Frequently Asked Questions

ANNUAL MEETING

MEMBERSHIP

PUBLIC INFORMATION, questions 50-54
 

Annual Meeting Information
Education

1.

Q:

How many hours of continuing education (CE) will be offered at the meeting this year?

 

A:

There will be over 300 hours of CE offered.

2.

Q:

How many hours can I earn at the meeting?

 

A:

It is possible to earn 33 hours at the 2017 meeting.

3.

Q:

How will you track my continuing education (CE) at the meeting?

 

A:

Your badge will be scanned going into each session.

For all lectures, workshops, symposia and special sessions (fixed credit)
  • Anyone entering after the 10 minute grade period will NOT receive a credit form for their barcode. You may enter the room for personal enrichment but no credit will be awarded.
  • Anyone leaving before the course is over and attempts to turn in the form will be informed that credit will not be given. 

For papers and posters (variable credit) 

Your badge will be scanned going both in and out of each session. Your total time will be calculated based on entry and exit times.

Reporting of attendance to state boards, if required, is the individual’s responsibility unless state law or regulations indicate otherwise.

5.

Q:

I need to get a copy of my CE certificate from a previous meeting, how do I go about doing so?

 

A:

You can log-in and select "CE Certificates" from the drop-down menu above (hover over My Account). You may also email Kayla Ritten at KaylaR@aaoptom.org and she will be happy to help you.

6.

Q:

Can you tell me the size of the boards for the poster session of the meeting?

 

A:

The poster size should not exceed 4 feet (height) x 4 feet (width). PLEASE NOTE: there will be two posters being presented side by side on each poster board.

7. 

Q:  How do I sign up for corporate breakfasts or lunches?
 

A:

Product Information breakfasts will be offered during the meeting, but no corporate lunches. The breakfasts are first-come, first-served, and require no advance registration.

8. 

Q:  Where can I find citation information for Academy meeting paper and poster abstracts?
 

A:

Please visit our citation information page.

[to top]
 
Exhibits
 

9.

Q:

I would like to exhibit at your meeting. Who should I contact?

 

A:

Please visit the Academy Exhibits page where you will find an exhibitor’s prospectus and application form, as well as an updated floor plan of the convention center. If you have any further questions, please contact our Exhibits Manager, Betty Taylor. She can be reached by e-mail at bettyt@aaoptom.org or by telephone at 321-319-4861.

10.

Q:

What does it cost to exhibit at your meeting?

 

A:

Please visit the Academy Exhibits page for more information.

11.

Q:

Are there still booths left?

 

A:

Yes, however the exhibit floor is selling out quickly. Don't miss the opportunity to exhibit!

Academy 2017 Chicago promises to be the best meeting ever! The exhibition will include three days of products, services, technology and educational resources related to eye care.

Over 6,000 leaders in optometry and vision science are drawn to our annual meeting to discuss the latest research and scientific findings that support the clinical practice in our profession.

As an exhibitor, you are a vital component of the meeting, and the Academy is committed to providing your organization an exciting forum to present your products and services.

If you would like to view our floor plan, please visit Academy Exhibits and scroll down to Exhibit Hall Floor Plan to launch a PDF file of the Exhibit Hall. For Exhibit Hall questions, please contact our Exhibits Manager, Betty Taylor. She can be reached by e-mail at bettyt@aaoptom.org or by telephone 321-319-4861.

12.

Q:

How many companies exhibited last year?

 

A:

More than 200 different companies.

[to top]
 
General Information 
 

13.

Q:

Who is responsible for your meeting site selections?

 

A:

Tradeshow Logic

14.

Q:

Do you have a brochure that lists the courses offered at the meeting that you can send to me?

 

A:

For hard copy requests of the Academy 2017 Chicago Program Preview (a booklet containing an overview of all aspects of the meeting in a condensed form, along with meeting registration and lodging information), please e-mail your name and address to KaylaR@aaoptom.org.

15.

Q:

Where is your meeting being held?

 

A:

This year’s meeting will be held from October 11-14,2017 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

16.

Q:

Do you have to be a member to attend the AAO meeting?

 

A:

No, our meeting is open to both members and non-members who are optometrists, ophthalmologists, students, vision scientists and others who are interested in the fields of optometry and vision science.

17.

Q:

How many people do you expect to attend your meeting?

 

A:

We expect around 7,000 attendees.

18.

Q:

How many people attended the meeting last year?

 

A:

At Academy 2016 Anaheim, we had over 7,600 attendees and nearly 300 CE hours.

19.

Q:

How can I reserve a meeting room at your meeting in Chicago?

 

A:

Please email Megan Scherman at mscherman@tradeshowlogic.com for more information.

[to top]
 
Registration
 

20.

Q:

How much does it cost to attend your meeting?

 

A:

For a list of current registration rates, visit the registration webpage.

21.

Q:

What is the price if you pay after Early Bird Registration Deadline?

 

A:

 Prices increase by $50 in each category.  

22.

Q:

I live outside the U.S. and want to attend your annual meeting. Can I obtain a "letter of invitation" to support my documents to apply for visa to the U.S.?

 

A:

Please forward your complete contact information to Sarah Kidd at SarahK@aaoptom.org or call 321-319-4860.

23.

Q:

How do I register for your meeting?

 

A:

Registration will open on April 24, 2017.

24.

Q:

This is my first time attending your meeting, how does the registration work? Do I register per class or per day?

 

A:

Attendees at Academy meetings register for the entire meeting, although single day registrations are also available. Attendees do not sign up for classes ahead of time (except for workshops and leadership courses); most of the classes are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis.

25.

Q:

I am bringing a guest with me to the meeting, should I obtain a guest pass, so that person can attend a few lectures with me?

 

A:

The seating at our education sessions is limited; and primarily it has been reserved for anticipated attendees needing CE. For this reason, the Academy is unable to accommodate individuals who may want to observe our CE courses. However, we would like to invite you to register for a guest pass , so that your guest can participate in other Academy activities such as our Exhibit Hall, Awards Program and Alumni Receptions. The cost of the guest pass is $100 and $150 onsite.

26.

Q:

How do I go about canceling my registration for the meeting?

 

 

 

 

27.

A:

 

 

 

Q:

 Requests for meeting refunds, which include registration fees, workshops, leadership courses, and banquet tickets, must be received in writing before August 23, at which time a full refund less $25 will be administered.  Written requests received on or after August 23 and not later than September 21 will be assessed an administrative charge of 25% of the total fees.  No refunds will be given to requests received after September 22.

I am a current resident, but I am also a Candidate for Fellowship. Can I register for the annual meeting at the student/resident rate?

Yes. Please contact the Membership Department at 321-319-4862 after establishing a new registration account in order to make these arrangements.

[to top]
 
Travel & Lodging
 

28.

Q:

What is the host hotel for this year’s annual meeting?

 

A:

The headquarters hotel will be the Palmer House Hilton.

29.

Q:

What are the highlights of these hotels?

 

A:

Visit the housing page for more information.

30.

Q:

How do I make hotel reservations?

 

A:

Once you have registered for the meeting, a link will be provided for you to reserve your hotel room.

31.

Q:

How do I cancel or change my hotel reservation?

 

A:

You need to do it through the Passkey system. 

32. Q: I called the hotel and was told they’re sold out. Why?
  A: Because hotel reservations for our meeting are only handled through the Passkey system.
[to top]
 
Membership Information
 
Annual Dues
 

33.

Q:

How can I find out if I paid my dues or not?

 

A:

Please contact the Academy Membership Office by e-mail at membership@aaoptom.org or contact the Academy's office by phone at 321-319-4860.

34.

Q:

Can I check and see if my annual dues payment was received?

 

A:

Please check your canceled check or credit card statement. If your check was paid by your bank, or your credit card was charged, then we received your payment. If you need further assistance, feel free to send your inquiry by e-mail to our Academy Membershp Office at membership@aaoptom.org or call the Academy’s office at 321-319-4860.

35.

Q:

Can you send me a receipt for my dues payment?

 

A:

Yes, please send your request by e-mail to our General Delivery Mailbox aaoptom@aaoptom.org or call the Academy’s office at 321-319-4860. If you paid by credit card online, you should have been emailed an automatic receipt.

36.

Q:

Can I pay my dues over the phone with a credit card?

 

A:

Yes, the Academy is able to accept credit card dues payments over the telephone. Please call 321-319-4860 and the Academy’s receptionist can assist you.

37.

Q:

Do you have a membership category for retired Fellows?

 

A:

The Academy does not have a general category for retired optometrists who are no longer in practice. However, the following two options are available:

Option 1 – Emeritus Status
In accordance with the Academy’s bylaws,

  • The Board of Directors may grant Emeritus Fellowship to any Fellow who has been a Fellow for at least 30 years and has reached age 70.

  • Exception to the December 2005 updated bylaws: The Board of Directors may grant emeritus Fellowship to any Fellow born during 1940-1945 who has been a Fellow for at least 30 years and has reached age 65.

Emeritus Fellowship is automatically granted in the appropriate year (no requests are necessary)

  • Dues = $85

Option 2 – Senior Fellows
In accordance with the Academy’s bylaws, the Board of Directors may grant Senior Fellowship to any Fellow who has reached age 65.

Senior Fellowship is automatically granted in the appropriate year (no requests are necessary)

  • Dues = $255

Option 3 – Retired Fellow
In accordance with the Academy’s bylaws, the Board of Directors may grant Retired Fellow status if an individual has reached the age of 65 and has retired and is no longer earning any income from optometry. Email membership@aaoptom.org for more information.

  • Dues = $0

[to top]
 
Earning Fellowship
 
38. Q:

How much does it cost to become a Fellow? Are there application fees?

  A:

The annual dues are based on the year that the candidate graduated from professional school (includes OD completion). Recent graduates pay a lesser amount on a sliding scale. The initial candidate dues fee is refundable if, for any reason, an applicant does not qualify for candidacy. Applications and dues received after October 1 will be credited through the following calendar year.

  • Application Fee (non-refundable): $60**
  • Annual Dues
    Graduated from professional school (includes OD completion):
  • In current calendar year: $0
  • In last calendar year: $175
  • Two calendar years ago: $265
  • Three+ calendar years ago: $355

** Student/resident members who have graduated from optometry school, and have paid AAO student dues through the end of the calendar year, may transfer their membership to candidate for Fellowship during the same calendar year, at no additional charge, and are not required to pay the application fee. Also, student membership may not be reactivated after graduation.

39. Q: How do I become a Fellow of the AAO? Is there an opportunity at your meeting to learn more about becoming a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO)?
  A:

A candidate for Fellowship application form must be filled out and sent to the Academy office. Additional written materials need to be submitted to qualify for the FAAO oral exams. Oral exams are administered at our annual meeting.

Candidate have three years to complete this process. To learn more about the candidate process, including downloading an application form, please visit Earning Fellowship.

40.

Q:

Is it true that I do not have to pay the candidate application fee, if I completed a residency program this year and submit my application for Fellowship this year?

 

A:

Yes, as long as your Academy student dues are paid through the current calendar year, then the application fee will be waived.

41.

Q:

Is it too late to submit my application for Fellowship?

 

A:

Our office accepts Fellowship applications throughout the year. However, in order to qualify for the oral exam in October in Chicago, the deadline for clinical candidates to submit their first case report and for all candidates to submit their proposed plan for written work is April 1, 2017 to the subcommittee chairs of the Admittance Committee. The remainder of written work must be submitted by all candidates by June 1, 2017.

[to top]
 
General Information
 

42.

Q:

What is my membership identification (ID) number?

 

A:

Go to the Academy's home page at Login go to the "members area" in the upper right hand corner and click on the "Login" button and then click on the highlighted section, "Forgot Password" and you will be asked to provide the e-mail address you have already given us, then click the submit button. Your membership identification number will be sent to you by email. You may also contact the Membership Office by e-mail membership@aaoptom.org or contact the Academy office by phone at 321-319-4860.

43.

Q:

What is my password?

 

A:

Begin at the Login go to the "members area" in the upper right hand corner and click on the "Login" button and then click on the highlighted section, "Forgot Password" and you will be asked to provide the e-mail address you have already given us. Enter your e-mail address and then click the "Submit" button. Your login ID and password information will automatically be sent to you.

44.

Q:

How can I change my contact information in your system?

 

A:

As a Academy member, you are able to update your contact information at any time. Begin at the login link in the upper left-hand corner. Select "Individual Profile" to update your address information in the system. Please remember to hit the "Save" button at the bottom when finished.

[to top]
 
Student Membership
 

45.

Q:

I am no longer a student member and do not want to pursue becoming a Fellow at this time. Is there a general membership fee that I can pay?

 

A:

The Academy does not have a general membership category. After you have graduated from optometry school or completed a residency program, the next option you have to continue your Academy membership is to become a candidate for Fellowship. Candidates have three years to complete this process. To learn more about the candidate process, including downloading an application form, please visit Earning Fellowship.

[to top]
 
Optometry & Vision Science
 

47.

Q:

How do I obtain missing copies of my Optometry Vision and Science journal?

 

A:

Please contact the Membership Office by e-mail membership@aaoptom.org or contact the Academy office by phone at 321-319-4860.

48.

Q:

How do I access the online version of Optometry Vision and Science (OVS) from your Web site?

 

A:

Full text and PDF versions of the journal articles are available to all Academy members. Begin at the button located on the AAO Web site. If you are an Academy member you will be asked to enter your Login ID and Password in order to activate the link to the OVS Web site. On the next screen select "Optometry and Vision Science (Members Only)" to connect to the OVS Web site. You will see the American Academy of Optometry logo appear in the upper right corner of the OVS page and be able to use all of the features offered on the OVS site.

49.

Q:

Who do I contact if I am having problems accessing the online version of Optometry Vision and Science?

 

A:

Please contact the Membership Office by e-mail membership@aaoptom.org or contact the Academy office by phone at 321-319-4860.

[to top]
 
Public Information
 
50. Q: Do you rent your member mailing list?
  A:

The Academy does make its list of members available for one-time use; approval of the mailing materials is required before the list is released. The Academy does not release e-mail addresses. The Academy uses the following mailing list service.

INFOCUS Marketing, Inc.
4245 Sigler Road
Warrenton, Virginia 20187
PH: (800) 708-5478
FAX: (866) 708-5478

Renting the AAO list is an effective way to communicate with our members, letting them know you are eager to conduct business with them and maintaining a top-of-mind presence throughout the year. The AAO list offers direct access to thousands of engaged, industry professionals. What’s more, multiple selections and regular updates make it easy to deliver your offer to your exact target audience and maximize response rates. For more information, counts or to place an order, contact INFOCUS Marketing at 800.708.5478, sales@InfocusMarketing.com or view list details online at http://www.infocusmarketing.com/lists/44

DONE in ONESM — As an added convenience for AAO list renters, INFOCUS offers integrated marketing services to help save you time and money. Whatever the need — delivering a direct mail promotion to the members of AAO about your product or service, acquiring new prospect lists, or printing collateral for an upcoming event — INFOCUS has the ability and expertise to take you from start to finish seamlessly.

51.

Q:

Does the Academy have a job posting board on your website?

 

A:

The Academy’s Web site does not provide that resource; however, the American Optometric Association (AOA) offers a service called Optometry’s Career Center. It is a national, online job matching service for optometry that helps provide individuals with detailed information needed for finding optometric jobs or candidates for those jobs. To access that site, please visit, Optometry's Career Center.

52.

Q:

Can you send me information on how to apply to your school?

 

A:

The American Academy of Optometry is not one of the accredited schools of optometry. To learn more about those 23 schools, please visit the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Web site. Select the Student & Advisor Information page. Scroll down to the "Frequently Asked Question" section and you will find a "Where to Study Optometry" topic. Select that topic to obtain a complete list and contact information for all 23 schools and colleges of optometry.

53.

Q:

How can I contact a Fellow in my area?

 

A:

You can use the online Fellows Directory located on the Academy's Web site. Use any of the provided fields to complete your search. You may search by name or by partial spelling, or by zip code and state, or by country.

54.

Q:

Do you have any brochures that you can send out on optometry? I am working on a school project.

 

A:

The Academy does not maintain those resources in our office. Our Web site does have links from the Public Information button to two optometric consumer Web sites: