Top 2017 Conferences for Behavior Analysts

Top 2017 Conferences for Behavior Analysts
For professionals in the field of behavior analysis, remaining closely connected to critical research as well as nuances and current trends in the field is critical to professional development and success. Attending professional conferences provides a great opportunity for behavior analysts to network and share experiences with like-minded professionals and connect with other thought leaders in the field. A number of popular conferences take place on an annual basis that provides these opportunities, and there are also new conventions focused on emerging trends and ideas. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top conferences for behavior analysis in 2017.

The 2017 Annual PennABA Conference

This year, the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA, played host to the annual PennABA Conference from April 10-12. The conference included workshops covering critical topics on behavior analysis such as training and ethics within the field. The speaker series featured James E. Carr, CEO of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, as well as Mary Louise Kerwin, the executive director of the Center for Behavior Analysis at Rowan University. The PennABA promotes the scientific accuracy of the behavior analysis field and seeks to provide a resource for professionals, students and families. The PennABA annual event provides an opportunity for professionals within and outside the Pennsylvania area to access new research and collaborate with other practitioners in the field.

Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) 43rd Annual Convention

Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)

This May, the ABAI held its 43rd Annual Convention in downtown Denver, CO. Preconvention workshops were scheduled for attendees on May 25-26, 2017. The B.F. Skinner Lecture series (May 27-28) featured several accomplished behavior analysts, including Dr. Susan Sheridan, Director of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families, and Schools (CYFS) and the National Center for Research for Rural Education — who presented on the topic of “Conjoint Behavioral Consultation: What Works, How it Works, and What it Means for Practice.” Additionally, Dr. Temple Grandin, a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, discussed the topic of “How Being a Visual Thinker Helped Med Understand Animals.” Also, one of our own University of Cincinnati Behavior Analysis students, Courtney Erker, presented on the topic titled “A Comparison on Staff-Run and Parent-Run Trial-Based Functional Analyses.” ABAI is the primary international association for behavior analysis. The organization seeks to provide theoretical, scientific and educational resources and development for behavior analysis professionals.

Women in Behavior Analysis (WIBA)

This past March, the first WIBA conference was held in Nashville, TN. This conference dealt with pressing issues surrounding gender equality and celebrated the accomplishments of women in the field of behavior analysis. Linda LeBlanc, president of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting, and Frances McSweeney, psychology professor and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Washington State University were keynote speaker for the event. Professionals should make a note of this new event as organizers will seek to build on the success of the first annual conference for future events.

The Minnesota Northland Association for Behavior Analysis (MNABA) 2017 Conference

From September 21-22 of 2017, the MNABA will host its annual conference in Minneapolis, MN. This conference will focus on exploring the ethics in behavioral analytic services, and the event is also intended to promote and share key research in the field of behavior analysis and provide networking opportunities for practicing and aspiring professionals. Keynote speaker for the event will be Jeffrey Tiger from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Tiger specializes in research on early intervention for developmental education and has publications on the subject. Dawn and John O’Neill of Force Science Institute will also be discussing behavior analysis topics for law enforcement.

2017 Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference

The 2017 CEC Annual Conference & Expo was held from April 19-22 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA. This is the largest special education event in the country and this year it featured some of the leading professionals and special educators in the field. This four-day conference was intended to promote and enhance the professional development of teachers in special education through a long list of professional workshops on a range of pertinent topics. Scheduled sessions included “Addressing Disproportionality in Special Education,” led by Donna Ford (Vanderbilt University), Ivory Toldson (Howard University) and Nonie Lesaux (Harvard University).

2017 Ohio Association for Behavior Analysis (OHABA) Conference

The Ohio Association for Behavior Analysis (OHABA) is a non-profit organization that provides training for early education professionals. The OHABA conference is designed to provide training opportunities and promote the education and development of professionals in early childhood education. This year’s OHABA Specialist Conference took place in Pendleton, OR, from May 3-5. Featured speaker Debra Pacchiano discussed the effectiveness of early childhood education and the importance of improving the foundation for continued support. Another session, led by Amber Kroeker, covered topics of behavior analytics and offered ways that educators can understand and influence decisions regarding child safety.


A constant focus on professional development is important for behavior analysts. These top conferences provide an excellent opportunity for professionals to expand knowledge on theoretical concepts and to adopt effective practical approaches by successful leading professionals.


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