Our 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.

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Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO)

Congress 2021 Postponed

At CAO’s October Council meeting, members considered the feasibility of pursuing the 37th Biennial Congress in St. John’s,  Newfoundland and Labrador in 2021, given the uncertainty around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the interests of ensuring the most robust event possible, and in the best health interests of all potential participants, Council decided to postpone Congress 2021 to 2022 (July 6-9) in St. John’s. Council further decided to retain its traditional biennial rotation and will also pursue Congress 2023 in Quebec City.


Student Member Engagement

CAO is committed to encouraging Canadian students enrolled in the Canadian and American optometry schools to join the Association (membership is free), with the aim of retaining them as members upon graduation.  While some of the support is financial, it also includes providing the students with opportunities to share information with the CAO membership in our newsletters and sharing CAO information in their communication vehicles, as well as presentations about CAO to the students.  Since September, CAO President Dr. Michael Nelson and CEO François Couillard have presented to students at both Canadian universities, Pacific University College of Optometry in Oregon and the New England College of Optometry in Boston.


Online Prescription Verification Initiative

CAO has struck a working committee that includes industry stakeholders to collaborate on the pursuit of a framework to ensure prescription verification of online sales of glasses and contact lenses.  The Committee is engaged in research that will help guide both the development of a draft framework and advocacy to support its various elements.