2020 Convention

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  • What: 10th Annual APBA Convention

  • When: March 26 - 28, 2020 (meetings and pre-convention workshops March 26; full program March 27 - 28)

  • Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO

  • Costs: See Fees for information about convention registration fees and other costs.

  • Program: Preliminary information can be found at the Program tab above. The complete program will be posted there when finalized. 
  • Register: Click the Register tab above.
  • Advertise: Click Advertising above for information about opportunities to advertise your products, services, or programs at the convention. 

The annual Association of Professional Behavior Analysts convention is the premier conference on the science-based practice of applied behavior analysis (ABA). As in previous years, the program for the 2020 convention will comprise presentations by carefully selected invited speakers combined with peer-reviewed research symposia, panel discussions, panel presentations, posters, and student papers. The convention will also provide multiple opportunities for social and professional networking in one convenient, congenial setting.

Invited presentations include:

Keynote addresses


Reinforcer Pathology: Identification of a Novel Determinant of Addiction

Warren K. Bickel, Virginia Tech

Reinforcer pathology, a recent development in the field of behavioral economics, specifies that the temporal window over which reinforcers are integrated is a previously unspecified determinant of drug value; that is, the length of the window of integration can vary and in turn alter the valuation of different reinforcers. Short temporal windows of integration tend to increase the value of intense, reliable, and brief reinforcers such as drugs while leading to a decline in the value of reinforcers that are less intense and variable and accrue value over longer time frames, such as prosocial reinforcers. Conversely, long temporal windows of integration should result in a reversal in the valuation of drug and prosocial reinforcers. Importantly, reinforcer pathology provides an understanding of the "anhedonia" that often occurs in the development of addiction and suggests a novel approach to treatment, namely to increase the length of the temporal integration window. That model and data supporting it will be reviewed in this presentation. 



The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: The Future of ABA

Jim Johnston, Auburn University

This presentation will consider the future of ABA by reviewing not only the matters that seem to be going well, but also those that involve challenges the field should address in order to manage its evolution. For example, it is encouraging that ABA research continues to be vigorous, there is strong demand for training in ABA, the credentialed cohort is growing rapidly, and the field's credentialing body is raising standards and monitoring compliance with its rules. On the other hand, there are good reasons to worry about matters such as how the definition of ABA may be changing, how well the ABA research literature is serving the needs of practitioners, the motivations underlying applications to training programs, the effects of contingencies set in motion by credentialing processes, the unmet need to assess the quality of ABA services, and the reputation of ABA among user communities and related professions. These and other issues that are contributing to the unfolding future of ABA will be addressed. 



  Clinical Systems for Supervising in a Human Service Organization

  Linda A. LeBlanc, LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting

  Supervision of staff who deliver and design behavioral programming is one of the most        important tasks in human service organizations. The amount and quality of supervision        and the qualifications of the supervisor have proven to be related to client outcomes as        well as staff satisfaction and burnout. This presentation will describe systems that can be    used to standardize oversight of client services and development of skills for aspiring          behavior analysts. Strategies for implementation and ongoing management of the         systems will also be reviewed. 

Workshops and tutorials on the CPT codes for adaptive behavior services; health insurance billing and documentation; health insurance appeals, audits, recoups, and fraud allegations; medical necessity; functional communication training; preference assessments; transition programming for adolescents with ASD; writing behavior plans; preparing graphs for publication; coaching school personnel; ethics; serving clients with dementia; innovative day and residential services for adults with ASD; treating stereotypy; using the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's ethics reporting systems; promoting scientific interventions for ASD; cultural humility for ABA practitioners; an update on the BACB; developing comprehensive treatment plans for young children with ASD; regulation of the profession; and more!  

BACB Learning CEUs will be available for most oral presentations. 


Plan now to join us in beautiful downtown Denver!

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