2020 Convention Program

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An overview of 2020 convention events by day is provided below. The complete program guide will be posted on this page when ready. To get a sense of our typical convention events and daily schedules, click here for last year's convention program guide.  

General Information

For this year’s convention, Thursday programming consists of pre-convention workshops and meetings. There is a special social event that evening that is included in convention registration. The main convention is Friday and Saturday. On Friday the program begins and ends with keynote addresses (general sessions), with concurrent sessions (workshops, tutorials, symposia, panel discussions, panel presentations, student papers) in between. The convention reception and poster session follows the afternoon keynote. The program on Saturday starts with another keynote address, followed by concurrent sessions throughout the rest of the day. There is a luncheon with roundtable discussions led by invited speakers and other experts, for which a ticket must be purchased.

Registration is required for admission to all convention events and meeting areas. Full convention registration includes admission to all convention events on any 2 or 3 days except the luncheon and roundtable discussions on Saturday, and workshops. One-day registration (Thursday only, Friday only, or Saturday only) includes admission to all convention events on that day except the luncheon and roundtable discussions on Saturday and workshops. In addition to convention registration, the luncheon and workshops require pre-registration and payment of modest additional fees. Click Fees above for details, and Register for the registration link. Members and those who register by March 4 get the best rates!

Behavior Analyst Certification Board Learning CEUs will be available for the following types of presentations:

Keynote address, tutorial = 1 CEU

Symposium, panel discussion, panel presentation = 1.5 CEUs

Workshop = 2 - 5 CEUs (depending on duration)

If you want CEUs, select and pay for them when you register for the convention, and use the free CEUHelper app to record your attendance at each CE event. 

Presentation Formats

Keynote address – Noncompeting 50-minute oral presentation by a prominent professional on research, public policies, and issues related to the practice of applied behavior analysis.

Tutorial – 50-minute oral presentation on the scientific evidence about interventions, practical recommendations based on that evidence, conceptual and methodological issues in practice, best business practices, legal and ethical issues, or recent developments affecting the practice of applied behavior analysis.

Workshop --  Oral presentation of 2 - 5 hours designed to provide information and tools that participants can use in their practice. Some workshops will be on Thursday. Some 2- and 3-hr workshops will be on Friday and Saturday. The day and time of each workshop and access to abstracts and presenter bios are on the registration form. To attend workshops, you must register for the convention and for the workshops.

Panel discussion – 90-minute session in which several panelists each make brief oral presentations on a topic or issue, followed by discussion among the panelists and audience members.

Panel presentation - Three or four non-research oral presentations designed to provide information or instruction on a topic in the practice of ABA. Session duration is 90 minutes.

Symposium - Oral presentations of three research papers on the same topic or related topics with a discussant, or four research papers with no discussant. Sessions are 90 minutes.

Student paper session – Several oral presentations of research papers by students (15 minutes per paper) grouped in a 60-minute session.

Poster -  Visual presentation of studies, with author available to discuss their research. The poster session will be Friday evening in conjunction with the convention reception.

Events by Day

(specific times and locations of all events TBD and subject to change)

Thursday, March 26


       All day

  • Registration
  • Exhibits
  • Bookstore
  • Meeting of APBA Affiliate organizations


         Workshop 1: Transition Programming for Adolescents with ASD – Paige Raetz, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center

         Workshop 2: Deliberate Coaching: The Role of Organizational Coaching Systems in Culture Change Nicholas Weatherly, Florida Institute of Technology

         Workshop 3: Behavior Analytic Services for Clients with Dementia - Jenna Mattingly, Laura Heezen, Sue Parenteau, and Brian MacNeill, Minnesota Veterans Home – Minneapolis

        Workshop 4: Troubleshooting Functional Communication Training - Dawn Bailey, Oregon Institute of Technology

         Workshop 5: Navigating Health Insurance Appeals, Audits, Recoups, and Fraud Allegations - Jodi Bouer and Kim Mack Rosenberg, Bouer Law, LLC; Michele Silcox, MKS Consulting

        Meeting of agency CEOs/Directors


          Workshop 5 (cont’d)

          Workshop 6: Ethics Potpourri: Supervision, Training, and Responsibility to the Field – Shawn Quigley, Melmark PA and Jill Harper, Melmark New England

  • Workshop 7: Demystifying, Defining, and Demonstrating Medical Necessity - Darren Sush and Joslyn Mintz, Cigna; Becca Tagg, Del Mar Center for Behavioral Health; Rebecca Womack, Blue Sprig Pediatrics

    Workshop 8: Preparing High Quality Graphs for Publication and Presentation - Sydney Berkman and Cormac MacManus, New England Center for Children; Andrew E. Nuzzolilli, Western New England University

    Workshop 9: Writing Behavior Plans - Paul Malanga, Tennessee Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities and Lucas Evans, Missouri Department of Mental Health

    Meeting of university faculty

    Meeting of behavior analyst licensing board/committee members


    “Treat yourself!” social


    Friday, March 27

    All day

  • Registration
  • Exhibits
  • Bookstore



    Keynote address: Reinforcer Pathology: Identification of a Novel Determinant of Addiction – Warren Bickel, Virginia Tech

    Concurrent sessions

    Workshop 10: Research-Based Considerations for Identifying Reinforcers in Educational and Clinical Programming -- Richard B. Graff, May Institute

    Workshop 11: CPT Codes for Adaptive Behavior Services: Enhancing Implementation -- Jenna Minton, Minton Healthcare Strategies

    Tutorial: Cultural Humility for ABA Practitioners – Patricia Wright, NEXT for Autism

    Invited symposium: Growth of the Profession: Some Data Analyses and Ramifications – Neil Deochand, University of Cincinnatti (Chair)

    Invited panel discussion: Identifying Scopes of Practice – Gina Green, Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (Chair)

    Panel discussion: How BCBAs Can Help Change the World Through Grassroots Legislative Efforts – Mariel C. Fernandez, Blue Sprig Pediatrics (Chair)

    Panel discussion: Trends in Service Delivery: Can You Scale Ethically and Quickly? – Sharyn Kerr, Blue Sprig Pediatrics (Chair)

    Panel presentation: Improving Behavior Technician Onboarding to Produce Better Outcomes – Stefanie Griffey, Coastal Behavior Consulting LLC (Chair)

    Panel presentation: What do You Mean You’re Not Hungry? – Kristin Vespe, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

    Panel presentation: Telepractice: Expanding Access to ABA – Kristen Koba-Burdt, BAYADA (Chair)

    Panel presentation: Data-Driven Decision-Making for Organizational Change – Melissa Willa, Gateway Learning Group (Chair)

    Panel presentation: Women of Color and the Leadership Gap in ABA – Nasiah Cirincione-Ulezi, Ulezi LLC (Chair)


    Workshop 12: Tailoring Treatment for Stereotypy to the Contexts in Which it is Problematic -

    Haley Steinhauser, Western New England University and William H. Ahearn, New England Center for Children

    Workshop 13: Developing Comprehensive Treatment Plans for Young Children with ASD - Coleen Sparkman and Cynthia Owens, Therapeutic Pathways

    Workshop 14: Analyzing Billing and Documentation Standards for Your Internal Compliance Program - Michele Silcox, ABA Therapy Billing and Insurance Services; Sarah Schmitz, Comprehensive Billing Consultants; Rebecca Womack, Blue Sprig Pediatrics

    Tutorial: Promoting Scientific Interventions for Autism – David Celiberti, Association for Science in Autism Treatment

    Symposium: Ensuring Effective Dissemination and Advancement of Critical System Variables in Autism Intervention Programs – Dawn B. Townsend, Alliance for Scientific Autism Intervention (Chair)

    Panel discussion: A Conversation about Regulating the Profession Through Licensure – Gina Green, Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (Chair)

    Panel discussion: Functional Perspectives of the BACB Ethics Code – Darren Sush, Pepperdine University (Chair)

    Panel presentation: How Will Investor and Payer Changes Impact the Practice of ABA? – Ronit Molko, Learn Behavioral (Chair)

    Panel presentation: Barriers and Solutions to Successfully Training Behavior Analysts – Samantha Riggleman, Saint Joseph’s University (Chair)

    Panel presentation: A Gamified, Competency-Based System for Enhancing Employee Retention – Timothy Heald, Constellations Behavior Services LLC (Chair)

    Panel presentation: BCBAs in Dementia Care – Mandy Sullivan, Abilities Behavior Services (Chair)

    Panel presentation: Pinpointing the Heart of Precision Teaching – Rick Kubina, CentralReach (Chair)

    Student papers:

  • Teaching Pronouns: Who’s on First? – Thea Davis, Simmons University

  • Resurgence of Mands in Higher Preference vs. Lower Preference Communication Modalities – Andrew K. Rance, Western New England University

  • The Relationship Between Learning Streams and Emergence of Advance Tact and Intraverbal Relations in Children with Autism – Aarti Thakore, Central Texas Autism Center

            Keynote address: The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: The Future of ABA – James M. Johnston, Auburn University (Ret.)


           Reception and poster session


Saturday, March 28

All day

  • Registration
  • Exhibits
  • Bookstore


Keynote address: Clinical Systems for Supervising in a Human Service Organization – Linda LeBlanc, LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting

Concurrent sessions

Tutorial: The Trifecta of Behavior Analysis Regulation: Certification, Licensure, and Funder Oversight – Margaret Bloom, Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Tutorial: An Update on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board – James E. Carr, Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Symposium: Integrating Culture Awareness Practices within Service Delivery to Individuals with Developmental Disabilities – June Lazo-Pearson, Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. (Chair)

Panel discussion: Behavior Analysis and the Neurodiversity Movement – Jenny Fischer, Cascade ABA (Chair)

Panel discussion: Supervisor Perspectives on Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities of Early Career BCBAs – Amanda Karsten, Western Michigan University (Chair)

Panel presentation: The Value of ABA: Measuring Outcomes in Programs for Children with Autism – Kathleen Stengel, NeurAbilities Healthcare (Chair)

Panel presentation: We’re All Fallible: Understanding and Avoiding the Allure of Pseudoscience – Jason Travers, University of Kansas (Chair)

Panel presentation: Designing an Efficient, Evidence-Based RBT Training Program – Amanda Fullbright, Blue Sprig Pediatrics (Chair)

Panel presentation: Increasing Employee Engagement – Yvonne Bruinsma, In STEPPS (Chair)

Panel presentation: A Framework for Conducting Meaningful, Ethical Research in Applied Settings – Gina Chang, Autism Learning Partners (Chair)


Workshop 15: Using the BACB’s Ethics Reporting Systems: A Hands-On Approach -- Sarah Lichtenberger, Holly Seniuk, and Tyra Sellers, Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Workshop 16: Innovative Day and Residential Services for Adults with ASD -- Rachel Taylor, Center for Applied Behavior Analysis

Tutorial: Fostering Relationships with Family Members: Compassionate Care in ABA – Bridget Taylor, Alpine Learning Group

Symposium: Evaluating Effective Training Strategies to Increase Staff Performance – Laura Kruse, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Chair)

Panel discussion: Recommended Practices for Provider Organizations: The CASP Guidelines and Standards – Jill M. Young, Therapeutic Pathways (Chair)

Panel discussion: Ethical Dilemmas and Best Practice in School-Based ABA Service Delivery – Nicole Postma, Positive Behavior Supports Corp (Chair)

Panel presentation: Using Standards of Practice, Ethics, and Health Plan Guidance for Best Outcomes – Ian Santus, Blue Sprig Pediatrics

Panel presentation: Optimizing Technology for Practice Management – Christina Barosky, Bierman ABA

Panel presentation: Developing and Implementing a Compliance Program in Your Agency – Melissa Willa, Gateway Learning Group (Chair)

Panel presentation: Treatment Design for Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities – Margaret Yost, Gateway Learning Group (Chair)

Student papers:

  • Further Evaluation of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist- Safety – Nelmar Cruz, Florida Institute of Technology
  • Systematic Review of the Application of Games in Single-Subject Research (2010-2020) – Douglas M. Kupferman, Caldwell University
  •  An Evaluation of Self-Control Training Procedures in Applied Behavior Analysis – Michael Passage, Florida Institute of Technology

APBA members meeting





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