Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry Registration and Housing Now Open

Published May 6, 2019

For Immediate Release
May 6, 2019
Contact: Kayla Ritten

Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry Registration and Housing Now Open

ORLANDO and ST. LOUIS – May 6, 2019 – The American Academy of Optometry and World Council of Optometry’s joint meeting, Academy 2019 Orlando and the 3rd World Congress of Optometry, will take place October 23-27, 2019 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. Registration and housing are now open and early bird registration ends August 23, 2019.

This meeting will feature over 450 hours of CE, and an extra day of CE has been added on Sunday, October 27. The meeting will offer a wide array of clinically relevant CE courses and cutting-edge research in the clinical and vision sciences. Attendees can choose from lectures and workshops, 12 Section and Special Interest Group (SIG) symposia, hundreds of scientific papers and posters, and several memorable social events.

This year’s Plenary Session from 10 AM – 12 Noon on Wednesday, October 23 is titled, “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice®: WHO World Report on Vision: Opportunities for Optometry to Make an Impact,” and will discuss the World Report on Vision on the distribution of eye disease and blindness across the globe and the disease burden these eye conditions pose on nations and regions. Additionally, the human resource requirements of eyecare providers needed to address this public health crisis will be covered. Optometric representatives, specifically the session speakers, played an instrumental role in developing the report. They will discuss the findings and their implications for optometry internationally and for North America respectively. The keynote speaker from WHO will give attendees an overview of the organization’s efforts to tackle the extensive disease and blindness burdens on society throughout the world and where optometry fits into this effort. Speakers include Kovin Naidoo, OD, PhD, FAAO, Sandra Block, OD, MPH, FAAO, and a speaker from the World Health Organization.

The Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium is titled, “Gene Therapy for Ocular and Neurologic Disorders.” Contemporary issues in gene therapy will be discussed including Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis, animal models of glaucoma, and Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy. Speakers will include Stephen Russell, MD, Abbott Clark, PhD, and Byron Lam, MD.

Another not-to-be-missed event is the fifth joint symposium of the Academy and the American Academy of Ophthalmology titled, “Addressing the Global Myopia Burden.” The prevalence of myopia in the developed world is on the rise. This session will provide perspective regarding the public health burden and societal cost of myopia, as well as illustrate the visual ramifications of the disease. The discussion will also include evidence-based information regarding the slowing of myopia progression through optical methods such as orthokeratology and soft multifocal contact lenses, as well as pharmaceutical methods of myopia control such as low concentration atropine eye drops. Speakers will include Michael X. Repka, MD, MBA, Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO, Donald O. Mutti, OD, PhD, FAAO, Judy E. Kim, MD, and David A. Berntsen, OD, PhD, FAAO. This symposium is a continuation of the effort by the two Academy organizations to work together to better prepare and support their members in delivering the highest quality eye care.

Ezell Fellows Present is a symposium where three investigators at different stages of their careers, who were supported early on through the Foundation’s Ezell Fellowships, present their research. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the symposium and is titled, “Public Health / Epidemiology Potpourri.” Included in this session will be discussions on anterior segment infectious eye disease and US national health datasets used to assess vision impairment. Speakers will be Nicole Carnt, BOptom, PhD, FAAO, Charlotte Joslin, OD, PhD, FAAO, and Dean VanNasdale, OD, PhD, FAAO.

The World Council of Optometry President’s Forum is titled, “Optometry’s Role in Addressing the Changing Face of Technology, Public Health and Clinical Care.” This invitation-only event provides a platform wherein the highest level of decision makers and key partners of our profession come together to discuss the current development of optometry and the desired impact that it envisages in the broader health agenda across the world.

The Global Summit on Optometric Education, co-sponsored by the World Council of Optometry, American Academy of Optometry, and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, will provide educators from optometric educational programs from around the globe the opportunity to share education philosophies/teaching methods and to discuss challenges facing institutions.

This year’s exhibit hall will be world class with more than 150 booths displaying the latest products and technology. Attendees will be able to take advantage of extended learning in Vision Theater session presentations by exhibitors, and Industry Innovations: Lunch + Learn sessions on Wednesday, October 23.

The American Academy of Optometry Foundation (AAOF) awarded more than $470,000 in scholarships, fellowships, grants and residency awards in 2018. Attendees can support the AAOF by donating during registration, at the meeting, or by participating in numerous scheduled fundraising events. The 2019 Ezell Fellows will be at the AAOF booth in the exhibit hall to speak with attendees about their cutting-edge research and why giving is important in aiding new optometric talent to achieve great things.

The Academy 2019 Orlando and 3rd World Congress of Optometry Program Preview provides an overview of the exciting events and CE that will be offered. The Academy has contracted with several hotels within walking distance of the convention center.

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About the American Academy of Optometry
The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) enhances excellence in optometric practice by fostering research and disseminating knowledge in vision science through its journal, Optometry and Vision Science, and the continuing education presented at its annual meeting. Fellows of the Academy are committed to the premise that learning is a lifelong obligation of a professional, as is the commitment to expand the profession’s knowledge base through ongoing fellowship and exchange. For more information, visit the website:

About the World Council of Optometry
The WCO’s vision is of a world where optometry makes high quality eye health and vision care accessible to all people. To achieve its vision, the WCO’s mission is to facilitate the development of optometry around the world and support optometrists in promoting eye health and vision care as a human right through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach. Having celebrated its 90-year anniversary in 2017, the WCO now collectively represents more than 200,000 optometrists in more than 60 countries through almost 300 affiliate, country, corporate and individual memberships across six world regions. The WCO is the only optometric body in official relations with the World Health Organization. For more information, visit