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

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #147
CE Offered: BACB/QABA — 
Community-Informed Practice: Engaging Communities We Serve to Inform Applied Behavior Analysis Services
Sunday, May 28, 2023
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: DDA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Yaniz C. Padilla Dalmau (Flamboyán Behavioral Services)
CE Instructor: Pablo Juárez, M.Ed.
Presenting Author: PABLO JUÁREZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has encountered several challenges which have negatively impacted the application of behavior analysis and importantly, public trust in ABA. Community-Informed Practice (CIP) – developed by TRIAD, the autism institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) – is a model for developing partnerships and seeking regular input and feedback from communities served by practitioners in human services fields to ensure those services reflect socially valid best-practice. CIP began as a conceptual model focused on understanding and categorizing common and increasing objections to ABA. Through substantive engagement with existing advocacy groups such as VKC’s Community Advisory Committee and The Arc Tennessee, as well as TRIAD’s Autistic Advisory Committee, we developed a set of guiding principles for a CIP-based implementation of ABA across various TRIAD service lines. In this way, CIP honors societal concerns about ABA and the ethics of its providers, as well as the professional expertise and judgement of behavior analysts. This balance can be elusive without direct and ongoing community engagement by a team devoted to reflecting the appropriate implementation of behavior analysis in their work and discussion of that work. This presentation will focus primarily on the work of TRIAD’s behavior analysts across Tennessee schools supporting students with intellectual and development disabilities who engage in complex and dangerous behavior; however, the processes of development and implementation of CIP will be discussed in a manner that will be applicable across different types of service models. The development of a strong CIP approach to ABA (or any other human services) can be challenging, resource-intensive, and time consuming, making it impractical for most, so additional discussion within this presentation will focus on considerations for taking CIP to scale at the state level and beyond. Finally, Community-Assessed Practice – a process by which a diverse advisory group provides ongoing feedback on service delivery, will be briefly highlighted.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:

Practitioners, Organizational Leadership, Public Policy

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Identify common criticisms about Applied Behavior Analysis; (2) Understand what community-informed practice (CIP) is and its utility in addressing concerns about ABA; (3) Learn about potential models for bringing CIP to scale
PABLO JUÁREZ (Vanderbilt University Medical Center)
Pablo Juárez received his undergraduate training in behavior analysis at University of North Texas and his graduate training in special education and behavior analysis at Vanderbilt University. He has over twenty years of experience in the field and is currently a Senior Associate in Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavior Sciences, and Special Education (VU) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). He is Co-Director of TRIAD, the autism institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC), and Director of Behavior Analysis for VKC and Developmental Medicine. In his roles he oversees statewide behavior analytic and autism services, which are embedded within state systems of early intervention and education, clinical behavior analysis programming and expansion within VUMC, and the expansion of a practice-based behavior analysis research program. Additionally, he serves on local, statewide, and national disabilities-focused committees, work groups, and boards of directors.



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