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

Workshop Details

Previous Page


Workshop #W75
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
The ABCs of Effective Advocacy: What You Should Know About Policymakers and What They Already Know About You
Friday, May 27, 2022
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 258A
Area: TBA/CSS; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: John Scibak, Ph.D.
JOHN WALTER SCIBAK (Retired, Member of Massachusetts House of Representatives; ABAI Licensing Committee)
Description: People are impacted by an ever increasing number of public policies. Although many complain about various laws, rules and regulations, relatively few ever attempt to understand the process or influence policymakers to act in a particular way. While one would expect behavior analysts to play a prominent role in this regard, little has changed since Skinner (1987) acknowledged a collective failure to identify and manage the key contingencies influencing the behavior of public servants. Utilizing specific examples from 16 years in the legislature, the presentation presents an overview of the legislative and regulatory process and outlines key strategies for success, including identifying the key players, critical timelines, and complex contingencies at work, highlighting specific resources for accessing proposed legislation and regulations, interacting with legislators, testifying at public hearings, and recognizing procedural and process differences between legislative and executive branch interactions. Although the primary focus will be on what you should know about policymakers, data will be shared regarding what policymakers know about their constituents. While particular attention will be given to licensing statutes and regulations at the state level, the strategies will be easily generalizable to other policy domains and areas of concern at both the state and federal level.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify the key players and critical timelines in the legislative process; (2) Identify specific state and federal resources to access proposed legislative and regulatory changes; (3) Identify the 3 key agenda items for a legislative meeting; (4) Describe the components of successful public hearing testimony; (5) Identify the differences between the legislative and regulatory process
Activities: The workshop will include a combination of lecture, video examples, role play and group discussion
Audience: Behavior analysts, leaders of state behavior analysis organizations, persons interested in public policy issues including licensure
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh