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The International Orthoptic Association Newsletter

Apologies; the wrong spring newsletter was sent out before the weekend. We regret any confusion and hope you find joy in our fall newsletter.

IOA Fall Newsletter 2023

Farewell to our webmaster, 

With mixed emotions, we announce the departure of our webmaster, Eline de Jongh. Eline has been a vital part of our organization since 2010, starting her journey as member of the Local Organizing Committee for the International Orthoptic Congress 2016 in Rotterdam. Her unwavering dedication and technical expertise made her the perfect fit for managing our website.

Eline's exceptional service has ensured our website remains responsive, user-friendly, and up-to-date, serving as a valuable resource for our global community of orthoptic professionals and enthusiasts. Her ability to align the website with our organizational goals and her responsiveness to the needs of the IOA Executive Committee and Council of Management have been invaluable.

On January 1st, 2024, Eline will step down from her role, leaving us immensely grateful for her years of dedicated service. Her passion for orthoptics and commitment to maintaining a high-quality website have made a lasting impact. 

Thank you, Eline, for your outstanding contributions. We wish you the best in your future endeavors, and you will forever be part of the IOA family.

Wanted: Volunteer Webmaster 

Are you passionate about orthoptics and web design? We have a unique opportunity for you! We are seeking a dedicated Volunteer IOA Webmaster to take the reins of our online presence and help shape the future of orthoptics. If you have a flair for web development and a love for the field of orthoptics, this position is your gateway to making a meaningful impact.

Find the job description here.

Call for Nominations: IOA Prestigious Awards 2025

Nominate outstanding individuals whose lifetime contributions have significantly impacted the field of orthoptics for two prestigious awards offered by the IOA. Burian Lecture Award & Stephenson Honorary Fellow Award

Burian Lecture Award

  • Do you know an exceptional orthoptist who has made profound scientific and clinical contributions to orthoptics and vision science?
  • The Burian Lecture is the pinnacle of recognition in orthoptics.
  • Nominate a deserving colleague today for this prestigious honor.
  • The chosen Lecturer will deliver their distinguished lecture at the next IOA Congress.

Stephenson Honorary Fellow Award

  • The IOA invites nominations for the Stephenson Honorary Fellow Award, recognizing remarkable contributions to orthoptics.
  • Eligible candidates must be IOA members, and posthumous nominations are accepted.
  • The selected honoree will receive the award at the IOA Congress 2025 in Brisbane, Australia.
  • Help us acknowledge outstanding orthoptic professionals who have significantly impacted our field.

Don't miss the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of those who have made a lasting impact on the field of orthoptics. Nominate today! Information on how to nominate can be received through your national IOA representative. Deadline for both awards: December 31, 2023.

IOA Council Meeting in Lyon

By invitation from the Association Française d’Orthoptique (AFO), the IOA convened in Lyon, France from October 11 to 13, 2023, for our annual Council of Management meeting.

The event commenced on Thursday, October 12, 2023. People from around the world, whether in person or online, came together for the meeting. In the morning, informative reports were presented. President JR Polling discussed the Executive Committee meeting's proceedings and detailed upcoming council deadlines. Deputy President Kyle Arnoldi provided updates on IOA's operational management. Secretary Katherine Fray and, on behalf of the Treasurer, Jamie Spofforth, delved into financial matters, including subscription rates for the upcoming financial year.

Planning for the Future: On Friday, October 13, 2023, representatives reconvened to discuss critical matters for IOA's future. The council tackled a variety of topics, including education, research, membership, and the website. Country representatives emphasized the importance of international collaboration. The council reached an agreement to offer free IOA membership to orthoptists residing in non-IOA countries from low and middle-income economies, demonstrating IOA's commitment to global cooperation. The promotions and development team shared their plans for World Orthoptic Day in 2024. The meeting concluded with a sense of accomplishment and unity, showcasing the dedication of IOA members worldwide to advancing the field of orthoptics and promoting international cooperation.

On top of our meeting the IOA held a symposium to celebrate the AFO national meeting on Saturday, October 14, 2023. Topic of the symposium was International Orthoptics in 2023. Daisy Godts, Karen McMain and JR Polling held presentations during the symposium.


Donate this Christmas to the IOA volunteer program!

Donations are crucial in supporting the orthoptic training initiative in Gambia, where the scarcity of pediatric eye care professionals is a pressing issue. With only two Gambian Ophthalmologists for a population of 2.7 million, the collaboration between the IPET committee and the IOA Volunteer Program relies on contributions to sustain and expand this vital program. The success of future graduates in becoming instructors and addressing the significant need for eye care in the region hinges on the generosity of donors. Recognition is extended to AACO, Good-lite Company, and DKVB for their support, emphasizing the essential role donations play in making this initiative possible.

Sincere thanks go to the Association of American Certified Orthoptists (AACO) for donating all the textbooks for this years orthoptic students to the Good-lite Company for donating the orthoptic equipment and to the German Committee Prevention of Blindness (DKVB) for its generous funding. Volunteer Opportunities continue to be advertised on the IOA news section of the website as they arise, and a volunteer is not found from our existing bank of volunteers. Any IOA member wishing to volunteer can access an Online application form on the IOA website. If you would like to donate to this worthy cause, please scan the QR code found below. 


Photo: Left to right. Orthoptic Students, Dodou Jagne and Odile Mendy with Orthoptic Intern, Haddy Sohna

Extending national members meeting registration fee to IOA members

The IOA Council of Management proudly announces its commitment to promoting international collaboration and knowledge exchange in the orthoptic community. As registration fees for international attendees can be cost-prohibitive, a plan is on the table to extend member registration fees for National Orthoptic Meetings to IOA members globally. 

This initiative recognizes the value of networking, partnerships, professional growth, and idea sharing among orthoptists worldwide, emphasizing the IOA's dedication to inclusivity and collaboration in the field.

The benefits are significant, enhancing diversity and dynamism at National Orthoptic Meetings and fostering connections among orthoptic professionals globally. In the age of accessible virtual participation, it also facilitates online learning, enabling orthoptists to connect and share their ideas for innovative research and best practices in anever-evolving field. 

With the British and Irish Orthoptic Society (BIOS) leading the way, IOA members worldwide can now join UK-hosted meetings by paying the same registration fee as local attendees. To showcase the global impact of this collaborative approach, and to achieve wide-spread benefit, we ask all national associations to consider adopting this policy, thus ensuring continued accessible knowledge-sharing and global cooperation for all orthoptic professionals. 

International Orthoptic Congress 2025 

We are delighted to extend an exclusive invitation to the International Orthoptic Congress 2025, taking place in the vibrant city of Brisbane, Australia from June 27th to 29th, 2025.



In the latest IOA Council Meeting, significant developments in membership were announced. The IOA expanded its global reach, welcoming two countries into its fold as full members. The Czech Republic and Israel have transitioned from associated members to full membership, further enhancing IOA's international cooperation. Congratulations with this successful change.

Moreover, IOA's commitment to inclusivity extended as it granted associate membership status to Luxembourg, strengthening ties with this European nation. Additionally, Cabo Verde earned observer category status, opening doors for participation and collaboration in Africa.

Welcome to the IOA family!

World Orthoptic Day (WOD) June 3, 2024

World Orthoptic Day, celebrated annually on the first Monday of June, offers a global platform for orthoptists to highlight their essential contributions to eye health and promote their profession. Here's how you can get involved in World Orthoptic Day 2024, which falls on June 3rd.


International Orthoptic Association Achievements and Highlights financial year 2022-2023

The IOA has had a highly successful and impactful year, marked by significant achievements and notable highlights since our last council meeting held alongside the full virtual international Orthoptic Congress in 2022. The past year has seen IOA's unwavering commitment to the advancement of orthoptics on the international stage, exemplifying its vision and mission. In this report, we will delve into the key highlights and accomplishments that define the year 2022-2023 for the International Orthoptic Association.


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