World Council of Optometry (WCO) E-News 
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World Council of Optometry (WCO) 
April 2017 E-News

Uduak Udom, WCO President
2017 Marks 90 Year Anniversary for WCO

The WCO collectively represents over 200,000 optometrists in almost 60 countries through over 200 affiliate, associate, corporate and individual memberships across six world regions: Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Latin America and North America.
“Next to life itself is the gift of vision,” WCO President Uduak Udom explained. “The beauty all around, which just amazes us, comes through vision. Most of our learning comes through vision. For these and many more reasons, optometrists around the world are committed to the cause of a world where high quality eye health and vision care is accessible to all people.”
Along with celebration of its 90-year history, this is an exciting time for WCO as it looks forward to hosting the 2nd World Congress of Optometry being held in Hyderabad, India from September 11-13, 2017. The Congress is an initiative of the WCO in partnership with the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry (APCO) and the India Vision Institute (IVI). The central theme of the meeting, Accessible, Quality Vision and Eye Health complements the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan of Universal Eye Health with a goal of universal access to comprehensive eye care services.

Thinking about joining us in Hyderabad, India in September? 

View the video. The 2nd World Congress of Optometry is an event not to be missed!  For more information and to register for the Congress, click here.

Join Us in Support of Our Children's Vision

The WCO and Optometry Giving Sight invites all members of the optometric profession and industry to JOIN US in support of Our Children’s Vision, a global campaign helping to ensure that every child, everywhere has access to the eye care they need. 

The WCO became a Global Supporter of Our Children's Vision as we recognize the importance of early intervention to reduce or address uncorrective refractive error, the impact of amblyopia, strabismus and visual impairment in children. Focusing on children's vision is critical as we strive to provide a better quality of life for children who do not have access to eye examinations and glasses. READ MORE

With the support of our members, the WCO looks forward to being an integral partner in Our Children's Vision and helping it attain its initial target to provide eye care services to 50 million children by 2020.Click here to see how your gift will help change children's lives.

Just $5 can help a child see their future clearly. To donate now, text GIFT to 27722. (Currently limited to U.S. phones only)

Major Building Renovations Completed

The American Optometric Association (AOA) headquarters has been the WCO's home since relocating to the United States from the United Kingdom in 2015, when the AOA's building renovations had just begun.

It's amazing that since the fall of 2015, AOA renovations occurred without interruption to AOA members or the WCO. And in November 2016, the AOA completed its renovations, on time and under budget. Following completion, the AOA hosted a special celebration on February 1, 2017 at its newly renovated headquarters for its employees, board and other key stakeholders in the renovation, including the WCO. 

WCO president, Uduak Udom said, “Thank you so much, AOA, for creating a home base for WCO. You have done so much; and we at WCO are very grateful.  Also, for the very great feat and landmark event of a brand new look office complex, we say: hearty congratulations!”

The AOA has occupied the building, which was con­structed in 1968, since 1978. The facility had no major work performed since the AOA took ownership. The renovated building has already significantly reduced annual maintenance costs and improved the facility's infrastructure, which will allow AOA, and the WCO, to better serve its members. READ MORE

WCO Member Certificates Available

All WCO members (individual, associate, affiliate and corporate) in good standing (who have paid their dues) were emailed a WCO member certificate in early March. If you have paid your dues, but did not receive your WCO member certificate, please send an email to  If you need us to resend your dues invoice, please email  

New, Improved WCO Website

We invite you to visit the WCO's new improved website, where we've added new postings, pages, information, and a fresh new look.


Thanks for your membership.

Now invite your colleagues to join!

The future of optometry is up to us.
  • Help shape the future of eye care around the world
  • Improve the provision of eye and vision care for the world's population
  • Gain access to online continuing education
  • Stay up to date on issues that matter to you and the profession
  • Ensure that optometry is an autonomous profession
Be part of the WCO's global voice for optometry where we envision a world where high quality eye health and vision care is accessible to all people. With the support of dedicated members like you, the WCO will be able to continue its work. Please share this link with your colleagues: JOIN WCO. Together, we really can change the world.

World Optometry Day Celebrations

How did you celebrate World Optometry Day on March 23?

World Optometry Day (WOD), which is celebrated annually on the 23rd of March, had an overwhelming response from all over India. The Optometry Council of India (OCI) celebrated in two phases.

As part of World Optometry Day celebration, the OCI planned to collaborate with local partners all across the country and have a half day seminar of eye health. "As primary eye care providers, it’s our duty to increase the awareness of eye care among the public and we at OCI think an informative seminar by optometry professional to the public is one of the ways to accomplish this goal," said Lakshmi Shinde, OCI Chief Executive Officer. The local partner in turn partnered with organizations such as Lions and Rotary to arrange the event.

The focus of the seminar was mainly on common eye ailments such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia, astigmatism, glaucoma, cataract and diabetes and the role of optometrists who serve the eye care needs to the Indian population. Banners which highlighted the importance of eye exams were printed both in English and in regional languages to maximize outreach. Zeiss was kind enough to sponsor the banners.

OCI sent banners with the following slogan:



The slogan was translated into 10 local languages. READ MORE

Here's another example of how World Optometry Day was celebrated at Dr. D.Y. Patil Institute of Optometry and Visual Sciences.

The day was celebrated enthusiastically by the students who had prepared a number of speeches on the occasion of World Optometry Day and creating awareness about eye care.

Students prepared a skit which depicted the challenges faced during eye donation, and some of the myths surrounding eye donation were cleared. It was a joyful event in which students and faculties were in attendance and shared insights about the significance of the day.

Faculties advised students to look at research as a next step to their academic development, and students ended the programme by distributing sweets among themselves which signified the sweetness that optometry must stir in their lives.

Here's a sampling of other World Optometry Day activities from around the world.


Registration for Barcelona 2017 is now open!

Barcelona 2017 is a joint conference between the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) and the Spanish national organization  Consejo General de Colegios de Ópticos Optometristas (CGCOO).

The conference will take place in Barcelona from 12 to 14 May 2017, and will bring together key stakeholders from over 30 countries to discuss and share the latest research, education and clinical practice in optometry, optics and dispensing, and vision science.

The main theme for the conference is “Vision and new technologies”, approached from two points of view; (i) the impact of technology on vision, or (ii) the benefits derived from the new technologies for diagnoses and treatment. READ MORE


Calling All National Optometric Organizations

Help shape the future of optometry in your region and around the world. Complete the WCO Scope of Practice Questionnaire!

The WCO Legislation, Registration and Standards Committee has developed a questionnaire to capture optometric scope of practice around the world. 

The WCO Scope of Practice Questionnaire is a Valuable Member Benefit

The Scope of Practice Questionnaire helps us understand how optometry and optics are developing in the world. WCO national organizations will have access to data reporting from questionnaire results when preparing strategies for developing optometry in their region.

Learn More

The Scope of Practice Questionnaire is a very valuable member benefit for WCO member countries. For more information, to view countries who have already completed the questionnaire, and how your country can participate, please click here.


Making eye health a priority for Europe

Vision impairment imposes a burden on individuals and decreases their quality of life. It is estimated that over 28 million people are visually impaired in the European Region. What’s more, actual vision loss has serious implications on a person’s life, on their families and on healthcare systems at large. According to the WHO, 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured. Yet, eye health is not a key priority in many countries and in light of the ageing population there is a need to engage in preventive measures.

In a  new position paper “A lack of vision?” launched on World Diabetes Day 2016 in the European Parliament, the European Forum Against Blindness (EFAB), the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) and the European Alliance for Vision Research and Ophthalmology (EU-EYE) set out three key areas that are fundamental to addressing preventable irreversible sight loss in Europe: research and development, early case finding and diagnosis, and access to treatment and services. READ MORE

We're All in This Together

Helpful Links

Thank You!

THANK YOU for reading this issue of the WCO E-news. Remember, as a WCO member, this is your newsletter! If you have a personal story to share for your region or organization, please let me know, and we will be happy to include it in an upcoming issue of the WCO E-News.

Best regards,

Susan J. (Sue) Chiles, M.A.
World Council of Optometry Managing Director
Editor, WCO E-News

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