2019: Lorraine Becerra

University of Missouri

Lorraine A. Becerra, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an assistant professor of special education at the University of Missouri. Her research explores play variability in children, efficient staff training methods for educators who teach individuals with disabilities, systems-level organization, and emergency preparedness.


Per the U.S. Department of Homeland Security definition (2008), an active shooter is an individual engaged in killing or attempting to kill people using firearms in a confined and populated area. The occurrence of active shooter events is increasing, with the largest percentage taking place in commercial environments, followed by educational environments, and then healthcare facilities (U.S. Department of Justice, 2013).


In schools, educators may need to decide whether to prioritize actions that could lead to their own safety, or those that might help protect their students or patients. Issues related to student disabilities may create additional challenges; interactive computerized training (ICT) incorporates procedural descriptions, video models, competency questions, and interactive activities, and has been successful in teaching educators to implement academic and play instructions to individuals with autism spectrum disorder.


The SABA Public Awareness Grant will support Dr. Becerra’s research disseminating the efficient use of ICT to teach educators to use a Run, Hide, or Fight response (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2008) in active shooter situations. The funds will be used to disseminate these modularized trainings to organizations across the United States using online learning management systems. This project will be the first of its kind to apply behavior analytic technology to train individuals to respond to active shooters and will extend the literature on behavior skills training and ICT to assess the most efficacious components of such training.


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