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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Panel #18
CE Offered: BACB
Behavior Analysts and Public Advocacy: Lessons Learned, Pathways Forward
Saturday, May 28, 2022
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 156A
Area: CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Elizabeth Meshes, Ph.D.
Chair: Elizabeth Meshes (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles)
JULIE KORNACK (Center for Autism and Related Disorders)
HOLLI HELEN HENNINGSEN JERDES (BehaviorLytics: A Social Change Agency)
Abstract: Behavior analysts have an ethical duty to disseminate the science and practice of behavior analysis to the public, including third-party funders and government agencies. The success of such initiatives has been observed in the widespread adoption of funding for applied behavior analytic services (ABA) for the autism community in the United States. Given this funding, behavior analysts have become synonymous with treatment for the autism community. However, ABA technologies can positively impact a wide variety of populations and behaviors at both an individual and societal level. To address issues of immediate social importance effectively and expand equity, diversity, and inclusion within ABA practices, behavior analysts need to have the skills to promote the expansion of services to other areas. This panel, sponsored by the Behaviorists for Social Action SIG, will explore the lessons learned from advocacy for securing medical ABA funding for the autism community and discuss the continued obstacles in maintaining this funding, as well as opportunities for expansion of public advocacy for ABA practices into social justice areas.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience: Interested individuals should have a basic understanding of group contingencies, understand the concept of interlocking contingencies, and understand basic behavior analytic concepts and principles.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Identify potential barriers to organizing social change 2) State potential strategies to increase advocacy efforts in their immediate and expanded communities 3) Identify strategies to recruit community advocates and scientific allies to promote public social changes
Keyword(s): Advocacy, Dissemination, Public Policy, Social Justice



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