Partners in Applied Behavior Analysis Conference

Nov. 18, 2022

Welcome to the 2022 Partners in Applied Behavior Analysis Conference

Promoting Quality of Life Across the Lifespan

Join Anderson Center for Autism and SUNY Empire State College for the second annual Partners in Applied Behavior Analysis: Promoting Quality of Life Across the Lifespan on November 18, 2022.

This single track, synchronous or asynchronous conference will feature both domestic and international presenters with experience in lifespan services for Autistic individuals and those who support them. Register for the conference and watch live on November 18, 2022, 8:45 a.m. EST to 4 p.m. EST or watch asynchronously at a later time.

More information, including detailed session descriptions and information about presenters, can be viewed below. This conference is an opportunity to earn 6 BCBA Learning (2.5 Ethics) CEs or 5 New York State Continuing Teacher and Leader Education Hours. Special registration rates for students and veterans are available. For more information on how to register and details about rates, click here.

Sessions and Speakers

Sessions will include both presentations and panels spanning topics such as quality of life, sexuality, self-determination, dignity, and Neurodiversity-affirming practices in support and service delivery with Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals/individuals with disabilities across clinical, educational, home, and community settings. Session emphasis is on topics and practices relevant across the lifespan. Speakers and panelists include Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals and professionals, caregivers, and professionals. Additional session and speaker information forthcoming.

Opening by Dr. Audeliz Matias (SUNY Empire Interim Chief Diversity Officer for Institutional Equity and Inclusion; Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Associate Professor)

ABA Conference Waiting Room Presentation (file 1,934kB)

Availability of supports and resources for the Disabled community varies widely throughout the world. Lack of supports are often due to multiple challenges, including limited funding and a need for increased knowledge of disabilities. In addition, educational opportunities for professionals and caregivers may be limited, which in turn can hinder dissemination of evidenced-based practices such as applied behavior analysis. Further, as the majority of behavior analysts reside in North America (BACB, n.d.), social validity and cultural responsivity of current practices may be limited. This panel will discuss the availability of resources across the lifespan in various parts of the world, analyze the applicability of interventions to different cultures, and discuss ways to increase knowledge, supports, and inclusivity for those who identify with disabilities or as Disabled.

CEUs: 1.5

Format: Panel with Moderator

Panelists: Diana Aliu, Delight Bhonda, Amirul Fahim, Theresa Foli

Moderator: Noor Syed, Ph.D

Diana Aliu (Kosovo)

Diana Aliu

Diana Aliu is the founder of Freedom to Dream a non-government organization that focuses on improving the education of children with disabilities in Kosovo. Her goal is to bring awareness towards Special Education and promote quality of life across the lifespan of people with disabilities in her country Kosovo.

Delight Bhonda

Delight Bhonda

Delight Bhonda is a licensed registered behavioral technician and residential behavior specialist. She is also a housing mentor for the Anderson Center for Autism. She conducts observations in children’s residential programs, assists in writing behavior support plans (BSPs) and developing skill acquisition programs, and provides training to residential staff on BSPs. She is also a New York state SCIP-certified instructor at Anderson Center for Autism.

Muhammad Amirul Islam Fahim (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Amirul Fahim

Muhammad Amirul Islam Fahim is a Registered Behavior Technician. He is currently working as a Behavior Therapist at Inner Circle Bangladesh. Fahim is also an Instructor trainer of SCIP-R, a crisis intervention strategy. He completed his Masters of Science in Psychology from University of Dhaka. He has more than 3 years of experience in applying the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis. He also facilitates online group session. He has passion to optimize the quality of life for individual with special needs. Fahim served as an International Fellow at Anderson Center for Autism from August 2021 to July 2022.

Theresa Foli

Theresa Foli

Theresa Foli is the co-founder of the Friends of Women Foundation at the Anderson Center for Autism. She has more than 15 years of experience working with children, families, and individuals as a support for people with autism. Foli earned her undergraduate degree at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Ghana in 2013 and trained as fellow at Anderson Center.

Noor Syed, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA/LBS (NY, PA, CT)

Headshot of Noor Syed
Noor Syed, Ph.D.

Noor Syed (she/her), Ph.D. is an assistant professor of Applied Behavior Analysis, clinical coordinator, and founding director of the Center for Autism Advocacy Research, Education, and Services (CAARES) at SUNY Empire State. She has been named the Turben Director of Autism with CAARES. Syed is also the director of Anderson Center International, an adjunct doctoral advisor in ABA with Endicott College, and a certified general and special education teacher. Her interests lie in compassionate care, cultural humility, and social justice through an analysis of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

Many individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder get very limited or no sex education. Without proper instruction, they may demonstrate behavior that is considered inappropriate or even illegal. The need for such education will be explored through a series of case studies.

CEUs: 1.5

Format: Presentation

Speaker: Bobby Newman, Ph.D.

Potential Legal Dangers in Failure to Provide Sex Education (PDF 499kB)

Bobby Newman is a board-certified behavior analyst, and licensed behavior analyst in New York and Tennessee, as well as a licensed psychologist. Affectionately known as the Dark Overlord of ABA, Newman is the lead author on 13 books on topics that include behavior therapy, the philosophy of behaviorism, and autism spectrum disorders. He has published over two dozen articles in professional journals, as well as numerous popular magazine articles, and hosted two radio call-in shows. Newman is the past president of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis.


By definition, behavior analysts increase socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree. This is the root of our practice, but how many behavior analysts operationally define and measure what behaviors are socially significant and what constitutes a “meaningful degree”? The definition and research behind measuring quality of life and happiness will be reviewed, the presenters will make an argument that behavior analysts need to develop measurement systems that provide practitioners feedback on QofL measures, and end with a discussion on why behavior analysts need to get back to focusing our work on meaningful outcomes to “meaningful degrees.”

Format: Presentation

CEUs: 1 (Ethics BCBA)

Speakers: Tina Covington, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, and Emily Maduemezia

Quality of Life Presentation (PDF 1,723kB)

Tina Covington, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA

Headshot of Tina CovingtonTina Covington

Emily Maduemezia

Headshot of Emily MaduemeziaEmily Maduemezia


Lunch break from 12:45-1:15 p.m.

Behavior analysts, with feedback and input from clients, relevant parties, and advocates, are continually evaluating services based on client outcomes and social validity. Ongoing efforts to evaluate social validity must be driven by the client’s perspective, preferences, and values. Foundational to these ongoing collaborations with clients (and relevant parties, as appropriate) is the need to protect client dignity and promote anti-ableist practices that affirm the identity and values of the client in order to further client self-determination and autonomy. This panel will provide an opportunity to listen and learn from Autistic individuals, Autistic professionals, and caregivers to foster audience understanding of self-determination, and the relationship between self-determination and quality of life. The audience will also learn about service and support delivery practices that promote or hinder client self-determination, dignity, and autonomy.

CEUs: 1.5 (BCBA: Ethics)

Format: Panel with Moderator

Panelists: Armando Bernal, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA; William Britt; Mari Cerda, Ph.D., BCBA, LBA; Jeanne Raichle

Moderator: Lauren Lestremau Allen, Ph.D., BCBA-D, NCSP, LP

Self-Determination and Dignity (PDF 455kB)

Armando J. Bernal, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA

Photo of Armando Bernal
Armando Bernal

Armando Bernal is a neurodivergent board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) who provides support to Autistic children ages 2 to 12. In addition, Armando does consultations with parents and therapists, conducts speaking engagements for corporations around the country and provides supervision and mentorship to other BCBAs and therapists. Armando is also the founder of Autism International, an in-home applied behavior analysis provider, and distributor of the podcast, “A Different Path.” He hopes to spread awareness and acceptance by interviewing and sharing the stories of individuals with autism.

Mr. William Britt

William Britt

William Britt is a self-taught artist known for his oil paintings of nature and landscapes. As a person with developmental disabilities, he spent more than three decades living at the notorious Willowbrook State School on Staten Island, which was eventually closed. In 1986, he was honored by the Kennedy Center for outstanding artistic achievement. He was celebrated in a poem by Maya Angelou. Britt is represented by Pure Vision Arts, a gallery in New York City dedicated to serving artists who are developmentally disabled. Now in his late ‘80s, Britt lives and works in Rockland County, NY.  

Mari Cerda, Ph.D., BCBA, LBA

Dr. Mari-Luci Cerda is a Mesoamerican Indigenous woman, wife, mom, Autistic, and board-certified behavior analyst with over 13 years of experience working with Neurodivergent individuals and their families. A former special education teacher, behavior specialist, and inclusion coordinator, Cerda has a deep passion for advocacy work with both schools and clinics to develop trauma- and neurodiverse-responsive practices. Her work focuses on shifting language used in practice to reframe and move away from unintentional ableist frameworks that are often rooted in traditional therapy and educational settings. Much of this work pulls from Indigenous Research Methods, which deconstructs traditional Western approaches.

Eric Ogando

Eric Ogando

Hello everyone, my name is Eric Ogando and I recently graduated from Manhattanville College. I majored in Global and International Studies. I am passionate about Global and International Studies because it gives a great depth of the international world through different countries and global organizations. I am also interested in science and technology. My personality is outgoing, curious and adventurous. My LinkedIn is

Lauren Lestremau Allen, Ph.D., BCBA-D, NCSP, LP

Headshot of Lauren Lestremau Allen
Lauren Lestremau Allen

Lauren Lestremau Allen, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist (NY, MD), board-certified behavior analyst-Doctoral, and a nationally certified school psychologist. Allen is an assistant professor at SUNY Empire State College in the Applied Behavior Analysis Master of Science program, which prioritizes compassionate, value-driven care, and client self-advocacy and autonomy. She also serves as the assistant director of the SUNY Empire Center for Autism Advocacy: Research, Education, and Supports (CAARES). The center aims to further SUNY Empire’s efforts to become an autistic supportive college using a multi-tiered system of supports, with ongoing input from a team of stakeholders, including Autistic self-advocates

The journey through autism is difficult for people with autism and their families. The transition to adulthood is even more challenging. The majority of adults with autism have communication, behavioral and social impairments that significantly impede their ability to get a job, socialize and live independently. The cost to support one individual with autism through his/her life span is estimated to be $3.2 million and this number continues to grow. This “Systems change” has a tremendous impact not only on families and providers, but also on the general public. Families and caregivers have concerns of who will care for these individuals when their natural supports are no longer here. This presentation will journey you through the unique perspective of a parent, who is also in the field of behavior analysis.


Format: Presentation

Speaker: Deb Thivierge, BCaBA, CBAA, Founder and Chief Executive Director of the Elija School

Debora Thivierge

Speaker Bio: Debora received her BA in Sociology from Hofstra University and is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. She serves as the Executive Director and Founder of The ELIJA School, Founder of The ELIJA Foundation, the ELIJA Farm, and ELIJA's Transition Program and Services (TPS). Debora has volunteered her time to numerous Autism groups such as Nassau County’s Department of Health Early Intervention Coordinating Council, New York State Association of Behavior Analysis, Nassau County Autism Coalition run by the County Executive and served as a board member of The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) for 5 years. She was appointed to the New York State Licensure Board for Applied Behavior Analysis in 2014 and served until 2018, when she stepped down to advocate for the advancement of the field in ABA. For the past 22 years, she has been providing advocacy to families and conducted training workshops to promote evidence based instruction for families and educators who have been touched by Autism. She has a 24 year old son with Autism.

Closing by Patrick Paul, CEO of the Anderson Center for Autism


Different Roads logo

Different Roads to Learning is your one-stop shop for autism spectrum resources and teaching materials! With over 600 products, our carefully curated product line supports the social, academic and communicative development of children on the autism spectrum through Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior interventions.

Sponsorship packages can be purchased on the conference registration page.

Partners in Applied Behavior Analysis Sponsorship Package


  • One conference registration
  • Logo with active link displayed on conference website
  • Logo displayed during virtual conference
  • Social media post announcing sponsorship of conference

Supporting Partners around the World Sponsorship Package


  • Four conference registrations for those facing financial hardships
    • Registration scholarship recipients to be selected by conference hosts, Anderson and SUNY Empire
  • One conference registration for sponsor
  • Logo with active link displayed on conference website
  • Logo displayed during virtual conference
  • Social media post announcing sponsorship of conference

Team Member Thank You Sponsorship Package


  • Four conference registrations for anyone on your team
  • One conference registration for sponsor
  • Logo with active link displayed on conference website
  • Logo displayed during virtual conference
  • Social media post announcing sponsorship of conference

If you have any questions or would like to reach out to us about participation in this event, please email

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Where do I register?

  • Great question! We are so happy you plan to attend the conference. Please register at

2. How do I register multiple people with the same form of payment?

  • Follow the instructions through the registration link at

3. When do I need to register by?

  • Priority Registration ends October 31, 2022, which will give you a reduced fee. However, registration will remain open through 8 a.m. EST the day of the event.

4. I want to register, but I can't watch the conference live, can I watch the recording later?

  • Yes! The conference will be available to view asynchronously for registrants following the event and available for six months following. You will be sent a link via email to the email address that you used to register for the conference. It will include the link to access the conference recordings.

5. I want to watch the conference asynchronously, but can I still earn BACB CEs and New York State Continuing Teacher and Leader Education Hours?

  • Yes! You will be sent a link via email to the email address that you used to register for the conference that will include the link to access the conference recordings. To earn the CEs, you must download the CEU Helper application and complete the conference survey within one week of viewing the session(s). Beginning two weeks before the conference, you will receive an email with the conference Zoom link and information about how to download the CEU Helper.

6. How will I virtually attend the conference?

  • You can join synchronously through the link you will receive to the email you used for registration. You will receive a Zoom link for the session and there will be one link for the full conference. All sessions will be offered through this link.

Continuing Education and CEU Helper

1. Is Continuing Education available for this conference?

  • Yes! There is an opportunity to earn 6 BCBA Learning CEs (2.5 Ethics) and 5 New York State Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (NYS CTLE) Hours. Attend the conference synchronously or watch it afterward asynchronously. To earn the CEs, you must download the CEU Helper application and complete the conference survey within one week of viewing the session(s). Beginning one week before the conference, you will receive an email with the conference Zoom link and information about how to download CEU Helper. You must complete a post-conference survey and answer three questions about each session for which you are seeking CEs or NYS CTLEs in order to be awarded the credits.

Technical Troubleshooting

1. My link to the conference isn't working. What do I do?

  • Do you have Zoom installed on your device? If so, try closing out Zoom re-opening it.
  • If you don't have Zoom installed on your device, try installing it and then logging on.
  • If both of these don't work:

2. I am having trouble with Zoom, the platform for the conference. What do I do?


  • Captions available for both sunchronous and asynchronous viewing.
  • If you would like to request other accommodations, please contact with information on the support(s) that are needed.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates more than 16,000 students per year in person, online, and through a blend of both, at locations in every region of New York and at 8 international sites worldwide. Together with one of SUNY Empire's more than 600 faculty mentors, each student designs their own individualized pathway to a college degree that accommodates their schedule and awards credit for prior college-level learning. SUNY Empire awards approximately 3,000 degrees annually and 94 percent of graduates stay in New York state. Today, more than 94,000 SUNY Empire alumni are entrepreneurs, veterans, and active members of the military, professional athletes, teachers, medical professionals, and leaders in their field, as well as in their communities. To learn more, visit and follow the college on social media @SUNYEmpire.

About Anderson Center for Autism

Anderson Center for Autism's core philosophy is that all people deserve to live a life of quality. Anderson has the expertise, resources and technology to enable the agency to optimize the quality of life for all people with autism, around the world.

Anderson's Mission: Optimizing the Quality of Life for Individuals with Autism

To learn more, visit