On behalf of the Massachusetts Association for Behavior Analysis (Mass ABA), it is my pleasure to announce that House Bill 4355/S.2379: An Act Relative to the Licensing of Behavior Analysts, was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick on January 9th, 2013.
Applied Behavior Analysis is now, officially, an independent profession in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The current version, House Bill 4355/S.2379, was sponsored by Representative John Scibak, who drafted the bill that has now become the law governing the independent practice of behavior analysis. We wish to extend our gratitude to Representative Scibak, whose tireless efforts have made licensure of behavior analysts a reality.
Many more details on Implementaton and processes will be presented in coming months. An informational session will be held during our Mass ABA Annual Conference on April 5th, 2013.
We say this to one another every year, but given the preceding events it takes on a especially festive and momentous meaning: Happy New Year!
Mariela Vargas-Irwin, Psy.D., BCBA-D
President, Mass ABA
Just a quick note to let you know that S. 2379 An Act Relative to the Licensure of Behavior Analysts was signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick.
This has been a six year odyssey that now confirms ABA as an independent profession in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. While we were the first state in the United States to file a formal bill to create a law to license Applied Behavior Analysts, we are the 10th to pass such a law.
One of the major issues will be to ensure that DESE recognizes Licensed Behavior Analysts as "Related Service Providers" and are treated with the same respect as all other independently licensed professionals participating in the IEP team process.
Thanks to all of you who helped us through this process -- but especially to Rep John Scibak who has been our leader from day one! On a personal level, thanks to Tom Zane and Michael Weinberg for believing in the concept of licensure from the beginning and helping to author an article that some use when considering taking this step, and to Rita Gardner for being there with John and I from the beginning in meetings with the MA Psychological Association. Also, to Steve Woolf, Bill Ahearn and the rest of the MassABA/BABAT board members for coming together to support this legislation. Without all of you guys, this would never have happened!
The next several months will be very interesting in the appointment of members to the new Board of Registration of Behavior Analysts. This group will be responsible for developing the Regulations controlling the overall implementation of this law. It is important that we follow this process closely to ensure that appropriate members are appointed.
We also need to make sure that all eligible Behavior Analysts apply for licensure during the "Grandfathering" period.
Michael F. Dorsey, Ph.D., BCBA
Watch a video from Rep. John Sciback with tips for being behavior analytic (effective) when contacting your legislator.
Alert: Behavior Analysts Licensing Bill (S2319) NOT voted on by MA House
August 1, 2012
At this point, Representative Scibak has identified some of the elements that caused the billed to be derailed. He will be working with his colleagues in the legislature and MassABA to pass the bill during the remainder of the two-year legislative session which ends on Dec. 31st.--
Great News! The Behavior Analysts Licensing Bill has passed in the Massachusetts's Senate. This is a major accomplishment that puts us on the road to licensure. The next step is to have the Massachusetts's House pass the bill on Monday.
Your voice can play a critical role in ensuring children and people with disabilities in Massachusetts have access to quality ABA services and professionals. SB2217, An Act relative to the licensure of behavior analysts, will create a board of licensure for Applied Behavioral Analysts that will regulate the practice of ABA in Massachusetts. This legislation is currently before the Massachusetts House. In order to pass SB2217 this legislative session, we need you to call your State Representative and the Speaker of the House before Monday morning!
Time is running out! July 31st is the last day the legislature can pass this bill during the legislative session. Please add your voice to this debate now by placing two quick phone calls.
1) Robert A. DeLeo, Speaker of the House- 617-722-2500
2) To find your Representative in the House please click: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Search
What to say:
Steve Woolf, Ph.D., BCBA-D/Past PresidentMassABA
BAs were at the State House in September, 2011 to lobby for Rep. Scibak’s legislation to license behavioral analysts. Our advocacy was effective. That legislation is now moving through the Legislature. We need your help to ensure it goes all the way through the legislative process and is passed by coming back to the State House on April 4, 2012 to educate lawmakers about our profession and the need for licensure.
We ask that you take a moment to complete the attached form and email it to Julie Bolduc no later than noon on March 30, 2012. This will be used to arrange meetings with legislators. Participants will be provided with packets that include appointments and information to share with legislators. The event will start at 10:30 a.m. in a room TBD. We will pass along this information as soon as possible.
I am so pleased to share great news with you! As you know, MassABA have been working hard to advance legislation before the Massachusetts Legislature to license behavior analysts – HB1901, An Act relative to the licensure of behavior analysts, sponsored by State Representative John Scibak. This legislation would establish a board of registration for behavioral analysts, creating universal regulations, code of ethics and governing practices for our profession that will ensure that patients are treated fairly, children are protected, and behavioral analysts are adequately compensated.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of Rep. Scibak, I am happy to report that the bill has been amended to our liking and passed by the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure today. The bill will now most likely be sent to a Senate Committee, which we won’t know for a few days until the Clerk’s office processes the Committee’s report. Nonetheless, this is a positive step towards passing the bill by the end of legislative session on July 31, 2012.
We will need you to contact your State Senator once the bill is assigned to a Senate Committee. We will also be holding another advocacy day at the State House similar to the event we held in September, 2011. Look for further information from me soon.
Steve Woolf, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Read the September 14, 2011 ABPA Memo regarding the two bills proposing licensure in Massachusetts.
House Bill 1901 (An Act Relative to the Licensure of Behavior Analysts) is moving through the legislator. The public hearing date for House Bill 1901 was Tuesday, September 20th at 1:00 pm at the State House in Boston.
For Immediate Release: In Massachusetts, Many Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts May No Longer be Able to Lawfully Practice as Behavior Analysts.
Parents of children with autism and development disabilities may no longer be able to find qualified behavior analysts if Massachusetts enacts the version of behavior analyst licensure proposed by the Massachusetts Psychological Association through Representative Ruth Balser.
January 20, 2011 - The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® ("BACB®") has reviewed a proposed version of behavior analyst licensure in Massachusetts that, if enacted, would be professionally devastating to many Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts in Massachusetts. Parents of children with autism and developmental disabilities may no longer be able to secure qualified applied behavior analyst practitioners because their Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst™ may no longer be able to lawfully practice in Massachusetts. The version of behavior analyst licensure proposed by the Massachusetts Psychological Association appears to be a blatant attempt by psychologists in Massachusetts to take over the practice of behavior analysis, restrict independent practice, limit the availability of licensure to only those trained in programs of psychology (with some possible exceptions), and, to the disadvantage of many parents of children with autism, make it unlawful for Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts to practice or represent they are behavior analysts. The majority of BACB certificants graduated from programs other than psychology -- most from university education programs. The version of the licensure bill put forth by the Massachusetts Psychological Association would give a minority number of behavior analysts (who graduated from programs and training in psychology) exclusive practice rights over the many highly educated and well trained behavior analysts who graduated in programs of education or related fields. The bill would also restrict independent practice and apparently place behavior analysts under the supervision of psychologists and other licensed professionals, many of whom may not have had any education, training or experience in applied behavior analysis.
At the same time, the BACB has been working closely with Representative Scibak to assist with the development of behavior analyst licensure in Massachusetts that would fairly govern all BACB certificants and protect their rights to use their BCBA® and BCaBA® credentials throughout the state. Representative Scibak's version of behavior analyst licensure would help to ensure licensure is available to the over 700 BACB certificants practicing in Massachusetts at the BCBA-D, BCBA, and BCaBA levels.
If you are interested in helping please contact William Ahearn, Ph.D., BCBA-D,
Phone: (508) 481-1015 ext. 3132; Fax: (508) 485-3421; email@example.com
or more information about the BACB and our international certification, visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
A Message from BABAT President, Joseph Ricciardi, PsyD, ABPP, BCBA-D The practice of behavior analysis in Massachusetts is in jeopardy. The Massachusetts Psychological Association wants to take control of the practice of behavior analysis. They have introduced a bill that would deny most of the 700 BCBAs the right to practice behavior analysis. Fortunately, behavior analysts have a voice in the Massachusetts legislature in Rep. John Scibak of South Hadley. Rep. Scibak has introduced a bill that would uphold the right to practice of persons credentialed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. For a better understanding of the dire situation our right to practice faces, please read the following press release by the BACB (see above). Now is the time to call upon our own legislators to urge their support. Your voice on this important issue matters - please contact your legislator to let him or her know how important this issue is to you!
To contact your Representative about the Act Relative to Licensure of Behavior Analysts in Massachusetts, follow these steps. Step 1: Find out who your representative is by going here: http://www.malegislature.gov/people/findmylegislator. Step 2: Copy the template that is posted here: http://www.babat.org/professionalpractice.html. Step 3: Open your email account. Insert the email and name of your Representative. Paste the letter template. Insert your actual name where it states "Name". Hit send. Step 4: Forward this to everyone you know.
The Representative's supporting the bill went from 5 to 36, with 70 individual co-sponsors, which is unprecedented. Way to go, everyone!! Thank you for your involvement; for sending emails, letters, making calls and passing the information along!
The list of Rep's who are backing the bill are as follows: Linda Dean Campbell, Thomas A. Golden, Jr., Edward Coppinger, Katherine Clark, Michael R. Knapik, Chris Walsh, Kimberly Ferguson, Anthony W. Petruccelli, Kay Khan, Anne M. Gobi, Barry Finegold, James Arciero. Sal N. DiDomenico, John D. Keena...n, Louis L. Kafka. Karen E. Spilka, James E. Timilty, Elizabeth Poirier, Cory Atkins, Randy Hunt, David Paul Linsky, Carolyn C. Dykema, John V. Fernandes, Todd M. Smola, Gailanne Cariddi, David M. Torrisi, William N. Brownsberger, Thomas P. Conroy, Michael O. Moore, Frank I. Smizik, Jennifer E. Benson, Gale D. Candaras, James J. O'Day, Michael F. Kane, F. Jay Barrows, and Bradford Hill.
If your Rep is one of the supporters, please DO NOT forget to send a follow up THANK YOU message.