Each year since 2015, the Hawai'i Association for Behavior Analysis has recognized an exemplary community member (e.g. self-advocate, parent, legislator, or community leader) whose actions and advocacy have lead to an increase of awareness, acceptance, and access to applied behavior analysis services here in Hawaiʻi. This award is intended to recognize individuals who exemplify HABA’s mission, while maintaining a sincere and dedicated interest to consumer protection. Nominations come from HABA Board Members and are voted upon by the members of the Board. Local behavior analysts are not eligible for consideration.
Luke Pinnow of "Luke's Law" received a Lifetime Achievement Award for dedicating his entire childhood, the first 18 years of his life, to advocating for behavior analytic services for our keiki in Hawaiʻi. When our insurance law, "Luke's Law" went into effect in 2016, Luke did not quality, because the age cap was set at 14 and Luke has just turned 15 years old. Luckily, the age-cap is no longer enforced. Eventually, Luke was able to begin accessing ABA services through his family's insurance, and although he was never able to get ABA services reflected on his IEP, he says he knows his efforts have helped many other keiki who follow.
Dr. Higa was a recipient of the 2018 Community Contribution award from the Hawaiʻi Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA). Mitzie received this honor for her advocacy work on behalf of Hawaiʻi's keiki and teachers.
Senator Michelle Kidani was an exemplary local legislator that fought hard to ensure protections for our keiki. Senator Michelle Kidani received the 2018 Community Contribution Award from the Hawaiʻi Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA) for her commitment to our keiki's access to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services in the HIDOE.
Dr. Rob Holdsambeck serves as the Executive Director for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS). In this capacity, Dr. Holdsambeck has supported the Hawai'i Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA) by partnering with us to host Keynote Speakers at our annual events. Over the years the Cambridge Center has offered HABA members discounts on job postings and bookstore sales, as well as discounted conference registrations and access to recorded talks, which are eligible for continuing education credits.
Louis Erteschik is the Executive Director of the Hawai'i Disability Rights Center. Lou is an active advocate for the autism community who has testified numerous times in support of behavior analysis, insurance coverage, Medicaid reimbursement, and school-day access to ABA from the HIDOE. Lou has been involved in discussions at the Capitol and with numerous stakeholders for many years. Our communities are grateful and are proud to celebrate Mr. Erteschik as the 2016 recipient of HABA's Community Contribution award.
Representative Belatti was the true champion of "Luke's Law", which was Hawaii's Autism Insurance Reform. Representative Belatti spent many hours educating herself and then others of the power and effectiveness of applied behavior analysis. Not only is ABA an effective science, it is the right thing to do, and it is considered the Gold Standard of Autism Treatment. In 2015, Representative Belatti also supported Licensure for Behavior Analysts (LBA), which increased protections for behavioral health consumers, not only those diagnosed with autism.
Geri Pinnow is a mother, a wife, a teacher, friend, advocate, and hero to many in the autism and behavior analytic communities. For numerous years, Geri and her son, Luke visited the Hawai'i State Capitol, meeting with legislators and testifying on behalf the need for access to applied behavior analysis (ABA) services. When Autism Insurance reform passed, it was dubbed, "Luke's Law", in Luke's honor, even though the law placed a cap on services at age 14, and Luke had recently celebrated his 15th birthday.