Accessing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a challenge for many families across Washington state. Beth Hammer, Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy (WAAA) Regional Outreach & Advocacy Coordinator, has been busy tackling this need in SW Washington. With a limited number of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in SW Washington, Beth looked for creative ways to fill the gap so kids could access the services they need. Using her workforce development background, Beth teamed up with Worksource-Vancouver and Carla Myers, MA, BCBA/L, CC, owner/CEO of Discovery Behavior Solutions to create a program to train Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). As paraprofessionals, RBTs work under the supervision of BCBAs and enable certified behavior analysts to take on bigger caseloads, opening up services for more children.
Worksource-Vancouver recognized the value of the training both for job-seekers and families and eagerly joined forces with WAAA to offer this opportunity, 100% paid for by Worksource. This past winter, nine participants completed 60 hours of classroom and supervised hands-on training. Upon successful completion of the RBT exam, SW Washington will have nine new nationally credentialed RBTs!
“It’s a win-win-win scenario,” noted Carla Myers, “families in SW Washington will have improved access to 1:1 ABA therapy services, job-seekers will have a greater chance of finding a job with good earning-potential, and ABA therapy employers will have reduced staff-training burdens. I’m thrilled to be a part of this opportunity.”
Trainee Tiffany Craven, who is also the parent of special needs child, appreciates the training beyond the job benefits, “ABA has changed my life for the positive,” she comments, noting that she and her son communicate better now and he opens up “a little more.”
Through innovative partnerships such as this, we are opening doors for more families in Washington State. Please contact Beth Hammer if you need assistance in SW Washington.