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Friday 21 October 2016
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Positive Behaviour Support - the human rights perspective

The 2015 BILD International PBS Research and Practice Conference

6, 7 and 8 May, Dublin

2015 pbs conf audience
Above, delegates in Dublin taking part in an entertaining warm up session based around testing their observation skills.

BILD’s International PBS Research and Practice Conference is the leading PBS event in the UK calendar – the place where the positive behaviour support community gathers. This year’s conference, was held in Dublin between 6-8 May, and was bigger and better than ever.

Academics and PBS practitioners, those commissioning support and those providing support, came together at this conference to hear the latest developments in PBS research and evidence-based practice from an outstanding line up of keynote speakers, with leading international speakers contributing global perspectives. 

See an overview of the conference in the BILD members' newsletter >

pbs conf workshop

The conference workshops facilitated the exchange of experiences and discussion around good practice, as advanced PBS practitioners present their work, and explore new PBS approaches and tools. Pictured left. Simon Jones of Care UK runs a workshop, 'The power of PBS'.

There were also lots of opportunities for delegates and facilitators to network, collaborate and reflect on their personal and organisational practice.

sam karim pbs conference

Human rights perspectives - and how best to influence everyday practice at the point of support?    

The underlying theme of the sixth BILD PBS International Research and Practice Conference was human rights perspectives on the use of restrictive practices, and how these should influence local PBS practice.

The aim of the conference was to ensure we support every individual in person centred ways and that the organisations and individuals providing that support learn skills and adopt approaches that reduce reliance on restrictive practices within a human rights framework.

Above, Sam Karim of King's Chambers, Manchester, spoke at the pre-conference symposium on 'A human rights perspective on reducing restrictive practices in intellectual disability and autism'. 

The BILD PBS Leadership Awards

shelly brady at pbs conference

A highlight of the Conference dinner was the presentation of the BILD PBS Leadership Awards, created by BILD to recognize and celebrate good practice in positive behaviour support.

Above, Shelly Brady of the Rehab Group winner of the Award for Outstanding Practice in PBS, gave the Leadership Award winner's address to Conference. 

Shelly won the award for the successful development of the National Learning Network for young people with autism post-16, the first of it's kind in the West of Ireland in which positive behaviour support approaches contributed significantly to the success of the project.

See what happened during the conference on Twitter by looking at this event's Storify >

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The Centre for the Advancement of PBS

CAPBS logo

BILD launched it's new Centre for the Advancement of PBS during the Dublin conference. 

The Centre will work to develop Positive Behaviour Support and implement PBS approaches in support for people who will benefit. 

Find out more >

The Programme:

The Pre-Conference Research Symposium, 2pm, Wednesday 6 May 

Human rights approaches to restrictive practices - international perspective and local practice

Chaired by Sharon Paley

Garry LaVigne

Gary LaVigna

Institute for Applied Behaviour Analysis, Los Angeles, USA

Download Gary LaVigna's Pre Conference Symposium presentation >

Karen Nankervis
Prof Karen Nankervis

Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Queensland, Australia

Download Karen Nankervis' Pre Conference Symposium presentation >

Sam Karim
Sam Karim

King's Chambers, Manchester, England

Download Sam Karim's Pre Conference Symposium presentation >

Andy Lees
Andy Lees

St Anne's Community Services, England

Download Andy Lees' Pre Conference Symposium >

Day 1, Thursday 7 May 


Fintan Sheerin

Breaking free from oppression: supporting people with intellectual disability in a positive way

Dr Fintan Sheerin, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Download Fintan Sheerin's presentation >

Karen Nankervis
Use of positive behaviour support approaches and protection of human rights; lessons from a legislative jurisdiction

Professor Karen Nankervis
, Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Queensland, Australia

Download Karen Nankervis' presentation >

Dr J Carl Hughes
You can take positive behaviour support out of the science but you can't take the science out of behaviour support

Carl Hughes
, Bangor University, Wales

Download Carl Hughes' presentation >

Hazel Powel

Developing staff skills for delivering positive behaviour support

Hazel Powell and Linda Hume, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

Download Hazel Powell and Linda Hume's presentation >

Andy McDonnell
A wellbeing approach to behaviours of concern

Andy McDonnell,
 Studio III, England

Download Andy McDonnell's presentation >


  1. Positive behaviour support and autism - an important relationship
    Sue Hatton and Rebecca Gratton, Embrace, England

  2. A review of behaviour practitioners in post (UK and Ireland)
    Gillian Martin, St John of God Hospitaller Ministries, Ireland

  3. The power of positive behaviour support
    Simon R Jones,
    Care UK, England        

  4. Implementing trauma informed approaches - lessons learnt from integrating positive behaviour support and trauma informed care
    Brodie Paterson,
     Calm Training, Scotland

  5. Auditing and reducing restrictive practice in social care setting for people with autism spectrum conditions and intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour - a pilot project
    Paul Dickinson,
    AALPS North, England

  6. Behaviour clinics; promoting positive behaviour support for young people
    Stephanie Carr and Stephanie Fenwick,
    Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust, England

Day 2, Friday 8 May

Garry LaVigne
Destroying the Alignment Fallacy (part 1)

Gary LaVigna, Institute for Applied Behaviour Analysis, Los Angeles, USA

See below for more details about this presentation.

Download Gary LaVigna's presentation The Alignment Fallacy Part 1 >

Umesh Sharma
Supporting and empowering parents of children with autism through delivery of positive behaviour supports 

Professor Umesh Sharma,
 Monash University, Australia

Randell L De Pry
Achieving systemic change in school settings for children with additional needs, intellectual disability and/or autism

Professor Randall De Pry, Portland State University, USA

Download Randall De Pry's presentation >

Garry LaVigne

Destroying the Alignment Fallacy (part 2)

Gary LaVigna, Institute for Applied Behaviour Analysis, Los Angeles, USA

See below for more details about this presentation.

Download Gary LaVigna's presentation The Alignment Fallacy Part 2 >


  1. Support strategies for people who display sexualised behaviours that challenge others: the redefinition of sexualised behaviours 
    Kirsty Bishop,
     Burgess Autistic Trust, England

  2. How can our learning from a wellbeing model influence and inform our practice approaches across Scottish Autism
    David Harkins, Scottish Autism, Scotland

  3. Collaboration, sharing practice through international research and practice
    George Steele,
     Calm Training, Scotland

  4. Empowering traumatised children through positive behavioural interventions and support - a road map to resiliency 
    Elias Moukannas,
     Freelance Consultant, Canada

  5. Quality of life - what does it mean and how can it be measured
    Ellie Jones,
    Wessex Deanery NHS, England

  6. 'The fight' - the complexities and the challenges of finding your voice in intellectual disability
    Aoife Prendergast,
    Department of Humanities, Ireland

Gary Lavigna's 'Destroying the Alignment Fallacy' - an explanation

"Many of the published guidelines and policies aimed at reducing restrictive practices emphasize that precursor and less severe problems should be addressed with non-restrictive procedures before behaviours escalate to the point where restrictive procedures are necessary as a "last resort", under "duty of care" responsibilities to prevent harm.  

The implication is that the highly severe behaviours require restrictive measures to keep people safe and we should intervene before this is necessary. That is, the need for restrictive practices is aligned with the severity of the behaviour. The greater the severity the greater the need for restrictive measures. This is a fallacy. 

I presented evidence that demonstrates that even the most severe behaviors can be resolved, that is, brought under rapid, safe control, without resorting to restrictive methods, hence destroying the "alignment fallacy." "


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This event has been CPD Certified

Attendance will allow you to gain CPD points towards your Continuous Professional Development requirements.


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