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Lanham, Maryland (USA) Dissemination Activities 2020

Desmond Bull, Lanham, Maryland (USA)

Could you please tell us a little about you and your background?
I am Desmond Bull. I am originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa. I currently work as an ABA Therapist in Washington DC and Maryland. Being in the field for the last two years has been an eye-opener for understanding behavior and means to shape them. I like to spend my time researching ways to build my skills and learn new intervention techniques.

How did you become interested in CBS?
My interest in contextual behavior science stems from being in the field of behavior analysis and intervention.

Could you tell us about your research and application interests?
I am interested in researching more about ACT and how mindfulness can be therapeutic in certain situations. The concept has always intrigued me. I currently research and implement breathing and other mindfulness techniques in ABA, but ACT would be an interesting new path to research.

Could you tell us about your experience at the World Conference this year?
The conference in 2020 was like none other. It was initially scheduled to take place in New Orleans, but because of the covid 19 pandemic, it went virtual! Virtual, though somewhat limiting, provided opportunities for new learning and a different form of coming together. At the beginning, I had some issues with stable internet access. Once my internet struggles were over, I was able to participate in the conference fully. I listened to a variety of speakers as they went over several behavior shaping techniques. My personal favorite was the small breakout rooms. While it was an opportunity for more personal learning, it also provided us the chance to network and get to know other participants.

Was there anything that stood out to you about the CBS community?
The CBS community is particularly dedicated to impacting knowledge of contextual behavioral science in different forms. From the conference, the community projects a deep willingness to help interested individuals understand this concept. The community is full of professionals working in the field and they are willing to share their experience in a moment's notice. This is indeed the most noticeable part of the community - a community of professionals who understand the need to impact knowledge through their own experiences in the field.

What did you take back from your experience that has been helpful to you? 
There have been a couple of meaningful takeaways I got from the conference. Unfortunately, from the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, our work has been limited to online and limited in-person contact. The various sessions that taught us techniques to adjust certain behaviors and identifying triggers for them were particularly helpful. Being in the field and seeing some of the behaviors displayed on regular basis helped me put the speakers' words in better applicable contexts. Some of the strategies I learnt have been helpful in everything from de-escalating problematic behaviors to teaching alternative soothing behaviors to individuals. I look forward to having the opportunity to implement some of these techniques in a consistent manner when normalcy returns.

Are you wondering how you can help to disseminate CBS in the developing world through scholarship opportunities like this? Please consider donating to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund via Paypal by using the button below. Your donation will help us continue to bring increased diversity to our annual conferences by providing funds for individuals who come from diverse backgrounds and who would not be able to attend an ACBS conference without this added financial support.

Every dollar/euro/yen goes to helping those in need -- not a nickel goes to administration. Money collected for this fund is distributed by an ACBS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Scholarships are awarded based on need and merit. 

Please note that this contribution does not qualify as a tax-deductible charitable contribution, according to USA tax law ... but it's a nice thing to do.

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