As a way of helping students gain a better understanding of the wide breadth of our profession, the AOSA has established formal ties with many optometric organizations.  National Liaisons are appointed by the AOSA President. They serve as a two-way communicator and direct link between the respective allied organization and the AOSA. National Liaisons are responsible for developing a working knowledge base of the organization, determining the current issues and goals of the organization and the AOSA for the coming year. They share current issues, goals, a schedule of the organization’s meetings, and financial support provided as well as coordinating Local Liaisons at each of the schools and colleges of optometry.  Interested in becoming a National Liaison? Look for information in January 2017.

American Academy of Optometry (AAO)

National Liaison:
Christopher Lopez, University of Houston College of Optometry
www.aaopt.org
Associated with optometric research, a person with F.A.A.O. after their name is a fellow of the Academy. This title recognizes excellence in optometric research. The goals of the AAO are to raise the standards of optometric practice, improve vision care, and to disseminate knowledge from research in vision science.

American Board of Optometry (ABO)

National Liaison:
Aaron Thomas, Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry
http://americanboardofoptometry.org/
The American Board of Optometry is a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the quality of health care through Board Certification of optometrists in the United States. By becoming an American Board of Optometry Diplomate, the optometrist voluntarily demonstrates his or her knowledge, skills and abilities, and a commitment to lifelong learning for the benefit of patients.

Armed Forces Optometric Society (AFOS)

National Liaison:
Jonathan Jacesko, Salus University, Pennslvania College  of Optometry
www.afos2020.org
The AFOS represents optometrists in all of the armed forces, as well as optometrists in areas such as hospitals and Indian reservations. AFOS has members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Public Health Service, Veterans Administration, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Air National Guard, and Civil Service. The largest component consists of the men and women in uniform, serving in many different situations all over the world.

American Optometric Association Advocacy  Committee

National Liaison:
Chris Herring, Southern College of Optometry 
AOA Advocacy
The volunteers and staff of the AOA Advocacy Group are dedicated to preserving and forwarding the interests of optometrists and their patients in the legislatures of the United States to ensure that Americans continue to have access to quality vision care.

American Optometric Association Political Action Committee (AOA-PAC)

National Liaison:
Andy Mackner, Pacific University College of Optometry 
AOA-PAC
The American Optometric Association Political Action Committee is a voluntary nonprofit, unincorporated committee of doctors of optometry. This committee is not affiliated with any political party or any other political committee. AOA-PAC, as well as the AOA Washington Office, is your voice in the nation’s capital. AOA-PAC is one of the most effective ways for a doctor of optometry to participate in the political process. Through AOA-PAC, optometry has gained a national presence as a political force.

American Public Health Association (APHA)

National Liaison:
Shelby Leach, University of California-Berkeley School of Optometry
www.apha.org
The Vision Care Section of the APHA recognizes the role of optometry in primary and vision care. In today’s society with the changing role of primary health care, the relationship with this organization has increasing importance. The objective of APHA is to exercise leadership in protecting and promoting personal and environmental health. Optometry is involved in those issues of health related to improved eye and vision care through the Vision Care Section, one of 25 sections of APHA.

Association of Regulatory Boards of Optometry (ARBO)

National Liaison:
Lauren Fereday, MCPHS University College of Optometry
www.arbo.org
ARBO is a voluntary membership organization. The members are boards of optometry in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and other jurisdictions. ARBO educates and trains state board members, who are state government appointees, and state board staff members, who are state employees, so they have a better understanding of their role in public protection. It is the only national optometric membership organization dedicated entirely to public protection and accountability.

Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO)

National Liaison:
Reid Cluff, University of the Incarnate Word/RSO
www.opted.org
The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) represents the interests of optometric education. ASCO is committed to achieving excellence in optometric education and to helping its member schools prepare well-qualified graduates for entrance into the profession of optometry. It serves the public through the continued advancement and promotion of all aspects of academic optometry.

College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD)

National Liaison:
Kristin Schwab, Salus University, Pennslvania College  of Optometry
www.covd.org
COVD is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals whose mission is “Improving lives by advancing excellence in optometric vision therapy through education and board certification.” COVD provides education and board certification for optometrists and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation.

Contact Lens & Cornea Section (CLCS)

National Liaison:
Annie Lee, University of California-Berkeley School of Optometry
CLCS
The CLCS serves as an informational and educational resource to members of the AOA, the public, and the media on contact lens and cornea care. The CLCS provides service to AOA members relative to new procedures, products and services in the field, and also provides ongoing liaison with government, manufacturers, organizations, and associations in the contact lens and cornea field.

National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO) (Position held by AOSA President)

National Liaison:
Erick Henderson, Southern College of Optometry
www.optometry.org
NBEO is an independent non-profit corporation serving the profession of optometry as a testing agency. NBEO develops, administers, scores, and reports performance on a series of examinations designed to assess candidate competence to enter the unsupervised practice of optometry. The NBEO examinations are offered to the state boards to use at their discretion and as an alternative to undertaking the same tasks at the state level. The NBEO has a very focused mission, and is constantly researching better methods of assessment.

Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA)

National Liaison:
Erin Keim, Southern College of Optometry
NORA
NORA is a diverse group of professionals dedicated to advancing the art and science of rehabilitation of the neurologically and cognitively injured and disabled survivor population and their families. NORA members are professionals who recognize the crucial role of vision in human performance. NORA emphasizes treatment modalities designed to optimize the frequently neglected visual-motor, visual-perceptual and visual information processing dysfunction in the neurologically affected person.

Optometric Extension Program Foundation (OEPF)

National Liaison:
Kristin Adams, Inter American University of Puerto Rico, School of Optometry
www.oepf.org
OEP produces and provides a vast array of materials specifically for the public as well as other health care and educational professionals. The mission of OEPF is to Advance Human Progress through the Behavioral Vision Care Council and comment on policies and programs affecting optometric education.

Optometry Cares

National Liaison:
Stephanie Uchida, Northeastern State University, Oklahoma College of Optometry
www.aoafoundation.org
The mission of Optometry Cares® is to expand eye health and vision care access to everyone in the United States in order to enhance human performance and quality of life. Text box: Optometry Cares® includes: InfantSEE®, VISION USA℠, Healthy Eyes Healthy People®, Optometry’s Fund for Disaster Relief, the Endowment Fund, The Archives & Museum of Optometry and the National Optometry Hall of Fame. InfantSEE® is a no-cost, public health program developed to provide professional eye care for an underserved population—infants from six to 12 months. Through InfantSEE®, AOA-member optometrists provide a one-time comprehensive eye health and vision assessment to infants regardless of income or insurance availability.

Sports Vision Section (SVS)

National Liaison:
Aaron Salzano, Pacific University College of Optometry
SVS
The AOA SVS is the nation’s largest group of students and doctors of optometry, and allied sports professionals, who are dedicated to advancing the quality and delivery of sports vision care through education, eye injury prevention, and enhancement of the visual performance of athletes.

Vision Rehabilitation Section (VRS)

National Liaison:
Elizabeth Cameron, University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Optometry
VRS
The AOA VRS encourages and supports development of technology related to adaptive diagnostic procedures, evaluation equipment and design of state-of-the-art low vision devices. The AOA is committed to working with associated professionals and consumer organizations to improve access to high caliber, comprehensive vision rehabilitation services and blind rehabilitation programs by increasing public awareness and by contributing to the development of progressive public policies through advocacy. Optometrists interact with colleagues in medicine, blind rehabilitation, social work, psychology, education and physical/occupational therapy to coordinate treatment plans to meet the immediate needs of low vision patients and their changing needs over time.

Volunteers in Optometric Service to Humanity (VOSH/International)

National Liaison:
Joanna Miranda, Southern College of Optometry
VOSH/International
VOSH/International believes in the freedom to see. Providing the gift of vision and eye health to people worldwide. We facilitate the provision and the sustainability of vision care worldwide for people who can neither afford nor obtain such care. Our goal is to increase our global impact whenever possible by supporting sustainable eye clinics, optometry schools and optometric educators in areas lacking sufficient eye care. There are over 75 VOSH regional, state and school chapters worldwide working to accomplish our goals.

 

Interested in becoming a National Liaison?

National Liaisons are appointed by the AOSA President. They serve as a two-way communicator and direct link between the respective allied organization and the AOSA. National Liaisons communicate directly between the organization and the AOSA President. National Liaisons are responsible for developing a working knowledge base of the organization, determining the current issues and goals of the organization and the AOSA for the coming year. They share current issues, goals, a schedule of the organization’s meetings, and financial support provided.  Look for information in January 2017.