By Jamie Santana & Nancy Marchese

2022 was another record-breaking year for the Ontario Association for Behavior Analysis (ONTABA). The association hosted its 30th annual conference, its first-ever hybrid conference. ONTABA offered both an in-person option (after a two-year hiatus from in-person events) and an online option to make the conference more accessible to the membership across the large province. With a total of 797 attendees, the 2022 conference was the largest annual conference in the history of ONTABA. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from 4 invited speakers (Dr. Patrick McGreevy, Dr. Mahshid Ghaemmaghami, Dr. Mary Jane Weiss, and Dr. Peter Gerhardt), listen to 9 symposia and 6 paper presentations, and interact with 30 poster presentations. The association hopes to continue this trajectory of growth in conference attendance when they host their 31st conference on November 9 and 10, 2023. The annual conference was not the only successful ONTABA event in 2022, however. During the summer of 2022, ONTABA hosted its annual Evening for Behavior Analysis. The panelists for this event shared their wisdom related to cultural competency and provided some
examples of how cultural competency can be integrated into the workplace.

     Throughout 2022, ONTABA continued working with the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO), soon to be renamed to the College of Psychologists and Behavior Analysts, to support professional regulation (known as licensure in the US). Working with CPO, as part of the continued work toward regulation, ONTABA collaborated with CPO on the development of an ABA portal and Frequently Asked Questions pages housed on the CPO website. These web pages provide information and updates to the public and practitioners impacted by the upcoming professional regulation of behavior analysts. As an association, ONTABA will continue working with CPO and the provincial government to establish regulation of behavior analysis. ONTABA is committed to ensuring that their members are informed and prepared for the steps required for regulation.

     The Ontario Association for Behavior Analysis is also excited to share that it has hired its first employee, an administrative assistant. By securing the support of an administrative assistant, ONTABA’s board of directors is looking forward to increasing its capacity to focus on key strategic activities that will benefit the membership.

     In late Fall 2022, ONTABA released its new strategic plan, outlining 3 key strategic priorities:

1.  Build the capacity of ONTABA to achieve its mission and goals.

2.  Provide leadership and advocate for ethical, effective, and safe behavioral services in Ontario.

3.  Enhance services and support for all ONTABA members in all parts of the province.

     To achieve these strategic priorities, the board of directors will continue to work hard for the membership. Recruitment of support from the administrative assistant and a number of consultants is also part of the association’s plan to continue building its capacity. First, a newly contracted government relations consultant will be supporting strategic development and relationship building with a variety of government officials across Ministries (known as Departments in the US) including those from the Ministry of Health, Education, Child Community and Social Services, and other relevant ministries. Work will also continue with ONTABA’s communications consultant to broaden the reach of our materials and information to the community at large.

     In terms of enhancing accessibility to events across the province, ONTABA is committed to making as many of its events as possible hybrid events. In an effort to continue benefiting its members, last year ONTABA solicited region-specific feedback from its membership across the province via a number of town halls. The plan is to implement this region-specific feedback over the next year. Finally, ONTABA is pleased to announce that 2022 marked the election of the very first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) representative to the board of directors. This unique board member will chair the DEI committee and help to ensure that all of ONTABA’s meetings, events, and plans are DEI-informed.

     Looking forward to 2023, ONTABA is excited to continue its trajectory of growth and invite members from all ABAI chapters to join them for their conference and other events this year. If you’re interested in becoming an ONTABA member, head over to the website and click the JOIN ONTABA button. Membership benefits include free CEUs during ONTABA’s official events, discounted rates for the promotion of jobs or on our social media pages, discounts on technology, professional insurance, and more! While you are visiting the website, you are invited to check out some of the recent improvements made to further increase accessibility and user-friendliness. You are also invited to follow ONTABA’s official social media pages on Twitter or Instagram at @ONTABA1 or on LinkedIn at the Ontario Association for Behavior Analysis (ONTABA). Continuing to advocate for accessible behavioral services and sharing ABA-related information with the public is a key goal for ONTABA this year.

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