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UNB hosts inaugural Atlantic Provinces Autism Conference

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Nov 7, 2019

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick College of Extended Learning is hosting the Atlantic Provinces Autism Conference (APAC) on Nov. 7 and 8, the first event of its magnitude ever held in the region.

APAC 2019: Breaking Barriers, Building Understanding is a sold-out conference that will facilitate two days of informative, thought-provoking sessions and keynote addresses by experts in the field of assessment, treatment, and support of individuals on the autism spectrum.

“There is a critical need for more dialogue amongst families, practitioners, researchers, government representatives, and individuals on the spectrum. These groups need to work together to find practical, effective solutions to the challenges they face daily,” says Dr. Michael Palmer, instructor in the UNB department of psychology.

Dr. Palmer came to UNB from the University of Michigan and was instrumental in developing the conference along with the Behavioural Intervention and Autism portfolio team at UNB CEL.

“Since I’ve arrived in Atlantic Canada, I’ve found that people are doing interesting and innovative things, but it seems like everyone is working in silos,” says Dr. Palmer. "APAC is an opportunity to bring everyone together to share what they are doing, to share research and evidence-based practices. The goal is to learn from and inspire one another and discuss how we can improve access to all the great things we are doing in the region.”

APAC highlights UNB CEL’s commitment to making a difference in behavioural intervention training. The conference include renowned keynote speakers covering a range of topics from parental challenges, evidence-based interventions, to empowering students with disabilities, and more.

UNB CEL has taken a leadership position in behavioural intervention and autism support training in the Atlantic region. The college began providing autism support training in 2004 with the launch of the award-winning Autism Intervention Training Program, which is delivered in partnership with CCNB at specific locations in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and France.

“Since 2004, we have grown our programming to include several programs to address the training needs of those who work with, love, and support individuals with behavioural disorders,” says Nicole Whyte, director of the portfolio.

Experts in the field are sought out to create and deliver programs to meet the unique needs of the community.

“Our training programs use only evidence-based practices, such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), which has been proven to be effective for individuals on the Autism Spectrum,” says Whyte.

UNB CEL programs include the ABA Certificate, an academic program that prepares participants for a career as an assistant behaviour analyst. The online series, ABA Training for Families and Caregivers, provides a toolkit of skills to address the everyday needs of those on the spectrum.

For more information on Behavioural Intervention and Autism programming at UNB CEL, visit unb.ca/intervention.

Media contact: Natasha Ashfield