The grant will help fund BAYADA’s RBT Academy, which offers a fast-track career path for those who have a passion for helping people with autism unlock their full potential

Philadelphia, PA, April 5, 2023 Acceptance is a universal human desire, regardless of our abilities or differences. In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, BAYADA is excited to announce a grant from The Catalyze Challenge to help recruit and train more Registered Behavior Technicians to provide ABA therapy services for children and young adults with autism. The Catalyze Challenge, which supports innovations in career-connected learning that meaningfully bridge education and career, selected BAYADA as an “Accelerate Winner” for post-high school pathways. That means more people on the autism spectrum who seek inclusion, connections, and acceptance can receive the services they need to live life as fully as possible.

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. At BAYADA, we provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) to treat children and young adults with autism and related learning or social disorders, with the goal of reducing challenging behaviors and increasing functional skills for maximum independence in school, at home, in our specially designed centers, and in their community.

At various locations in Hawai’i and in Southern New Jersey, BAYADA Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBA®) create customized therapy plans and supervise and support Registered Behavior Technicians® (RBT®s) who provide one-to-one therapy. The RBTs use clearly defined therapeutic principles to build connections, modify negative behaviors, and teach social skills to their clients. Success is sometimes measured in the smallest steps, but with the biggest feeling of reward for making a lasting positive impact on a client’s quality of life.

Bridging the gap, creating meaningful careers with the RBT Academy

While ABA Therapy is the gold standard for helping those with autism achieve their goals, the need for services far outpaces the number of people who can provide it.

“The shortage of RBTs is not unique to BAYADA—it has been recognized as an urgent priority by the Catalyze Challenge—and we’re so grateful for their support,” says BAYADA Behavioral Health Practice President Donna Heatherly. “The grant will help shift a stronger focus to recruiting RBTs and creating awareness to the field through our RBT Academy so BAYADA can help bridge the gap in care for individuals with autism and other intellectual disabilities who benefit from ABA Therapy.”

The goal of the BAYADA RBT Academy is to fully prepare the candidate to pass the certification test and to feel confident in applying the ABA Therapy principles to help their clients. The training program is structured with comprehensive learning and experience modules so most RBTs can begin their new career in weeks instead of months or years. Continued weekly mentorship and supervision by BCBAs help set the RBTs up for long-term success.

“I didn’t have any schooling in this field but, the RBT Academy fully prepared me for this role,” says BAYADA Registered Behavior Technician Chris D. “For me it’s so rewarding, even if I can’t see the change in that moment, I know I’m making a difference.”

BAYADA is looking to recruit and hire 150 new RBTs to work with clients in their Pennsauken, NJ Center and throughout the surrounding counties, as well as in multiple locations in Hawai’i. The RBT Academy welcomes new candidates with no experience in the field but with the desire to make a difference in the life of someone with autism. Those with an abundance of patience, resilience, and a positive attitude to envision how to make the seemingly impossible possible, can find long-term success and a deep sense of fulfillment in this role. For many people looking to start a career or switch to one that is more rewarding, this field is largely unknown, yet offers an opportunity for truly meaningful work and growth.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED, to be willing to complete up to 80 hours of training, an in-person competency exam, and a written exam.

Learn more about how rewarding an RBT career can be: “Why be an RBT?”

For information on the RBT Academy:

For services:



BAYADA Home Health Care was founded by J. Mark Baiada in 1975 and provides nursing, rehabilitative, therapeutic, hospice, and assistive care services to children, adults, and seniors in the comfort of their homes. Headquartered in the Greater Philadelphia suburbs of New Jersey, BAYADA is a leading nonprofit home health care provider—with hundreds of locations in the US, as well as Germany, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Korea—and the only national provider that offers a full range of home-based specialty care services.


About Catalyze Challenge

The Catalyze Challenge supports innovations in career-connected learning that meaningfully bridge education and career. Catalyze is a grant program that funds, learns from, and shares bold ideas that rethink the connections among K-12, higher education, and career, offering grants to design, pilot, and expand learning models that support young people in accessing economic opportunity and lifelong success. Learn more at

Contact: Dory Anderson 

Domus, Inc.

About the Author

Founded in 1975 by Founder and Chairman Mark Baiada, BAYADA has become a trusted leader in providing a full range of clinical care and support services at home for children and adults of all ages. BAYADA remains true to Mark’s commitment to purpose by finding, training, and supporting employees who take pride and find joy in healing and helping.

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