Designing Instruction that Honors Client Assent Withdrawal, Promotes Self-Advocacy, and Minimizes Harm: A 4hr workshop in 2 parts


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General Information

Title: Designing Instruction that Honors Client Assent Withdrawal, Promotes Self-Advocacy, and Minimizes Harm 

Presented By: Worner Leland, MS, BCBA, LBA and August Stockwell, PhD, BCBA-D, Upswing Advocates

LIVE Webinar Dates:

Part 1-Thursday, July 23, 2020

Part 2- Thursday, July 30, 2020

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm eastern (New York)

Recording Availability: 

Part 1- Closes on 8/2/2020

Part 2- Closes on 8/9/2020   

Recordings close at 11:59 pm eastern (New York)


Unpublished Justice Department data suggest that individuals with intellectual and learning disabilities are at least seven times more likely to experience sexual assault than their neurotypical peers, and that 86% of these assaults are committed by a non-stranger (Shapiro, Anderson, Benincasa, & Van Woerkom, 2018). Because of this, behavior analysts and other helping professionals have a crucial role in supporting client development of self-advocacy skills, which involve giving and removing of assent. We also have a responsibility to help create environments in which client autonomy and preferences are respected. This training reviews the BACB ethical codes relevant to client autonomy and assent and outlines ways to address these skills from an instructional design perspective. Empirically supported literature and data will be presented where applicable and available, and questions and discussion will be welcomed throughout the training. Practice activities will be provided to encourage application of the content, presenters will facilitate a discussion of several clinical scenarios, and attendees will have the opportunity to explore how these strategies can best be implemented with the client populations they serve.

Target Audience: Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us.

Learning Objectives

  • Select examples of both vocal and non-vocal responses indicating assent and removal of assent.
  • Identify the ways in which training over-compliance can be harmful for clients.
  • Select the key elements of an assent withdrawal instructional program.
  • Given a scenario, select a response in line with BACB ethical codes and promotes client autonomy and choice.

Presenter Bio and Disclosure Statement

August Stockwell, PhD, BCBA-D is the Executive Director at Upswing Advocates: a nonprofit organization that provides education and research opportunities that focus on the LGBTQIA community. Over the past 10 years, August’s research has focused on topics including polyamory, communication in relationships, gender, sexual behavior, mindfulness, and effective skill-building strategies. They have a vision of using precise measurement and an individualized approach to connect people to affirming, accessible interventions that create meaningful change. August is also the Associate Director of Research in the Applied Behavior Analysis Department at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Worner Leland, MS, BCBA is an Researcher and Educator at Upswing Advocates and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Empowered: A Center for Sexuality. For the past several years, Worner has also served as a sex educator with a focus on expanding affirming sexual education, consent education, and education on sexuality and data collection. Their research has focused on intimacy-related behaviors in the queer community, and they value centering affirmation of all identities and relationship styles in intimacy-related research. Worner is also the President of the Association for Behavior Analysis International Sexual Behavior Research and Practice Special Interest Group.


Upswing Advocates does not receive royalties for any of the materials or companies discussed during this event. All speaker fees are sent directly to and support Upswing Advocates: a nonprofit organization that provides sliding scale coaching, groups, trainings, and research opportunities that focus on the LGBTQIA community.


10:00 am: Introduction
10:05 am: Webinar begins
11:45 am: Q&A opportunity
12:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms (At the end of Part 2)

Credit Hour Information

Behavior Analysts earn 4 ethics CEUs (Learning)*

Must pass post-test with 80% or above and submit all attendance codes

  • CEs not available for other professions

*CE for viewing Live or Recording

For ABAC’s continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page