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.

  • AAB: Applied Animal Behavior

    AUT: Autism

    CBM: Clinical/Family/Behavioral Medicine

    CSS: Community, Social, and Sustainability Issues

    DDA: Developmental Disabilities

    EAB: Experimental Analysis of Behavior

    EDC: Education

    OBM: Organizational Behavior Management

    PCH: Philosophical, Conceptual, and Historical Issues

    TBA: Teaching Behavior Analysis

    VRB: Verbal Behavior

14th Annual Autism Conference; Miami, FL; 2020

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #10
CE Offered: BACB — 

Inherent Tensions and Possibilities: Cultural Responsiveness, Social Justice, and Behavior Analysis

Monday, February 24, 2020
3:10 PM–4:00 PM
Regency Ballroom
Area: AUT; Domain: Theory
Instruction Level: Basic
CE Instructor: Shahla Ala'i-Rosales, Ph.D.
Chair: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)
SHAHLA ALA'I-ROSALES (University of North Texas)
Shahla Ala'i-Rosales received her BS from Southern Illinois University and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas and the director of the North Texas Autism Project (NTAP). NTAP is a service, training and research program working in cooperation with several global partners, with applied anthropologists, and with Easter Seals North Texas. Shahla teaches classes on ethics, autism intervention, parent training, applied research methods, and behavior change techniques. Shahla served on the governing board of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) and as a subject matter expert on supervision and on ethics. She has published and presented research on ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, change agent training, and evidence-based practice. Her research is applied and grounded in a commitment to love, science, usefulness, compassion, and integrity. She has trained hundreds of master’s level behavior analysts who have gone on to serve families with honor. Shahla has over three decades of experience working with families, particularly those from varied cultural backgrounds. She travels and presents her work nationally and internationally to both professional and lay audiences. She was awarded an Onassis Foundation Fellowship for her work with families, was the recipient of UNT’s student “Fessor Graham" teaching award, and received the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis Career Contributions Award in 2019.

Section 1.05 of the BACB Compliance Code focuses on professional relationships between people of differing ages, genders, races, ethnicities, national origins, religions, sexual orientations, disabilities, languages, and socioeconomic status. Ideally, behavior analysts in clinical practice should be non-discriminatory and be developing increasingly more cultural responsiveness when working with people of differing backgrounds, life experiences and preferences. Cultural responsiveness is closely yoked with experience, ethical perspectives and social justice. This presentation will review behavior analytic conceptualizations of culture and cultural responsiveness, coloniality and the WEIRDness of our discipline, ethical perspectives, and some inherent barriers and possibilities within our discipline. The presentation will close with a summary of suggested pathways leading to cultural responsiveness and social justice.

Target Audience:

Board certified behavior analysts; graduate students.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) briefly identify the context for considering cultural responsiveness in behavioral practice (global trends, culture from a behavior analytic perspective, aims and history of discipline, ethical philosophies, and coloniality); (2) identify some inherent tensions and possibilities within our field that are related to culture and social justice; (3) identify pathways for advancement of cultural responsiveness in behavior analytic practice.



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