News

15/04/2016 - Visiting scholar - Aviva Cohen
13/04/2016 - Visiting scholar - Dr Trish MacKeogh
24/03/2016 - Yini Liao wins Scholarship to fund study at Monash University, Australia
10/03/2016 - Visiting scholar - Anita Yakkundi
08/03/2016 - ABA presentation and launch at Stormont
08/03/2016 - April Autism Awareness month
22/02/2016 - Workshops and meeting at Presov University, Slovakia
22/02/2016 - Czech Republic: paving the way for autism services and provfessional training in ABA
09/02/2016 - Chinese Spring Festival
17/12/2015 - PhD DEL studentships awards available
30/11/2015 - CBA present poster at HCBA conference, Athens
11/11/2015 - Centre for Behaviour Analysis take part in first Team meeting in Osnabrück, Germany
11/11/2015 - 4th CBA/QUART conference a great success
30/10/2015 - The first Autism Therapy and Rehabilitation conference was held in Beijing, China in Sept 2015
30/10/2015 - Stars Hope School in Beijing, China is an ABA-based school for children with autism
30/10/2015 - In China, near Mt Fuji, Prof Karola Dillenburger and a group of delegates from ABAI, BACB, and MultiABA met with the Mayor of Izu City
26/10/2015 - ABA and autism workshops in Slovakia and Czech Republic
22/10/2015 - Dr Katerina Dounavi visited Futuroschool in Paris (Vaincre L’Autisme)
14/10/2015 - Prof Karel Pančocha Vice-dean for Strategy and International Relations and Head of Institute of Special Education at Masaryk University in Brno visits
02/09/2015 - The Use of Video Self-Modeling Intervention to Toilet Train Children With Autism
02/09/2015 - Combinations of Prompt and Target Response Modalities and Their Impact on Emergent Relations and Teaching Efficiency
01/09/2015 - Why reinvent the wheel? A behaviour analyst's reflections on pedagogy for inclusion for students with intellectual and developmental disability
01/09/2015 - Brno, Czech Republic
15/07/2015- 1st Summer School organised by EABA in beautiful Rethymno, Crete
03/07/2015 - Prof. Karola Dillenburger contributed to a brief video on the benefits of writing an article for The Conversation
09/06/2015 - Yini Liao, Doctoral student at CBA had her oral presentation at the All-Ireland Conference for Doctoral Researchers

Visiting scholar - Aviva Cohen

I am a Marie Curie ASSISTID post-doctoral fellow. My research is supported by the charity RESPECT under the supervision of Professor Dillenburger, Queen’s, and Professor Goodman UCD.

I am working to help ageing parents plan the future care of their sons and daughters with intellectual difficulty or cognitive challenges. Fewer than a third of carers make effective futures plans. As a consequence, vulnerable adults often face the trauma of leaving home for the first time after a parent is no longer able to care for them. This also puts pressure on health care services who find it difficult to provide appropriate accommodation at short notice.  

To address this, I am creating two practical tools. Using video modelling technology, we will develop an app to enable parents to record short videos of everyday activities. New carers can view these videos and understand (and model on) how the person with disabilities likes to eat, dress or meet people. I will also design a multimedia training course. It will educate, inform and support ageing carers in planning the future for and, where possible, with their loved ones. Topics include: finding accommodation, managing finances and creating legal security. In addition, parents will learn how to plan for their own future.

My work will be informed by Applied Behaviour Analysis and as part of my ASSISTID fellowship I will undertake the online MScABA at the School of Education at Queen’s.  (www.assistid.eu)

 

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Dr Trish MacKeogh ASSISTID Fellow and Visiting Research Fellow at CBA

Trish comes to us from Dublin Institute of Technology. Her project focusses developing best practice in matching technology to the needs of persons with disabilities.

New technologies are increasing the capabilities of assistive technology (AT) to support people with disabilities in everyday activities.  For children with intellectual disabilities and autism, technologies can provide opportunities for greater and more flexible access to everyday activities and to education then traditional methods.  This research adopts a universal design approach to identify the main factors for children with intellectual disabilities to both acquire and successfully use AT and will develop an assessment tool, an online training course and an information source.  A key aspect of this work is an understanding of the needs and abilities of children with intellectual disability and autism through behaviour analysis and I am delighted that my two year secondment phase of the three year outgoing Marie Curie Fellowship is with Professor Dillenburger at the Centre for Behavioural Analysis.

t.mackeogh@qub.ac.uk

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Yini Liao wins Scholarship to fund study at Monash University, Australia

Yini Liao, PhD student at the Centre for Behaviour Analysis, has secured a William & Betty MacQuitty Travel Scholarship from the University, to support her research trip to Melbourne, Australia. Yini will spend a three month study period at Monash University, hosted by Dr Angelika Anderson, where she is undertaking research training and a practical internship. Yini's PhD research focusses on a comparison between UK and China of the implementation of applied behaviour analysis-based early interventions for children with autism. She is presently writing up the results of three inter-related studies that included a large scale survey, qualitative interviews and quantitative direct observations. 

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The Centre welcomes Visiting Scholar - Anita Yakkundi

My ASSISTID fellowship is a part of the Marie Curie-EU scheme hosted by University College Dublin with a secondment phase at Centre for Behaviour Analysis (CBA), School of Education.  I propose to provide academic intervention to individuals with Autism and intellectual disabilities using assistive and behaviour technology.  Applying behaviour analysis to shape the learning behaviour of participants would be a key part of my research and therefore I chose to work with Prof Dillenburger, CBA, SoE, QUB, due to their expertise in behaviour analysis. I am a scientific researcher and autism parent with a vast experience in autism, having recently completed Masters in ABA. My vision is to work towards developing a learning centre for early vocational/employment as well as independent life skills for individuals with ASD using Evidence-based practice.

Anita can be contacted at a.yakkundi@qub.ac.uk

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ABA presentation and project launch at Stormont

By invitation of Brenda Hale (MLA), a presentation was made at Stormont about applied behaviour analysis based interventions in autism, the work of the charity Parents’ Education as Autism Therapists (PEAT). The audience heard parents’ reports of the benefits of working with PEAT and the new Road Safety Project was launched.

CBA is proud to partner in a number of projects with PEAT. The most recent project aimed at improving Road Safety was funded by Department of Transport and includes video-modelling procedures to help children with autism behave safely in traffic. CBA consulted in the development of the videos and the voice over was provided by one of CBA research students. Referring to the fact that many children with autism wander and thus are exposed to road dangers, the Minister for Transport, Mr Mark H Durkan, who launched the project said: ‘This project has the potential to save lives.’

The videos are available (free) on the PEAT webpages www.peatni.org

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April - Autism Awareness month

The Centre for Behaviour Analysis (CBA) at Queen's University Belfast are celebrating April Autism Awareness month with a workshop about teaching strategies for children/young people with ASD and related disorders.

This workshop will focus on training for parents and professionals (particularly teaching staff) for working with children and young people with autism.

The workshop is run in collaboration with PEAT charity and will be delivered by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.

Everyone welcome. For tickets please contact Lynsay@peatni.org

https://www.facebook.com/events/533384826810972/

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Workshops and meetings at Presov University

Meetings to discuss and develop training in ABA and future collaborations with CBA/QUB were held at Presov University, Slovakia in advance of a workshop about ABA and autism. Professor Milan Portik, PhD., Vice-Rector for Science, Art, Sport and Accreditation, University of Presov and Deans, Heads of School (Special Education) met together with parents organisations and Representatives from the Ministry of Education to discuss further developments of training in ABA. The workshops and meetings followed from workshops in Bratislava in Oct 2015, when Professor Dillenburger and others presented to over 250 parents and professionals. 

The full-day workshop at Presov University was very well received by approx 100 students, parents and professionals who are keen to learn more about ABA-based interventions in autism. Further collaborations between Presov University and QUB are planned through Erasmus+ mobility activities.


Pictured (from left)
- Radoslav Rusnak, PhD., Vice-Dean for International Relations, Development and Quality Assurance, Faculty of Education University of Presov in Presov,
- assoc. prof. Bibiana Hlebova, Head of the Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, University of Presov in Presov, 
- prof. Karola Dillenburger, School of Education, Queen´s University, 
- prof. PhDr. Milan Portik, PhD., Vice-Rector for Science, Art, Sport and Accreditation, University of Presov in Presov, 
- prof. Mickey Keenan, School of Psychology, Ulster University, 
- Lucia Hrebenarova, Ph.D., Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, University of Presov in Presov, 
- assoc. prof. M. Sc. Jana Burgerová, PhD., Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Presov, 
- assoc. prof. dr. Renata Bernátová, PhD., Vice-Dean for Educational Affairs, Faculty of Education, University of Presov in Presov,
- Alena Chlebikova, advisor of the state secretary of the Ministry of Education Romana Kanovska, 
- Mgr. Jana Muránska, PhD., RATA, (Parent association), 
- assoc. prof. Ladislav Hornak, PhD., Department of Special Education, Faculty of Education, University of Presov in Presov.

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Czech Republic: Paving the way for autism services and professional training in ABA

A meeting was held at the Czech Republic Ministry of Health to discuss the development of autism servcies based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and University-based training in ABA. This meeting followed the pervious meeting with Professor Dillenburger and Mgr Jaroslav Fidrmuc, Deputy minister, Ministry of Education and the Deputy Minister for Education in October 2015. Since then the Czech Association for Behaviour Analysis (CzABA) has been formed and the first ABA course is planned at Masaryk University in Brno in September 2016. Further developments include Erasmus+ contracts for staff exchange between Masaryk University and Queen's University Belfast.

The meeting affirmed the commitment from the Czech Ministry of Health and the Czech Ministry of Education to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) based autism services and university-based training in ABA, and the commitment of the Director of Non-medical (Allied) Health Professionals, Ministry of Health to explore pathways to include Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA) under their remit.

The meeting followed a Hearing at the Czech Government offices of evidence about ABA and autism. Evidence was delivered by Professor Dillenburger (School of Education, Queen's University), Professor Keenan (Ulster University), Professor Lorri Unumb (Autism Speaks) and Dr Neil Martin (BACB). The evidence hearing was attended by approx 150 delegates.

Pictured (from left):

David Kasal MD, Member of Parliament, Vice-President of Committee on Health; President of Czech Society for ABA
Mgr Lenka Blažková, assistant to deputy Minister of Health
Mgr Alice Strnadová, MBA, section Director, Non-medical (Allied) Health Professionals, Ministry of Health
Professor Karola Dillenburger, School of Education, Queen’s University Belfast
Mgr Jaroslav Fidrmuc, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education
Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks, Vice-President for State Affairs
Dr Neil Martin, Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), Director of International Development
Professor Mickey Keenan, Ulster University
Dr Jana Gandalovicová (Parent organisation; Founder member of Czech Society for ABA)

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Chinese Spring Festival

The Chinese Spring Festival was celebrated at School of Education, with Yini Liao (pictured right, PhD student at our Centre for Behaviour Analysis) and friends in beautiful traditional Qipao (Chinese dress). Yini then presented her research at the Doctoral Research Centre Seminar Series.

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36 DEL PhD studentships open for applications at QUB

We are happy to discuss any ABA-related ideas with you to help you develop a strong proposal. We would welcome applications from prospective PhD candidates who are interested in pursuing doctoral study in the broad area of educational enhancement through the application of behaviour analysis.

One potential project idea:

Programmed Instruction in the inclusive classroom

Prof Karola Dillenburger would like to hear from prospective students who would like to work on Programmed Instruction in the inclusive classroom.  Programmed Instruction was a widely used evidence-based educational methodology that seems to have lost favour within current educational philosophies.  This proposal argues that ‘the baby was thrown out with the bathwater’.  Programmed Instruction is a particularly effective teaching methodology that focuses on the individual learner.  Progress is entirely pupil-led and teaching can be adjusted to individual needs.  This makes Programmed Instruction potentially a very useful tool in the inclusive classroom.

In addition, the rise of the use of technology in the classroom means that Programmed Instruction is making a comeback, all be it under different guises, i.e. in the form of a vast variety of apps.  This proposal aims to 1) conduct a thorough systematic review of the literature around Programmed Instruction; 2) review how Programmed Instruction is used in today’s inclusive classrooms; 3) collect evidence for (or against) the use of Programmed Instruction in inclusive classrooms by using a number of single-system design studies; 4) make recommendations for teachers and school principals in the use of modern day technology for inclusive classrooms.

In designing the proposal, it is important to take account of the following: the current policy context for inclusive education; a review of current educational philosophies and how they have changed over the years; a systematic review of the literature on Programmed instruction and inclusion; a number of small single-system design studies that implement and evaluate Programmed Instruction in inclusive classrooms to develop appropriate methods for larger scale roll-out; discussion and conclusions that form the basis of recommendations for teachers and school principals.  The research methodology section should outline a clear rationale for the methods selected.

Other research ideas are also welcome.

Your research proposal should not be more than 2000 words (maximum) in length (excluding references).  Proposals must include references to academic literature and provide evidence of academic reading within the research field including a paragraph on any ethical issues that are likely to arise in the course of the research.  All applicants must contact the relevant named project director prior to submitting their application and proposal.

Contact: Prof Karola Dillenburger (k.dillenburger@qub.ac.uk) or Dr Katerina Dounavi (k.dounavi@qub.ac.uk) for further information about potential applications.

Notes: These studentships are available to candidates who wish to enrol on a full time basis and who meet resident’s criteria for studentships [ie funding awards].

Please note that funding is limited and the process is competitive.  Applicants for DEL funding should get in touch with potential superviors before they apply for a place on the PhD programme via the University's online application system and  indicate that they wish to be considered for a DEL PhD award.

For information on funded doctoral study visit the Doctoral Research Centre pages on the School of Education website

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CBA present poster at 2nd HCBA conference, Athens

A poster entitled “The inclusion of children with ASD in mainstream school settings: Effective applications informed by behaviour analysis” was presented by María José Pujante Rodenas and Dr Katerina Dounavi (CBA) at the 2nd conference of the Hellenic Community for Behaviour Analysis held in Athens (Greece) on the 28 and 29 November.

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Centre for Behaviour Analysis take part in first Team meeting in Osnabrück, Germany

Centre for Behaviour Analysis take part in first Team meeting in Osnabrück, Germany, of Erasmus+ Project to develop a standarised European qualification for Job Coaches for Persons with disabilities. Team members are from Germany, France, Poland, Netherlands and the UK. Most teams represent large scale employment support agencies.

 

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4th CBA/QUART conference a great success

Multidisciplinary work in autism was the topic of the 4th CBA/QUART conference held at the Whitla Hall, QUB on 6 Nov 2015. The conference addressed the question: How can behaviour analysis help?  This all-day conference set local experience and expertise into international context. International keynote speakers demonstrated how behaviour analysis can be utilised to enhance multidisciplinary work in Autism for a range of different professions, including clinical psychology, speech and language therapy, nursing, teaching, and psychiatry. Keynote Speakers were

Professor Dr med. Hanns Rüdiger Röttgers, Psychiatrist; Uni. of Appl. Science, Germany;
Dr Javier Virues-Ortega, Clinical Psychologist, BCBA-D ; Auckland University, New Zealand;  
Patrick McCormack, School’s principal/parent of child with autism.
Bethan Mair Williams, Speech and Language Therapist BCBA;
Liam McDermot, Nurse, Western Health and Social care Trust, Northern Ireland.

BACB Continued Education Units were offered free of charge.

Videos of keynote addresses are soon to be available here on the Centre for Behaviour Analysis video and resources page.

Watch the BBC1 Breakfast news https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvNGDjDKsB4

 

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The first Autism Therapy and Rehabilitation conference was held in Beijing, China in Sept 2015

The first Autism Therapy and Rehabilitation conference was held in Beijing, China in Sept 2015. The conference was organised by parents after they met our PhD student Yini Liao when she was in Beijing to collect data for her PhD. The parents wanted to hear more about ABA and invited Prof Prof Karola Dillenburger from CBA and other speakers to a packed conference hall of over 250 delegates. Meetings were also held with local Universities to discuss training in ABA and autism

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Stars Hope School in Beijing, China is an ABA-based school for children with autism

Stars Hope School in Beijing, China is an ABA-based school for children with autism. It caters for approx 60 children, who are taught a primary school curriculum. Each child is accompanied for all lessons by a caregiver, often the parent or grandparent who is the child’s individual therapist while the teacher teaches the whole class (of 3-8 children). Parent/caregiver training is carried out on a weekly basis. Stars Hope was one of the research sites for PhD student Yini Liao, who is conducting a comparative study of early intensive behaviour analytic intervention between China and the UK.

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In China, near Mt Fuji, Prof Karola Dillenburger and a group of delegates from ABAI, BACB, and MultiABA met with the Mayor of Izu City

In China, near Mt Fuji, Prof Karola Dillenburger and a group of delegates from ABAI, BACB, and MultiABA met with the Mayor of Izu City, honorable Kikuchi, who is very enthusiastic about collaborating with international organizations such as multiABA to facilitate behavior analytic services and caregiver training for the much needed populations, young and old. Mayor Kikuch spoke fluent German with two of our BCBA-Ds! He was particularly interested to hear about behavioural gerontology. The meeting was followed by a press conference. (picture of one of two newspaper articles in Japanese Newspaper)

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ABA and autism workshops in Slovakia and Czech Republic

Prof Karola Dillenburger delivered ABA workshops in Bratislava, Slovakia and Brno, Czech Republic, attend by at total of over 600 parents, professionals and government representatives who wanted to hear about the evidence for Applied Behaviour Analysis(ABA) based interventions to support individuals and families with autism.  Also discussed were the need for University based internationally accredited training and collaborations were developed further BACB approved University training in ABA in both countries and to have student and staff exchanges with Slovakia and Czech Republic Universities.

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Dr Katerina Dounavi visited Futuroschool in Paris (Vaincre L’Autisme)

Dr Katerina Dounavi visited Futuroschool in Paris (Vaincre L’Autisme) to provide training and supervision to a group of new professionals joining the team as well as to oversee children’s programming and speak with families. Futuroschool in Paris is an ABA-based centre that has pioneered education for children, teenagers and adults with ASD in France.

 

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Prof Karel Pančocha Vice-dean for Strategy and International Relations and Head of Institute of Special Education at Masaryk University in Brno, Czeck Republic visits Centre for Behaviour Analysis

Prof Karel Pancocha Vice-dean for Strategy and International Relations and Head of Institute of Special Education at Masaryk University in Brno, Czeck Republic was visiting the Centre for Behaviour Analysis from 12-16 Oct 2015 to discuss collaborations in setting up ABA training and joint research at Masaryk University.  He delivered a very informative workshop about autism in the Czech Republic and discussed parallels and differences in service delivery between Czech Republic and Northern Ireland. The workshop was attended by approx 30 students from the MScASD and the MScABA, professionals from early years, SENCOs and SureStart, and parents of sons/daughters with autism.

 

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The Use of Video Self-Modeling Intervention to Toilet Train Children With Autism

A discussion on the symposium entitled “The Use of Video Self-Modeling Intervention to Toilet Train Children With Autism” was offered by Prof Karola Dillenburger at the 8th International Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International that took place in Kyoto, Japan between the 27-29 September 2015.

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Combinations of Prompt and Target Response Modalities and Their Impact on Emergent Relations and Teaching Efficiency

A poster entitled “Combinations of Prompt and Target Response Modalities and Their Impact on Emergent Relations and Teaching Efficiency” was presented by Dr Katerina Dounavi, Prof Mickey Keenan and Prof Karola Dillenburger at the 8th International Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International that took place in Kyoto, Japan between the 27-29 September 2015.

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Paper by Prof Dillenburger:Why reinvent the wheel? A behaviour analyst's reflections on pedagogy for inclusion for students with intellectual and developmental disability

(Abstract) The number of children identified as having intellectual or developmental disability is rising worldwide and their education has been found wanting. It has been said that “they simply need better teaching.” At the same time, there is an increasing evidence base that pedagogy that is based on the discipline of behaviour analysis offers the best prospect for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. On the basis of this evidence, it is proposed that behaviour analysis should be applied more broadly to improve teaching for all children with intellectual or developmental disability.

Free download for first 50 copies here

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Brno, Czech Republic

Professor Karola Dillenburger has been invited to participate in the first ABA and Autism workshop for parents and professionals in October 2015. The workshop is organised by The Institute for Research in Inclusive Education, Faculty of Education, Masaryk University, Brne, in collaboration with Platform Hope for Autism. Title of the workshop: Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) - principles and possibilities for individuals with autism. Other speakers include the Czech Ministry of Education (TBC) and Ministry of Health (TBC); Professor Mickey Keenan (BCBA-D) Ulster University and Zuzana Mastenova (BCBA) from Bratislava, Slovakia

Click here for link to the programme and here for website event details

 

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1st Summer School organised by EABA in beautiful Rethymno, Crete.

Lecture delivered by Dr Katerina Dounavi on Verbal Behaviour. An excellent group of highly motivated and knowledgeable students attended the classes!

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Prof. Karola Dillenburger contributed to a brief video on the benefits of writing an article for The Conversation

Prof. Karola Dillenburger contributed to a brief video on the benefits of writing an article for The Conversation. The video was created by QUB Communications and External Affairs. Prof Dillenburger's recent article  "Why early diagnosis of autism is a good thing" was shared about 300 times on Facebook, Twitter and linkedin, received over 40 comments, and was picked up by BBC News Northern Ireland link to BBC news article here
Link to the  QUB The conversation site: The Mediator link

 

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Yini Liao, Doctoral student at CBA had her oral presentation at the All-Ireland Conference for Doctoral Researchers

Yini Liao, Doctoral student at CBA had her oral presentation at the All-Ireland Conference for Doctoral Researchers in Education 2015 at University College Dublin on 5 June, 2015. The theme of the conference was 'SYNERGIES, EXPLORATIONS AND CONTESTATIONS IN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH: PERSPECTIVES FROM DOCTORAL RESEARCH ON EDUCATION IN IRELAND.' For more about this conference, please click here

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Visiting scholar - Aviva Cohen

I am a Marie Curie ASSISTID post-doctoral fellow. My research is supported by the charity RESPECT under the supervision of Professor Dillenburger, Queen’s University, and Professor Goodman, University College Dublin.

I am working to help ageing parents plan the future care of their sons and daughters with intellectual difficulty or cognitive challenges. Fewer than a third of carers make effective future plans. As a consequence, vulnerable adults often face the trauma of leaving home for the first time after a parent is no longer able to care for them. This also puts pressure on health care services who find it difficult to provide appropriate accommodation at short notice.  

To address this, I am creating two practical tools. Using video modelling technology, we will develop an app to enable parents to record short videos of everyday activities. New carers can view these videos and understand (and model on) how the person with disabilities likes to eat, dress or meet people. I will also design a multimedia training course. It will educate, inform and support ageing carers in planning the future for and, where possible, with their loved ones. Topics include: finding accommodation, managing finances and creating legal security. In addition, parents will learn how to plan for their own future.

My work will be informed by Applied Behaviour Analysis and as part of my ASSISTID fellowship I will undertake the online MScABA at the Centre of Behaviour Analysis at the School of Education, Queen’s University.  (www.assistid.eu)

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