Today the Minister of Children and Youth Services (MCYS), Michael Coteau, announced sweeping changes to the Ontario Autism Program including a single point of access for entry to services, clinical decision making based on individualized assessment, increased involvement of parents in the decision making process, the removal of eligibility criteria based on age or symptom severity, and an intent to regulate practitioners of applied behavior analysis (behaviour analysts) in Ontario.

For more than 20 years, the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA) has prioritized the protection of Ontarios most vulnerable citizens by advocating for public regulation of the profession and for government investment and oversight of behaviour analytic services that are ethical, equitable, and evidence-based.

Statements from Louis Busch, President, Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis:

With todays announcement, the Minister of Children and Youth Services has taken the first step towards an Ontario Autism Program that puts individuals and families first by ensuring that clinical decisions are based first-and- foremost, on each individuals unique needs.

Behaviour analysts help individuals of all ages affected by developmental disabilities, dual diagnoses, dementia, acquired brain injuries, autism spectrum disorders, and mental health issues by teaching skills that reduce the risk of harm, promote independence, and contribute to outcomes that are meaningful to each unique individual, their family and to society.

A commitment to pursuing public regulation of behaviour analysts, with the necessary interim protections, helps ensure that high-quality behavioural services will be provided by appropriately qualified behaviour analytic professionals.

Ontarios behaviour analysts are optimistic about the impact this announcement could have on the lives of vulnerable individuals receiving behaviour analytic services across the lifespan and across multiple service sectors.

As behaviour analytic services are relevant to thousands of families across the province with services funded across several ministries (MCYS, MCSS, MoE, MoHLTC), Minister Coteau has initiated a collaborative process with Dr. Eric Hoskins the Minister of Health and Long-term Care and the Health Professionals Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC) to determine the best route for regulation of the profession.

Quick Facts

-Behavioural services account for an estimated $1 billion in government investments in Ontario.

-Behaviour analysts are regulated in approximately 30 jurisdictions in North America, but not in Ontario; although Ontario has one of the highest concentrations of practising behaviour analysts worldwide.

-In 2014, MCYS commissioned a comprehensive multi-year study which strongly recommended public protection through the public regulation of behaviour analysts. Read the report and its recommendations here.

-Research studies have demonstrated that behaviour analytic interventions can lead to significant long- term cost savings for families and funders (e.g. comprehensive behavioural interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders can save up to $1.6 million per individual over their lifespan).

-In April 2017, ONTABAs Expert Task Force produced a comprehensive research report with recommendations for the Ontario Autism Program including recommendations on clinical oversight and regulation. Read the report here.

-Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) consists of the application of behavioural principles to make meaningful differences in peoples lives. ABA can be applied to a wide range of human challenges and is not limited to any particular diagnoses or age group.

-Behaviour analysts work in a wide variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, treatment and rehabilitation centres, and in family homes.

-Behaviour analysts help individuals build skills that promote safety and independence, including individuals living with developmental disabilities, dual diagnoses, autism spectrum disorders, dementia and the cognitive decline associated with aging, mental health issues, and acquired brain injuries.

-Behaviour analysts also help typically developing learners, support classroom management, and use organizational behaviour management to maximize the performance of human service organizations.

Contacts for Interviews:

Louis Busch, ONTABA President, 647-300-7625

Nancy Marchese, Ontario Scientific Expert Task Force Member, 416-889-7572

Dr. Kendra Thomson, ONTABA Professional Regulation Committee
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ONTABA, the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis, is an Affiliate Chapter of the Association for Behaviour Analysis International. ONTABA currently has members from professions such as education, nursing, health care and psychology.

Our Vision:
Fostering a culture of excellence, integrity, and expertise for the advancement and promotion of the science of behaviour analysis.

Our Mission:
To demonstrate leadership, knowledge, and innovation in education, training, and research for the ethical and effective application of behaviour analysis.

Evidence-Based Practices for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

ONTABA is proud to present Evidence-Based Practices for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, a report of the Ontario Scientific Expert Taskforce for the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Click here to download.

Call for Papers 2017

ONTABA's Annual Conference Call for Papers is Now Open! The conference will be held on Thursday November 9th and Friday November 10th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. We would like to invite you to submit your posters, presentations, symposiums, panel sessions, or ignite presentations. If you are interested, please take a moment to review the types of submissions and guidelines here.

Call for Satellite Conference Funding Proposals

Submissions for Satellite Conference Funding are now being accepted. The Satellite Conference Committee is responsible for the development and coordination of co-sponsored conferences with community-based agencies and educational institutions in the field of Behaviour Analysis. Download an application here.
For more information, or to submit an application please email conference@ontaba.org.

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