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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W58
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission CANCELLED: Enhancing the ”Applied” in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Recognizing Ableism, Removing Barriers, and Prioritizing Self-Determination
Friday, May 26, 2023
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT/PCH; Domain: Theory
CE Instructor: Rosemary Condillac, Ph.D.
Rosemary Condillac (Applied Disability Studies, Brock University), Laura Mullins (Applied Disability Studies, Brock University)
Description: There is a growing movement of Autistic advocates sharing perspectives about applied behaviour analysis (ABA). Some experienced questionable practices firsthand and have shared valuable information to help shape our practices. Some benefitted from their behaviour change and are strong supporters of ABA. Some vehemently oppose ABA based on outdated practices and false information. Others view ABA as inherently ableist perceiving the focus of ABA to be “normalizing” people instead of accepting them as they are. These voices provide important lessons that can shape our behaviour to improve research, practice, and dissemination. Although behaviour analysts have a genuine desire to help and do not intend to cause harm, we may inadvertently engage in ableist assumptions and practices, contravening our ethical responsibilities. This workshop will provide an overview of a critical disability perspective, the systemic discrimination that ableism perpetuates, and potentially ableist practices in ABA. Attendees will have opportunities to reflect on their own practices, discuss ways to intentionally prioritize self-determination of our service recipients at each juncture of service delivery, and create their own action plan to effect change in their own behaviour, and that of their supervisees, students, and organizations.
Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will learn about critical disability studies perspective and the systemic discrimination that ableism perpetuates. 2.Participants will identify examples of ableist language in the ABA literature and consider its impact on how we may be perceived as a profession by the people we support and by other professions 3.Through interactive activities, participants will have opportunities to identify ableism in ABA practices and consider more inclusive language and determine more inclusive approaches for research and practice while staying true to our science 4. Participants will learn about relevant sections of our new ethics code, with particular emphasis on our professional obligations to support self-determination, equity, and inclusion, while respecting diversity.
Activities: Learning objectives will be met through: -Lectures with embedded active learning strategies -Individual and small group activities to apply knowledge and practice skills Universal Design for Learning Principles will be used to create and accessible and barrier free workshop
Audience: Behaviour Analysts with a graduate level understanding of behaviour analysis, and an interest in understanding the critical disability perspective, and the systemic discrimination that ableism fosters and learning ways to promote self-determination and more inclusive approaches into their research and practice in ABA.
Content Area: Theory
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Ableism, Inclusion, Self-determination, Social validity



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