Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Special Event #310
CE Offered: BACB
An International Model for Education in Behavior Science and Application
Sunday, May 24, 2020
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 3, Ballroom AB
Domain: Theory
Chair: Peter R. Killeen (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Peter R. Killeen, Ph.D.

The ABAI Task Force on International Education has been working since January to create a model to improve educational opportunities and develop formal recognition of behavior analysts that could be adapted for individual countries. Constituents from Brazil, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, and Spain will provide an update on the task force’s progress.We welcome the attendance of all those interested in this effort.

Instruction Level: Basic

Francesca degli Espinosa has worked with children with autism for more than 20 years. Her longstanding clinical and research interests are in advanced applications of contemporary analyses of verbal behavior (Horne & Lowe, 1996; Lowenkron, 1998, 2008; Michael, Palmer, & Sundberg, 2011) as a basis for teaching generalized verbal repertoires and, thereby, as a means of minimizing the need to teach specific individual verbal responses. She was the lead clinician for the Southampton Childhood Autism Program at the University of Southampton, the first UK-based EIBI outcome study (Remington et al., 2007), results of which formed the basis of her Ph.D. She currently runs a small diagnostic, behavioral, and skills assessment clinic in Southampton and teaches applied behavior analysis in the graduate program at the University of Salerno, Italy, her home country, where she also continues to mentor Italian BCBAs.


Ilana Gerschlowitz lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is the mother of three boys. She completed her B.Com (LLB) (commerce and law degree) in 1998 at the University of the Witwatersrand and was subsequently admitted and practiced as an attorney. In 2004 when her oldest son, David, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 20 months, she immersed herself in research to find solutions.

In 2009 she hosted the landmark Challenging Children Conference, which successfully provided a platform for the introduction of ABA to South African parents and professionals.

Ms. Gerschlowitz is the founding director of the Star Academy (Star), an affiliate of the US-based Center for Autism and Related Disorders. Now 10 years old, Star has provided access to ABA programs to more than 230 children around the country with autism or related disorders, as well as to children in Ghana, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Mauritius, and Zambia. Other Star projects include providing ABA instruction to underprivileged children in Johannesburg and a program called Catch Up Kids, which helps children overcome learning challenges, including those with ADHD.

In 2015 Ms. Gerschlowitz was recognized for her work in education with the CEO Global Award for Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government in the Education and Private Sector for Region, Country, and Continent. In 2018 she was a finalist for the Europcar Jewish Women in Leadership Award. She is the author of Saving My Sons: A Journey With Autism, published in 2019 and which helps light the way for many parents coping with autism or learning difficulties in Africa.

AGUSTIN DANIEL GOMEZ FUENTES (Universidad Veracruzana)

Dr. Agustín Daniel Gómez Fuentes has a degree in psychology from Universidad Veracruzana, a master’s in psychology (behavior analysis) from Western Michigan University, and a doctorate in behavioral science from the University of Guadalajara. Dr. Gómez Fuentes has been recognized as a National Level I Investigator by the Mexican National System of Investigators of the National Council of Science and Technology. In addition, he has a PROMEP profile and has been director of more than 80 theses on psychology and education, as well as published more than 16 articles in specialized scientific journals on those same topics. Additionally, he has published 10 book chapters and 3 specialized books on behavioral science and education. His research interests are mainly focused on linguistic modes and their relationships, as well as historical and philosophical analysis of psychological concepts.

Dr. Gómez Fuentes was a member of the program committee for the 2013 ABAI International Conference in Mérida, Mexico, and truly instrumental to its success and subsequent positive effects encouraging the growth of behavior analysis in Mexico. He promoted the conference and its call for papers among his colleagues at Universidad Veracruzana, gave a talk as part of a symposium, and chaired two other sessions.

GLADYS WILLIAMS (Centro CIEL; LearnMore, Inc.)

Gladys Williams leads the program on autism and verbal behavior at David Gregory School in New Jersey. She is the founder and director of Centro CIEL in Barcelona and Oviedo, Spain, and of LearnMore, Inc., an institution that promotes effective teaching strategies. She earned her doctoral degree in special education and behavior analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, where she was a recipient of the Fred S. Keller Research Grant to study language development and autism. She has won several awards for her contributions to the field of applied behavior analysis. Dr. Williams has published 18 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the American Journal on Mental Retardation, Teaching Exceptional Children, and others. She has been a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavior and Social Issues, and The Behavior Analyst. She is a frequent guest speaker in Europe and South America. Dr. Williams’s main objective is to implement effective strategies to teach functional verbal language to nonverbal children and to investigate strategies and techniques to facilitate social skills and functional language acquisition. Her quest is to use behavioral technology to benefit children around the world.




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