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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #249
CE Offered: BACB
Diversity submission Bringing ABA to the World: Changes Across Cultures, Borders, and Disciplines
Sunday, May 30, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: TBA/PCH; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Dipti Mudgal (Ball State University)
Discussant: Lina M. Slim-Topdjian (ASAP - A Step Ahead Program, LLC)
CE Instructor: Lina M. Slim-Topdjian, Ph.D.

The world as we know it is changing and, in many ways, there are tremendous signs of growth for humanity. One such sign is the removal of boundaries for service delivery. Behavior analysts are contributing to this process in a remarkable way, for example, by taking advantage of developments in technology that allow us to communicate and collaborate in ways that were previously unthinkable. However, stepping into this new world requires us to notice differences in each other, and to work diligently to build bridges. To expect that the application of behavioral science is devoid of context and cultural norms would not provide desirable outcomes. Hence, several parameters must be considered when planning and implementing global access to behavior analysis. The aim of this symposium is to present two unique and successful collaborations that fostered equality, equity, and inclusion of recipients. Both papers will shed light on different aspects of service delivery and dissemination of applied behavior analysis in the international context.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): India, International, Speech pathologists, UAE
Target Audience:

Providers, program developers, researchers,

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: (1) Explain the FBA workshop changes that were made for Indian SLPs. (2) Explain the changes made in the ABA program for UAE population. (3) List considerations to be made when disseminating ABA services and education in other countries.
Diversity submission 

Cross-Discipline Training Model for Speech-Language Pathology Students in India to Develop Function-Based Interventions

GEETIKA AGARWAL (Ball State University), Dipti Mudgal (Ball State University)

The awareness, acceptability, and availability of Speech and Hearing programs in India far exceeds the prevalence and awareness of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs. There are over 800,000 registered speech therapists (Indian Speech and Hearing Association, 2019), whereas BCBAs, BCaBAs, RBTs together add up to merely 86 (Behavior Analysis Certification Board, 2020). For a country with over 2 billion people, the number of behavior therapists is pittance. While this gap in the number of providers is discouraging, we believe practitioners of applied behavior analysis should find mutual synergy to collaborate and train speech therapists in the science of our field. This collaboration is intuitive given the remarkable overlap in both fields. The purpose of this grant funded project was to disseminate our science by training the students and supervisors of the Department of Speech and Hearing, which was housed within a medical college in South India. We implemented a two-day intense Functional Behavioral Assessment training workshop focusing on most commonly seen challenging behaviors in their speech sessions. This paper aims to cover the model we used for customizing the workshop for speech therapists in India so that it is more relevant and inclusive of their experiences and context. Recommendations for future collaboration of both fields and/or dissemination of behavior analysis technology in India will also be provided.

Diversity submission 

Student-Faculty Collaboration in Dissemination of Behavior Analysis in the United Arab Emirates

CLODAGH MARY MURRAY (Emirates College for Advanced Education), Michelle P. Kelly (Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)), Sarah C. Mead Jasperse (Aurora University)

The current paper will describe the establishment of the first graduate level Verified Course Sequence in ABA in the United Arab Emirates in August 2019, and the concomitant challenges and opportunities that arose for the UAE national students and expatriate faculty. With the aim of building local capacity in the provision of ABA services and expanding the reach of behavior analysis beyond the field of ASD intervention in the country, the faculty and students have worked together in a range of interesting and rewarding ways. The paper will discuss cultural competence as an ongoing collaborative effort. The faculty has learned to work in a Middle Eastern culture, understanding the impact of local traditions and customs on teaching and learning. Meanwhile, the students have learned to navigate the world of behavior analysis by analyzing and questioning how the methods and guidelines “fit” with the populations they serve now and into the future, for example in the selection of socially significant target behaviors, in discussing the prevalence of culturally-specific pseudoscientific interventions and in their critical evaluation of ethical codes. The positive student-faculty collaboration fostered in the UAE provides lessons for behavior analysts who work in culturally diverse settings. In particular, this paper will describe our achievements in the dissemination of the science of behavior analysis through community outreach and high-quality student-led projects, supported by faculty.




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