By Elizabeth Smith

The Connecticut Association of Behavior Analysts (CTABA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the development and advancement of the field of behavior analysis within the state of Connecticut through research, education, and dissemination of information. As we approach our 19th annual conference, CTABA is pleased to share our work from last year and plans for the next. Our current Board of Directors consists of eleven Directors with officers elected to the following roles: President (Elizabeth Smith), Secretary (Tracy Sinclair), and Treasurer (Ruel Dixon). Our Executive Director, Dr. Melissa Hunsinger-Harris, is entering her second year of a three-year term; and our Secretary-in-Training will be transitioning to the role of Secretary next month at the time of the Conference (Erica Bauer). Last March, the Board turned over and welcomed five new directors. In order to achieve our goals for CTABA, we recognized the need to prioritize rebuilding some internal processes of our organization. The Board created multiple task forces to critically evaluate our structures and systems to support our work. This effort increased our long-term efficiency, provided clarity to the Directors and Committee Chairs, and generated and promoted the growth of CTABA to more effectively meet our members’ needs. The task forces generated strong permanent products: clearer objectives written for our Committees, the addition of Special Interest Groups within CTABA with objectives identified to create opportunities for CE events, improvements to our bylaws to allow more streamlined communications, and clarity and definitions on the content of CTABA disseminations. In committing to rebuilding our processes, we hope to create a culture of collaboration across our Directors and chairs! Our 18th Annual Conference, held virtually on March 3 and 4th, 2022, was a successful event; with 375 attendees participating in the full conference and 127 attendees in workshops. We received positive feedback regarding participation on our virtual platform and on the content of speakers. Throughout 2022, CTABA offered 25.5 continuing education credits to participants, with 7.5 ethics, and 1 supervision credit. The approaching 19th annual conference, to be held March 9 and 10 at the Connecticut Convention Center, is our largest in-person conference to date, with over 600 attendees scheduled. Our members and other conference attendees will be accessing an outstanding speaker lineup consisting of presentations by Dr. Jon Bailey, Dr. Patrick Friman, and Dr. Greg Hanley. Our Conference Committee ensures that this event is successful and provides continuing education opportunities for members, associate members (including RBTs, students, consumers, and direct care staff) and non-members to access our events. Our Organizational Members & Sponsorship Committee helps ensure that our local agencies and supporters are represented and able to access networking opportunities. We are excited to host this upcoming conference and have committed locations in CT for the next three annual conferences, and seek to offer additional CE opportunities throughout the year. Our Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Committee has been tremendously supportive in its mission to increase the representation and diversity of our practitioners, as well as provide increased access for consumers of services with high quality, equitable and inclusivity. To first ensure that our Board is responsive to cultural sensitivity, we believe it critical to require an annual Diversity training for all Director positions; and have entered such language into our bylaws. The DISJ chair has also submitted their annual proposal for creating a workshop event as well as open meetings for the Membership. Our Public Policy and Legislative Outreach (PPLO) Committee continues to increase awareness of behavior analysis in the state. PPLO is made up of representation from 27 Organizational Members, 3 Appointed Members, Melissa Olive as Chair and Justine Randall as Co-Chair. During the 2022 legislative session, testimony from the PPLO was submitted on behalf of the CTABA Board of Directors on a number of issues related to the provision of Behavior Analysis within the state of CT. Most notably, HB5001—An act concerning childrens’ mental health, SB01- An Act Concerning Childhood Mental and Physical Health Services in Schools and SB 02- An Act expanding preschool and mental and behavioral health services for children. Throughout the year, the PPLO met with key stakeholders from various state agencies including the Department of Public Health regarding licensure tracking and ethics filing, Department of Social Services regarding equity in medicaid services, State Dept of Education regarding key issues such as restraint, seclusion, and role of BA in schools as well as the Department of Insurance. Our lobbyists help to continually support PPLO’s mission to strive for more inclusivity and awareness of our field, and are currently tracking 17 relevant bills this legislative season. CTABA’s Membership committee has also demonstrated commitment to our mission in representing behavior analysts in our state. Our current membership has grown to 504 members (466 Professional, 38 Associate), which is a 40% increase from membership at this time last year. We seek to ensure we are representing the interests of practicing behavior analysts in our state. According to the BACB, there are currently 1,218 BCBA-D and BCBA’s living in Connecticut, which suggests that 38% of BCBA-D and BCBA’s are members of CTABA (increased from 29% at this time last year. According to the Department of Public Health, the state of Connecticut has awarded licensure to 1,384 behavior analysts currently. CTABA also has 22 Organizational Members renewed for this year, which is a 83% increase from last year 2021–2022. We are pleased with our growth in membership and will continue to seek ways to support our Professional and Associate Members in 2023! CTABA has had a productive and successful year, and we look forward to continuing our growth in collaboration with our affiliate partners in 2023.

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