Autism is prevalent in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, with 1 in 44 children aged 8 years or older receiving an autism diagnosis, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC)’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. However, minority groups are less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with autism or as having speech delays. There are also disparities in the age that some minority children are diagnosed with autism, as well as the reported quality of care received. Studies found inequalities specific to autism diagnosis and treatment due to race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status that limit accessibility of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) interventions for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and low-income families (Lauer, 2013; Magaña, et al. 2012; Smith et al., 2020). The panel discussion will start with an overview of disparities in access to healthcare, funding, and access to services and three organizations will discuss initiatives aimed at reducing disparities in service access. The panelists will then answer questions discussing organizational resources for building a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) department, staff and client resources aimed at increasing service access, and recruitment strategies aimed at increasing the diversity of service providers.
BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, and Professional Psychologists should have experience in implementing programs in their own organizations, engaging with their communities, and using measurement tools to indicate organizational outcomes.