credentialed in a timely manner and provide much needed services for families and is a
big win for our community.

SB 855: California’s mental health parity legislation. SB 855 went into effect in January 2021 and is being touted as model legislation. CalABA urges providers to become familiar with the implications of this legislation.

Additional Matters being monitored by
CalABA’s Public Policy Committee:

Services funded by Health Plans

Telehealth, 2024 changes to Medi-Cal
Managed Care Plans

The new California Budget Cycle.

About Author