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.

  • AUT: Autism

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    DEV: Behavioral Development

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

13th Annual Autism Conference; San Francisco, CA; 2019

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #12

Talking Back to the Ivory Tower: Diversity, Cultural Humility, and Real-Life Practice Priorities

Saturday, January 19, 2019
1:50 PM–2:40 PM
Grand Ballroom A-C
Area: AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Patricia Wright, Ph.D.
Chair: Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation)
Dr. Patricia Wright’s commitment to ensuring all individuals with autism have access to effective services and supports has guided her work over the past 30 years, from her earliest responsibilities as a special educator, to state and national-level program management. Specific examples of her advocacy include Dr. Wright’s management in the design of a statewide system of support for children with autism for the state of Hawaii, several years as the National Director of Autism Services for Easter Seals, and her industry positions leveraging technology and her current role at NEXT for AUTISM developing innovative service options to increase the quality of life of those living with ASD. Dr. Wright has held advisory roles for a number of professional associations and advocacy groups, including the Organization for Autism Research's Scientific Council, the Executive Committee for the Friends of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Board of Directors for the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts and the Autism Society Panel of Professional Advisors. She has been asked to provide expert testimony at Congressional Hearings and is a frequent contributor in the media, raising awareness of effective intervention for those living with disabilities. Dr. Wright completed her PhD and Master of Public Health from the University of Hawaii. Her research focuses on the delivery of evidence-based practices in schools and healthcare access for people with disabilities.

Modern social movements are acknowledging inequity and encouraging discourse and action to bring about change for disenfranchised communities. The ivory towers of academia, and intellectualism specifically, have contributed to an alarming separation of research from the real-world experiences of people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biases that lead to inequity exist within the discipline and application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Practitioners of ABA can harness society's drive to address such inequities by critically analyzing our field and establishing new repertoires of professional behaviors. Systemic change in the field can promote social justice and improve access to effective ABA services. Promoting professional learning and application of cultural humility, directly addressing diversity, and focusing on socially significant behaviors, can increase the effective, equitable application of the science of ABA.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; licensed psychologists; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) define culture and its application to behavior analysis; (2) discuss current data demonstrating inequity of prevalence and treatment access and outcomes across cultures and ethnicities for people living with autism spectrum disorder; (3) identify challenges and solutions to promoting social justice in the application of ABA for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder and their families.



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