2019: Mari Watanabe

New York State Association for Behavior Analysis

As professional behavior analysts, we fully understand the versatility of behavior analysis. Our work, however, is best known and most frequently represented as a treatment method for autism spectrum disorder. In fact, the current education law enforced in New York State limits the practice of licensed behavior analysts to “providing behavioral health treatment for persons with autism and autism spectrum disorders and related disorders,” which deprives many other populations from the benefit of behavior analytic practices and services. It is therefore crucial, especially for behavior analysts in New York State, to increase public awareness of how useful behavior analysis can be in different areas; such awareness will potentially aid efforts to remove the aforementioned scope restriction in New York State.


The SABA Public Awareness Grant will help the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) launch a multimedia campaign, “ABA Is Everywhere” (title tentative), with the goal of publicizing the versatility of behavior analysis to non-behavior analytic communities. The funds will be used for campaign activities, including producing short videos, sponsoring regional non-behavior analytic conferences and meetings aimed at traditionally non-behavior analytic audiences, and creating materials to promote the versatility of behavior analysis to be disseminated at those meetings. The target audience comprises potential consumers of behavior analysis services, including individuals with Down Syndrome, ADHD, learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, traumatic brain injury, and addictions—and their family members. Those experiencing more “everyday” issues such as parenting and dieting challenges will also be targeted. The overarching message of the campaign will be that ABA is grounded in scientific principles that can lead to improved quality of life for all people, with or without disabilities.


NYSABA is a not-for-profit organization that advocates for scientists and practitioners in behavior analysis and related fields in New York State. Mari Watanabe, the organization’s Executive Director, will manage the SABA-funded project.


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