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 #408
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Cultural Diversity and Professional Skills in Higher Education and Supervision
Monday, May 31, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Area: TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Discussant: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Andresa De Souza, Ph.D.
Abstract: Applications of behavior analysis to solve socially-significant issues have been implemented worldwide with people from various geographic areas and cultural backgrounds. With such a reach, it is important for future behavior analysts to receive instruction and direct training in skills related to cultural competency and ethical decision making. This symposium will focus on topics related to cultural diversity and professional skills in higher education and supervision. First, Lisa Tereshko will present a literature review of strategies to promote engagement of students from culturally-diverse backgrounds in online higher-education. Next, Mary Jane Weiss will discuss methods to measure, evaluate, and teach important interpersonal and professional skills relevant to future behavior analysts. After, Colleen Suzio will review the importance of training students on cultural competence and cultural humility from the lens of the Ethical Compliance Code. Finally, Marie-Hélène Konrad will conclude with an overview of potential difficulties encountered when serving clients from different backgrounds and relevant skills to focus on during supervision to prepare future behavior analysts for a culturally-diverse environment. Darlene Crone-Todd will serve as the discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Cultural diversity, Ethical Code, Higher Education, Supervision
Target Audience: The audience should be familiar with BCBA ethical code, behavior assessments, and behavioral skills training technology.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify strategies to engage culturally-diverse students in online instruction; 2. Describe procedure to assess, design, and implement training procedure related to interpersonal and professional skills; 3. Discuss strategies to teach students how to interpret ethical code items with an emphasis on cultural humility; 4. Implement steps to prepare futures behavior analyst to work with culturally population while complying with the BCBA Compliance Code.
Diversity submission A Systematic Literature Review of Increasing Engagement of Culturally Diverse Students in Online Higher Education
(Applied Research)
LISA TERESHKO (Beacon ABA Services), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: The use of online instruction in higher education has increased. This increase in acceptability and in implementation has increased the diversity of students that are being taught in a class. Online classes are more likely to include students from varying geographic regions and countries, as well as students of various races, cultures, and ethnicities. To ensure the success of culturally diverse students, student engagement is critical. Conceptual and empirical peer-reviewed articles were reviewed to review existing strategies and to identify evidence-based strategies to increase the engagement of culturally diverse students in higher education. Variables recommended for implementation are reviewed.
Diversity submission 

Tackling the Tough Skills in Graduate Coursework: Refining and Measuring Complex Interpersonal and Professionalism Skills

(Service Delivery)
Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), VIDESHA MARYA (PENDING)

In recent years, a number of skills that have not historically been emphasized in training have been identified as essential to professional practice in behavior analysis. These include interprofessional collaboration, compassionate care, ethical decision making, and cultural humility. These skills are often addressed in other disciplines, and resources exist within these disciplines that assist in defining the skills. However, the skills are inherently complex and are difficult to operationally define and measure. In this talk, we will review how these skills can be introduced inn graduate coursework in behavior analysis in ways that are conceptually systematic with the science of ABA. Specifically, methods for building specific skills in these areas will be highlighted. Emphasis will be placed on how to define and measure these skills, and how to socialize students into the need for skill development in these areas. Elements of Behavior Skills Training, including the provision of a rationale, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback will be discussed. Options for data collection, determining mastery, assessing generalization, and obtaining social validity data will also be presented.

Diversity submission 

Considerations and Interpretations in Regardto the Ethical Compliance Code

(Service Delivery)
COLLEEN SUZIO (Center for Children with Special Needs (CCSN)), Jessica Piazza (Endicott College), Roxanne Gayle (Trumpet Behavioral Health), Noor Syed (SUNY Empire State College; Anderson Center International; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)

Behavior analysis is a growing field within human service and beyond. Client demographics for behavior analysts are diverse and continue to grow as well. It is imperative that practices behavior analysts implement are culturally humble and that services are conducted in a culturally competent manner. Education and training of behavior analysts should incorporate a strong emphasis on cultural competence and cultural humility at both the organizational and individual level for practicing behavior analysts. In addition, behavior analysts can be trained to utilize broader general guidelines adopted from other, similar human service providers (e.g., psychologists, counselors, medicine, etc.) in order to assist with interpreting code items with an emphasis on cultural humility. The recommendations outlined in this paper are fluid and subject to change as new examples are provided in regard to culturally humble practice.

Diversity submission 

Ethical Considerations in Cross-Cultural Supervision

(Service Delivery)
MARIE-HELENE KONRAD (Autismuszentrum Sonnenschein), Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)

The presence of cross-cultural communities around the world is ever-growing resulting in many clinicians practicing in a culturally-diverse context with families that have different values, traditions, habits, and spoken language. Despite a growing interest in evidence-based practices for individuals with developmental disabilities, there is still a large discrepancy in the number of training professionals across the globe. In other words, the number of certified behavior analysts is uneven in countries around the world, and professionals wishing to obtain training in applied behavior analysis face the challenge of securing supervision from behavior analysts living in other countries. The geographical distance poses a difficulty in itself, however some other barriers involve the difference in cultural background among the supervisor, supervisee, and clients. To circumvent these barriers, it is important that supervisors are aware of cultural differences while delivering supervision and plan to incorporate cultural competency training into their agenda. During this talk, we will place particular emphasis on ethical considerations relevant to supervision and the importance of preparing future behavior analysts for working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.




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