Formation of the Optical Society of the State of New York, Charles Prentice, President. The purpose of the society is to secure the legal recognition of optometry. This group ultimately gave birth to the AOA.
The American Association of Opticians (AAO) is founded in New York. First president: Charles Lembke; charter membership: 183 persons from 31 states and Canada. Name changed in 1910 to American Optical Association, and again in 1919 to American Optometric Association.
Membership limited to only optometrists. Prior to this the association included refracting and dispensing opticians, manufacturers, supply hours and importers of optical goods.
First educational lectures presented at national convention, Chicago.
Board of Regents established to deal with all educational matters and preparation of exams to demonstrate proficiency.
Reorganization plan proposed to provide for a representative House of Delegates and state associations affiliated with the parent organization.
Association passes resolution recommending vision examinations for operators of motor vehicles.
Bureau of Optometric Information appointed to combat anti-optometric literature appearing throughout the country.
Chairman: William H. Kindy
Formal approval and incorporation in the state of Ohio under current name American Optometric Association.
Probably the first film on optometry, prepared through AOA Department of Publicity and Bray Pictures Corporation: "The Windows of Life".
Save Your Vision Week first observed. AOA's original concept of this annual event began in 1924 with Eyesight Conservation Week. In 1963 the date was set as the first full week in March and proclaimed as such by the U.S. President. Over the years SYVW has been celebrated in many different ways, and since 2001 AOA's emphasis has expanded to cover the full month of March.
Auxilliary to the AOA formed, first president: Dr. Catherine Marks. Its purpose was to help promote welfare of the profession and to inform the public about vision care through work with service clubs, civic, social, and educational organizations. In 1989 it became the American Foundation for Vision Awareness (AFVA).
First Council on Education (COE) authorized by special resolution at Boston AOA Congress. Members represented allied optometric bodies: AOA, Distinguished Service Foundation, Internation Association of Boards of Examiners in Optometry, American Academy of Optometry, and Federation of Optometry Schools.
Harold Kohn retained as legal counsel for the AOA, a position he held through 1968.
Council on Optometric Education established, the accrediting agency for optometric educational programs; first Council chair: Dr. Charles Sheard.
Code of Ethics adopted by AOA, due to the efforts of general counsel Harold Kohn. A new Code was adopted in 1944, with supplement in 1946.
William P. MacCracken, Jr. retained as the Washington DC counsel for the AOA. With an extensive background in law and fame as a pioneer aviator, his influence upon optometry's recognition by the federal government was profound.
Professional Advancement Program (PAP) launched. At a specially called meeting in Detroit, the AOA Board of Trustees, presidents of the state optometric associations, heads of the schools and colleges of optometry, representatives of various optometric and optical organizations, the optical industry and optometric press gathered to discuss matters of urgent concern. Topics included the shortage of students, need for government recognition, improved ethical standards, more representative membership, and the profession's role. Marking a rebirth for optometry, the PAP promised steady professional advancement if every member of the AOA actively worked for its success.
Baltimore Myopia Control Project administered by AOA's Public Health Bureau. From September-December 103 myopes age 9-32 received optometric vision training (VT) three times a week. The study project's purpose was to see whether VT had any positive effect on the distance vision of nearsighted individuals.
Rules of Practice are adopted, causing internal dissention among members of the AOA. The rules are revised in 1968.
"Doctor of Optometry" recognized as the proper and desirable professional degree.
First AOA administrative "headquarters" office established in Anna, Illinois. The tiny office was built at the rear of AOA President James Wahl's optometric office by Mr. Bailey and Dr. Wahl.
Optometry's Premise adopted. It notes that the "treatment of pathological conditions" is "in the field of medicine." Removed as an active policy pronouncement in 1980.
First Apollo Award presented. AOA's highest honor, named after the Greek god of light, was awarded to Station WOI-TV, George D. Spache, and Arthur M. Skeffington. Prior to 1961 the awards were known as "Distinguished Service Awards".
Washington DC office established by AOA "to provide active, continuous, and forceful liaison with health agencies and branches of the governmentand any civilian groups engaged or interested in matters of health and welfare".
David Sharman appointed first Director of AOA's Washington office. Before moving to the new Washington Bureau at 1025 Connecticut Ave., Sharman worked in the St. Louis office as assistant to J. Harold Bailey, the Administrative Director of AOA.
AOA became an agency member of the American Public Health Association. In 1979 the Vision Care Section (VCS) of the APHA was established.
An official AOA logo was unveiled and promoted for use by the Association, member optometrists, and affiliated state associations. The stylish red and black design was based on that of the Australian Optometric Association, and was adopted with their approval.
AOA files complaint with U.S. Dept. of Justice alleging restraint of trade and conspiracy on the part of the American Medical Association, physicians, and several medical organizations. (A separate antitrust case [Bass v. AMA] had been filed.) In 1966 AMA rescinded its anti-optometry resolution of 1955
French Lick Conference on Optometric Practice. At this meeting a cross-section of optometrists considered three issues of national significance and analyzed the advantages and disadvantages of optometry’s position in light of public welfare and vision care. The topics of discussion were: the use of optometric assistants, lay screening, and the use of drugs in optometric practice.
Council on Clinical Optometric Care is formed, A. Norman Haffner, first chairman. First projects included the preparation of a manual of standards for clinical care and the development of accrreditation procedures.
Airlie House Conference, Warrenton VA. This AOA-sponsored meeting of representatives from all segments of optometry met to discuss and make recommendation on topics of vital importance to optometry: interprofessional relations, optometric education, optometric practice, legislation and legal affairs, manpower, and research.
Williamsburg Conference on Continuing Education recommends that a commission on continuing optometric education be formed to review, coordinate and improve the quality, composition, and methods of delivery of continuing education.
First paraoptometric program offered at AOA Annual Congress in Washington DC.
AOA Political Action Committee (AOA-PAC) established as a means to support political candidates who would best represent optometry's interests in Congress.
Supplement to the Code of Ethics the Rules of Practice is replaced by the Standards of Conduct. The Standards are retired in 2002.
Current AOA logo adopted, designed by S. Fredrick Anderson Studios of Chicago and developed by the Clinton Frank Agency. The updated logo was said to represent the AOA member as "a modern, professional, qualified and experienced health care practitioner".
Sports Vision Section established with 34 charter members.
Contact Lens Section established; first Administrative Director 1983: Dr. Arthur Giroux. Name changed to Contact Lens and Cornea Section in 2000.
Low Vision Section established, with 334 charter members. Name changed to Low Vision Rehabilitation Section in 2002, and to Vision Rehabilitation Section in 2009.
Optometric Oath standardized and adopted by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) as a means of encouraging professional ethical behavior. Over the years numerous optometric organizations and schools had developed and used an optometric oath; one of the first was written by Frederick A. Woll in the 1920s.
Optometric Economics published by AOA (1991-97), a new monthly journal devoted to successful practice management. Focusing on topics such as marketing, communications, and business management, the practical new journal was published by optometrists for optometrists to give them the tools to be successful in private professional practice. Editor: Jack Runninger.
Publication of first AOA Optometric Clinical Practice Guidelines, providing O.D.s evidence-based recommendations for patient care. These first 7 booklets of the series were sent to all AOA members and to optometric educators, funded by a grant from Vision Service Plan (VSP). The guidelines were developed by consensus panels of leading experts in various areas of expertise.
Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) -- a name change from former Council on Optometric Education, to clearly note its role as the accrediting body for professional optometric degree programs, residency programs and optometric technician programs in the U.S. and Canada.
AOA launches the Healthy Eyes, Healthy People program to work with the US Department of Health on the US Healthy People objectives under eye care. A memorandum of understanding with the US Department of Health was formally adopted and continues to this day.
InfantSEE® program established to provide vision assessments for children in the first year of life. Approved by AOA in 2003, the program developed and was officially launched in 2005 with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter as spokesman.
Optometry's Fund for Disaster Relief created in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Its mission is to provide immediate financial assistance to optometrists in need whose lives and practices are disrupted by a natural disaster.
AOA foundation established as a charitable arm of the Association. Renamed Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation in 2010, its mission is to expand eye health and vision care access to everyone in the U.S. in order to enhance human performance and quality of life.
AOA establishes the National Commission on Vision and Health (NCVH), a non-partisan group of public health leaders (O.D.s and non-O.D.s) whose mission is to improve the nation's visual health. A true optometric "think tank" for public health policy, its members evaluate and weigh in on policy debates regarding health care, specifically vision, providing authoritative information and advice to decision-makers, health professionals, and the public at large.
AOA assumes administration of the National Optometry Hall of Fame, originally established by the Ohio Optometric Association in 1998 to recognize colleagues whose lifetime of significant achievments in optometry advanced the profession. The NOHF is currently managed by Optometry Cares - the AOA Foundation.
AOA votes in favor of establishing the American Board of Optometry (ABO) as the entity to develop and implement the framework for optometric board certification and maintenance of certification for optometry. AOA enters into a joint memorandum of understanding by the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), the American Optometic Student Association (AOSA), the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), and the American Optometric Association (AOA) regarding formation and organization.
National health care legislation enacted, including AOA-supported first federal provider non-discrimination standard to target exclusional ERISA plans, designating children's vision as an essential benefit and preserving state patient access to care laws.
2011 – First female president of AOA elected, Dori M. Carlson, O.D. A graduate of Pacific University College of Optometry, and elected to the AOA Board of Trustees in 2004, Dr. Carlson was also the first female president of the North Dakota Optometric Association.
AOA adopts the Standards of Professional Conduct. While the Code of Ethics of the AOA (2007) sets forth the basic tenets of ethical behavior for optometrists, the Standards of Professional Conduct amplifies the Code of Ethics and describes appropriate ethical and professional behaviors in greater detail. The two documents evidence a continuing commitment to professional and ethical behavior for all optometrists.