Culture and Language Inclusion in the Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis: A Call to Action

November 17, 2021 @ 10am PST / 1pm EST


Failure to consider culture, across systems of care, not only violates our ethical standards, it also perpetuates a system of oppression within the ABA industry, and in the larger health care context in the United States (U.S.). The twin purposes of this article are to discuss disparities in autism service delivery, and to provide an overview of recommended practice parameters, guided by the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [DHHS], Office of Minority Health, 2016). Now is the time for ABA providers to acknowledge our own skill deficits and modify our maladaptive behaviors that have led many to question the relevance of our field, as a whole.

1.5 BACB Ethics CEUs are offered for this webinar. CEUs are $20 for non-members and free for BHCOE-accredited organizations and members.

In order to be eligible for BACB CEUs, participants must attend the event online to ensure the participant accesses both the audio and visual portions of the presentation.  Dial in can be used to supplement the audio features of the webinar only.  Participants attending the webinar by dial-in only will not be eligible for CEUs.  Additionally, participants must attend the webinar for a minimum of 50 minutes in order to be eligible for 1 CEU (25 minutes for .5 CEUs). CEUs are only processed for live attendance of the event. Once purchased, no refunds will be issued. If a CE webinar is canceled due to low enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances, the registrant receives an automatic 100% refund at the time of cancellation.

Cost: FREE

About the Presenters

Dr. Crystal Hernandez

Dr. Crystal Hernandez, MBA, Psy.D., Executive Director, State of Oklahoma Forensic Psychiatric State Hospital

Dr. Crystal Hernandez is a psychologist, forensic mental health administrator for the State of Oklahoma, Tribal disabilities expert, researcher, and autism mother. She serves as the first DEI Officer for the Autism Foundation of Oklahoma, focusing on equitable and inclusive policy, program, and community engagement. She works with Tribal parents throughout their autism journey, and has worked with Indian Health Services (IHS) to allow for medically necessary treatment for Autistic Tribal members. In 2021, IHS nominated her to the U.S. Interagency Coordinating Council for Autism for her work with the Tribal communities. She serves as an expert working on Tribal projects with the National Council on Disability and the State of the States of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She believes in service to others and works relentlessly to improve clinical treatments, diagnosis, equitable access to care, and inclusion for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as those with mental health and substance use disorders. Dr. Hernandez serves on the Joint Committee representing ODMHSAS in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for those justice impacted individuals that cross both organizations in need of placement and treatment recommendations. She serves as the Executive Director for Oklahoma’s sole Forensic Psychiatric Hospital and is an active participant in her Tribe (Cherokee Nation). Dr. Hernandez prides herself on criminal justice reform efforts, justice, and building an inclusive world. She is a strong advocate and ally, with a desire to improve all lives and systems. 

Natalie Williams Awodeha

Natalie Williams Awodeha, PhD, BCBA, LBA, CRC, Clinical Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

Originally from Oklahoma City, Natalie holds a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Oklahoma, M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Langston University, and Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Ohio University. She completed the BACB-approved course sequence at Florida Institute of Technology. Research interests include cultural and linguistic inclusion in ABA, employment disparities for African Americans with cognitive disabilities, and workplace culture within the field of ABA. Natalie currently works as a BCBA in Seattle, and teaches remotely at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Northcentral University. She plans to gain additional experience delivering high quality ABA services to adolescents and young adults, while also pursuing the BCBA-D. She is also advocating for culture and language inclusion within the practice of ABA, along with development of culturally responsive standards within practitioner preparation programs and licensing and credentialing bodies.

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