Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #71
CE Offered: BACB
Ethics and Organizational Effectiveness Within ABA
Saturday, May 28, 2005
4:00 PM–5:20 PM
Waldorf (3rd floor)
Area: TPC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Rita M. Gardner (Melmark New England)
CE Instructor: Frank L. Bird, M.Ed.

The Association for Behavior Analysis is an organization devoted to promoting behavior analysis as a science and a profession. Behavior analysis is a natural science approach to the study of behavior. Behavior analysis includes research on environmental factors that influence behavior as well as applications of the results of this research to problems of concern to individuals and society. Practitioners of behavior analysis include persons working in a wide variety of settings and dealing with a great diversity of behaviors and populations. Behavior analysts serve many kinds of consumers including service recipients, parents or guardians of recipients, institutional representatives, private or public agencies, and firms or corporations.Ethics and organizational effectiveness are inextricably linked. Dramatic examples of organizations that ignore their ethical responsibilities to various stakeholders and suffer serious consequences abound. Nevertheless, even in the absence of these drastic examples, organizations suffer serious consequences from their failure to address ethical issues. These consequences include high levels of staff turnover, poor staff morale, poor reputations in local communities, and the inability to provide services that are well respected. Attention to making ethics as an on-going part of the organizational discourse can provide tangible benefits to the organization.This symposium presents three papers regarding applied behavior analysis and the role of ethics. The papers discuss that a code of ethics is designed to educate and protect consumers, to provide guidance for professionals, and to retain the integrity of the discipline of behavior analysis

Ethical Concerns in Organizational Consultation
Abstract: Consultants who provide applied behavior analytic support to the educational and behavioral needs of students in organizational settings such as public schools, are often confronted with ethical concerns which can negatively influence outcomes. Analyzing the environments in which consultation is provided is an essential component of the assessment process, which is often overlooked by consultants. As a result, support and guidance is often provided to teaching staff that have little to no control over the critical components that influence the implementation of the consultants plan. Ethical considerations arise when consultants fail to recognize and proactively address prerequisite organizational variables that influence outcomes. Methods to identify and address organizational prerequisites that set the occasion for successful consultation outcomes will be presented with specific attention to the ethical dilemmas that arise when these issues are not addressed.
Providing Effective Consultation Services in the Public School Environment: Maintaining the Balance Between Best Practices and the Law
JAMES T. ELLIS (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The families and educators of children with special needs are constantly faced with the challenge of making decisions about providing effective services for children. Every child with special needs is entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Although there are guidelines for providing these services, it is not uncommon for members of a child’s IEP team to differ in terms of what they think are appropriate services. Professionals who are providing consultation to children’s educational programs often play a key role in making these decisions. Furthermore, consultants are faced with the dilemma of making educational recommendations that ensure that a child is provided with a free and appropriate education as mandated by the law but that are also based on best practices as informed by the research and literature. This presentation will provide a comparison of legal guidelines and best practices as they relate to services for children with special needs and will highlight some of the ethical dilemmas that professionals can face when providing consultation services with public schools.
Reconciling the Business of ABA with the Science of ABA
PAUL A. DORES (Private practice)
Abstract: This presentation focuses on the issues that are raised when an empirically based technology becomes the centerpiece of a multi-million dollar commercial enterprise. Of greatest concern is the extent to which we, as behaviorists, remain true to the science of applied behavior analysis at the same time that we become promoters of that same product in a competitive market. Can science coexist with commerce without sacrificing the exact qualities that make the technology valuable in the first place? Can we continue to demand and rely upon data-based assessment of every one of our outcomes when we are faced with the realities of competition and the marketing axiom that programs that fail do not sell?
The Role of a BACB Mentor
FRANK L. BIRD (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The Role of a BACB Mentor



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh