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Keynote Sessions

On this page you will find details about the keynote sessions happening at APAC 2021. This year, we have found two amazing speakers who will help set the tone for this year's conference.



Centering Autistic Voices and Practicing Flexibility in ABA Interventions: A Panel Discussion

Facilitator: Dr. Megan Miller, PhD, BCBA-D
Panelists: Aaron Bouma; Ashton Benedickt, M.S., BCBA; Mari-Luci Cerda, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
CEUs: 1.5

In 1978, Montrose Wolf argued for the importance of incorporating social validity measures within the science of applied behavior analysis. Almost 50 years have passed since the publication of his seminal article in JABA and the field is still grappling with truly attending to the social significance of our interventions, especially as it relates to the autism community. Criticisms abound from autistic self-advocates and fields outside of behavior analysis (e.g., McGill & Robinson, 2020; Sandoval-Norton, & Shkedy, 2019; Wilkenfeld & McCarthy, 2020) that behavior analysis does not center the autistic perspective.

In this panel, Dr. Megan Miller, Board Certified Behavior Analyst - Doctoral Level (BCBA-D) will provide three key steps behavior analysts can take to center autistic voices within their service provision and facilitate best outcomes for their clients while collaborating as a team with families and stakeholders. A panel of Autistic self-advocates will share their perspectives on key steps from their own lived experiences. The panel will conclude by fielding questions from the audience relating to centering autistic perspectives and maintaining flexibility within our interventions.

Biography

Portrait of Dr. MillerDr. Megan Miller is the creator of the Do Better Movement and founder of the Do Better Collective. Megan earned her Ph.D. in Special Education and Behavior Analysis at The Ohio State University in 2015. Dr. Miller’s early training in behavior analysis occurred at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism as a volunteer/intern in 2003. Dr. Miller has taught courses in behavior analysis and special education as an adjunct professor for several universities. She has coauthored journal articles published in the Journal of Developmental Physical Disability, Behavior Analysis in Practice, and Teaching Exceptional Children. She also co-authored "The 7 Steps to Earning Instructional Control" with Robert Schramm, BCBA. Megan regularly presents to professional organizations around the globe as an invited speaker. In 2018, Dr. Miller started the #dobetter professional development movement to improve access to training in best practices in the field of behavior analysis via an online community, webinars, and a podcast.

APAC is pleased to present a video from one of the panelists from our first keynote session, Aaron Bouma. The purpose of this keynote panel discussion is to bring people with different backgrounds together to share their perspectives about how service providers can center autistic voices in their practice. We are open to any and all difficult conversations about how to improve the practice of ABA and hope that the discussions and lessons learned will help other service providers as well.

APAC expects all conference attendees, and those not attending the conference, to treat the panel discussants with respect, compassion, empathy, and civility irrespective of their beliefs expressed during the discussion or their decision to speak on this panel. APAC is very grateful for the panellists' willingness to speak about this topic and we want this conference to be a welcoming experience for everyone.

Please take a moment to listen to this message from Aaron Bouma:

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Funny, You Don't Look Autistic

Presenter: Michael McCreary, Comedian, Author, TEDx Speaker
CEUs: N/A

Michael's stand-up comedy act and "message" presentation tells you what life looks like from his perspective as an autistic person. He touches on many topics as they are experienced by someone on the autism spectrum who also struggles with anxiety: being socially awkward; relationships and dating; relationships with family; living independently; high school; autism parents; getting a job; getting your driver’s license; and remarks on the history of autism. He will make you laugh - and he will make you think.

Biography

Portrait of Michael McCrearyMichael McCreary is an autistic comedian, author (Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic) and TEDx speaker who has been performing stand-up comedy since age 13. In the past 6 years, he has performed stand-up shows and keynote addresses in every province in Canada – plus the Yukon - and across the United States. He has been featured on The National and on CBC Radio’s "Laugh Out Loud"!" Michael gives you permission to laugh at his act, "Does This Make My Asperger’s Look Big?" https://www.aspiecomic.com/

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