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The International Orthoptic Association Newsletter

Spring Newsletter 2023

Greetings and welcome to our Spring newsletter! We are thrilled to present you with several exciting topics that cover a wide range of events and initiatives in the world of orthoptics.

Firstly, we are delighted to announce the upcoming World Orthoptic Day Photo Contest, which invites orthoptists and orthoptic students to showcase the growth and reach of their profession. We are also pleased to share the IOA's approved Strategic Plan for 2023-2027, outlining initiatives aimed at promoting the orthoptic profession and supporting research and education. Our Scope of Practice Survey is another crucial aspect of this newsletter, as it aims to develop a global Scope of Practice that outlines the attributes and competencies of the orthoptic profession.

We would also like to congratulate Dr. Jignasa Metha, Dr. Meri Vukicevic, and Dr. Amanda French on being installed as editors of Strabismus. This is a great achievement and reflects their contributions to the field.

Finally, we are excited to announce the International Orthoptic Congress, which will be held in Brisbane, Australia, from June 27th to 29th, 2025. This event provides a platform for orthoptic professionals to share knowledge and discuss the latest developments in the field.

Thank you for reading our newsletter, and we hope you enjoy the articles and updates.

Jan Roelof (JR) Polling, IOA president

Scope of Practice Survey

We are excited to invite you to participate in a Scope of Practice Survey, which will help us gain insight into the work that orthoptists do around the world. Your input will be crucial in making strategic choices for future education or ways of practice in your respective countries. The Scope of Practice is a document that explains what skills and knowledge an orthoptist has and what tasks they are allowed to perform.

Our goal is to develop a global Scope of Practice that defines the attributes of the orthoptic professional, describes their competencies, outlines the areas of practice, and identifies common workplaces where orthoptics is practiced. By completing the survey, you will help us understand the current practices and trends in the field of orthoptics.

Your feedback will enable us to make informed decisions about the future of orthoptic education and practice.

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.

Click here

We appreciate your time and effort in filling out the survey. Thank you for your contribution to our project.

World Orthoptic Day

Photo Contest

Attention all IOA member orthoptists and orthoptic students! Get your cameras and cell phones ready because it's time to join the fun and show off your skills! This year's theme is "orthoptists cover all angles", which can be interpreted in many ways. Whether it's showcasing the growth of your profession and its reach across the globe, or highlighting the comprehensive approach we take in providing exceptional care to our patients from every angle, we want to see your creative interpretation of this theme!

Entering the competition is easy. All you have to do is follow us on Instagram at @global-orthoptics, tag us in your picture, and use the hashtag #WOD2023. Make sure to upload your photo by Sunday, 11th of June, 23:00 CEST to be considered.

Save the Date!

International Orthoptic Congress, Brisbane Australia June 27-29th 2025

On behalf of the IOA Local Organising Committee and Orthoptics Australia, we warmly welcome you to join us for the next International Orthoptic Congress in 2025 in Australia! For many, the 2025 congress will be an opportunity to reunite with international colleagues for the first time in several years. Brisbane is a vibrant, friendly, lifestyle city that offers a range of attractions and activities, making it the perfect location for the congress. Brisbane is also the capital city of Australia’s premier tourist region that includes world heritage listed rainforests, amazing beaches and is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Come and say G’day!


IPET update - The Gambia

Update from The IOA Volunteer Program on Orthoptic Training in The Gambia and Donation Request

In cooperation with the International Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Council and its International Pediatric Eyecare Training (IPET) committee the IOA Volunteer Program launched an orthoptic training program in sub-Saharan Africa in October 2022. 

Gambia has only two permanent ophthalmologists, and a population of 2.7 million with 44% of the population between the age of 0-14. The orthoptists we are training will serve as the frontline eye care providers for children, with sufficient skills and knowledge to be able to identify those children needing referral to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation and medical treatment when indicated. 

IOA Orthoptic Volunteers who have been providing fulltime didactic and clinic instruction to orthoptic students specifically selected to become the future clinicians and Gambian instructors for future orthoptic training this past year. The IOA instructors have been impressed with the motivation of the student cohort to change the lives of children in Gambia.

Though the training program was designed to become self-sustaining, full time volunteer instructor coverage during the first two formative years is crucial.  Funding for this project is dependent upon donations from individuals and groups interested in improving the eye health and lives of African children. If you interested in donating to this IPET project, please go to the IPOSC Website and donate to IPET.

Image below (from left to right) Sutay Jobe and Haddy Sylva, Orthoptic Students, Lillian Kemi, IOA Volunteer, Isatou Alieu Jobe, Head Optometrist, and Alhagie Sayang, Orthoptic Student

Strategic Plan

The International Orthoptic Association (IOA) requires a strategic plan to achieve its mission and vision. The plan covers five program areas: International Cooperation, Education and Research, Standards and Quality, Promotion and Development, and Operations Management. Initiatives include growing the Volunteer Program, establishing partnerships, promoting the orthoptic profession, supporting research and education, and maintaining governance standards. Agenda items include updating documents, creating committees, scheduling meetings, reviewing membership status, and monitoring the website. The strategic plan ensures collaboration, resource allocation, and accountability for IOA's goals, promoting orthoptics globally and advancing the profession through education, research, and quality standards. The IOA strategic plan 2023-2027 was approved by the Council of Management on April 21, 2023.

Council Meeting

The IOA Council of Management meets annually and we are pleased to announce that the upcoming meeting will be held in Lyon, France from October 12-14. This meeting will bring together representatives from IOA member countries to discuss important matters related to our organization. If you have any items for discussion at the meeting, please direct them to your national representative, who will ensure they are brought to the table for consideration. Additionally, on Saturday, October 15, the IOA will be organizing a symposium during the AFO Congress at the Novotel & Ibis Lyon Gerland Musée des Confluences. We look forward to engaging in meaningful discussions and collaborative efforts during these events.

IOA social media

The IOA operates currently on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. We linked the Instagram and Facebook accounts and all social media reporting lies in the hands of the Promotion and Development Program. 

With the approval of the strategic plan we can in the future fill the social media with important content. This includes celebrating important and related WHO holidays and promoting the profession of orthoptist. We are going to ask IOA member countries for “take-overs” in the future. Show us your country and what working in your country looks like. If you or your organization is interested in participating, giving good advice and helping getting the take-overs started, please contact us at


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