2023 Conference Speakers
Speaker: Dr. Adithyan Rajaraman
Title: Advocating for Trauma-Informed Care in Applied Behavior Analytic Practice and Research

Bio: Adithyan (Dithu) Rajaraman has been blessed to teach, interact with, and learn from children and adolescents with and without disabilities for 15 years. Dithu completed his Doctoral training in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University, under the advisement of Dr. Greg Hanley. In 2019, he joined the faculty at UMBC, where he taught and mentored undergraduate and graduate students in behavior analysis. In the fall of 2022, Dithu joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, where he serves as Director of Behavior Analysis Research within TRIAD: the Autism Institute at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. In his current position, Dithu works alongside neurodivergent professionals and advocates, behavior analysts, students, and public-school educators on a broad research agenda aimed at refining and scaling trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming approaches to functional assessment and intervention for dangerous behavior. This research aim is intimately connected to the goal of being able to provide safe, dignifying, yet highly effective behavior-analytic services to underrepresented individuals in underserved communities.

Speaker: Dr. Craig Domanski
Title: Treatment Planning that Meets Medical Necessity Guidelines, Adheres to Generally Accepted Standards of Care, and Focuses on Quality of Life
Bio: Dr. Domanski is a doctoral-level behavior analyst (BCBA-D). He has been working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders for over 20 years. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in ABA from Caldwell University, an Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Accredited Doctoral Program, and his undergraduate degree from Rutgers University where he spent almost a decade working at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center. Aside from his work with DATA Group Central, Dr. Domanski  currently serves as the Chair for the NJABA Service Delivery Committee and previously served as the co-chair for the Insurance, Medicaid, and Business Practices Workgroup, which aims to disseminate information about providing services through health insurance plans to the behavior-analytic community. 
Panel: Michelle Espinoza, BCBA, Brian Middleton, BCBA, Jacqui Wunderlich, BCBA, and Melisa Santacroce, SLP and BCBA
Title: Combative to Collaborative - Practical Recommendations and Discussion on Ethically Navigating Challenging Communication with Caregivers
Bio: Jacqueline Wunderlich is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Maryland Licensed Behavior Analyst. She received her BA in Psychology from Gallaudet University and her MA in Special Education from Ball State University. She is the director of Signs of Communication, LLC, which provides behavioral training and consultation to families and organizations working with deaf and hard of hearing learners. Jacqueline is passionate about advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Brian is a human. He believes that this view is essential to increase prosocial engagement. Brian is also neurodivergent. He is AuDHD (autistic & ADHD) and has a reading disability and has hearing impairments. Brian worked as a special education teacher for 7 years, 5 of which was as a middle school behavior specialist, before transitioning to being a full-time behavior analyst. He has a dual Bachelor's degree in social science composite and special education and a Masters of Education with administrative endorsement from Southern Utah University, and a post-master's certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from University of Cincinnati. He presently works as a BCBA in disability services and he specializes in assent-based, neurodivergent centered services, and in behavior analytic applications of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT).

Brian started the Bearded Behaviorist social media profile in 2018 in response to some frustrating experiences that occurred during his post-graduate schooling. He encountered consistent indicators that the education being provided was not consistently applying principles of behavior to learning, including ignoring the need for individualization and providing support for disabled populations in the program. Bearded Behaviorist has since become known for creating engaging learning, exploration, and advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion through applying a prohuman and prosocial approach to behavior analysis. Brian is an active advocate for changing our culture to be one where everyone can thrive. In addition to serving as a member-at-large, he is the president of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Special Interest Group (SIG) as of mid-May, 2023. Brian is also the the recipient of the 2022 Diversity Aware from the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) for his advocacy work and efforts to bring to light and ending of unethical practices and relationships within the field such as the use of Contingent Electric Shock (CESS) in disabled people and other human rights violations perpetrated by the Judge Rottenberg Center and supported by ABAI.

Brian believes that in order for there to be a future for autistics and other neurodivergent populations that future must include all neurotypes. That neurodiversity, like biodiversity, creates healthy environments where individuals and cultures can thrive. Three of his favorite things to say are, "we learn, grow, and build together", "reinforce the change you want to see in the world", and "human first, human always".