The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD), housed within the School of Public Health at Georgia State University (GSU), co-hosted the 11th-annual Georgia Association for Positive Behavior Support (GAPBS) conference on December 5-6, 2018 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The 2018 GAPBS conference had over 1,500 attendees, representing over 103 Georgia school districts. GAPBS is a network state under the national Association for Positive Behavior Support (www.apbs.org). According to the Association for Positive Behavior Support, positive behavior support is defined as “a set of research-based strategies used to increase quality of life and decrease problem behavior by teaching new skills and making changes in a person’s environment”.
The conference theme was “Connecting School, Community and Home through Positive Behavior Support”, and was the first year where there was a mental-health focus. Presentations explored the intersection of mental health and positive behavioral intervention and support (PBIS).
Dr. Daniel Crimmins, Director of CLD, is one of the co-founders of the GAPBS Network. GAPBS began hosting its annual conferences at GSU shortly after the network formed. CLD has been honored to be the backbone organization for GAPBS and has had primary responsibility for conference coordination for over five years. CLD defines the strength of GAPBS as the partnerships that have been developed among staff at state, local, and academic institutions who are committed to statewide implementation of positive behavior support. This year, four faculty and staff from CLD gave presentations at the GAPBS conference. They were joined by keynote speakers: Dr. Heather George (University of South Florida); Kevin Hines (mental health activist); and Dr. Laura Riffel (founder of Behavior Doctor Seminars).
A committee of Georgia stakeholders, who are invested in the use and understanding of PBIS, from the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL), Georgia Southern University, Georgia College and Georgia State University, and local school districts, convene monthly to plan the conference. Attendees shared PBIS ideas, experiences, successes and challenges with each other at the conference.
If you would like to learn more about Georgia’s work in the area of PBIS or the GAPBS conference, please reach out to [email protected].