Conferences and Meetings

Save the Date for the 2014 Congressional Advocacy Conference!

The 2014 Congressional Advocacy Conference will take place April 27 - 30 in Washington, DC.  Check back soon for more information and a draft agenda! 


2013 Congressional Advocacy Conference

Joint conference builds on wins, sets stage for future victories

Optometry was front and center on Capitol Hill in September. More than 600 AOA doctors and students, third-party experts, and state leaders gathered in the nation's capital to build on the profession's recent legislative and regulatory gains in Washington, D.C.

At the jointly held AOA Congressional Advocacy Conference and State Legislative and Third Party National Conference, attendees participated in meetings on Capitol Hill, talks with top Obama administration officials implementing the new health care law, and discussions led by optometry's authorities in federal, state and third-party advocacy.

"Never before has health care needed optometry more than today," Barry J. Barresi, O.D., Ph.D., the AOA's executive director, told conference participants. "Never before has optometry needed the AOA more than today."  Click here to read more



2012 Congressional Advocacy Conference

Thank you for attending the 2012 Congressional Advocacy Conference, April 1 - 3 in Washington, D.C. The efforts of affiliate leaders and staff have helped to make this optometry's largest annual advocacy event, and the centerpiece of the profession's national lobbying efforts. This year's conference was our largest yet; 545 attendees including 302 students.

All of AOA's successes in federal advocacy over the years - from the enactment of parity in Medicare in 1986 to the designation of pediatric vision care as essential and creation of a federal patient access law in 2010 - have come as a result of the willingness of doctors and students to take optometry's message directly and repeatedly to Capitol Hill.

In keeping with our longstanding mission to provide Advocacy for Optometry's Future, this year's meeting had a special focus on preparing doctors and students who are new to federal advocacy for the unique challenges and satisfaction of serving as the profession's direct link to U.S. Senators and Representatives, and their key aides. The agenda was aimed at developing optometry's next generation of well-connected frontline advocates, future federal Keypersons and, hopefully, OD candidates for federal office.


AOA-Led School Readiness Summit Issues Bold Healthy Vision and Learning Plan

The School Readiness Summit was organized by the American Optometric Association and HOYA Vision Care North America and is intended to develop a broad coalition to improve the readiness and success of children in school. Modeled after the White House Conference on Aging and similar national policy meetings, the Summit focuses largely on examining learning-related vision issues plaguing America's children and to produce an eye health and learning blueprint to replace a broken children's vision system.

The planning committee for the summit consists of the AOA, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, the Vision Council, National Commission on Vision and Health, U.S. Department of Education, National Association of School Nurses, American Speech Language and Hearing Association, and the National Head Start Association.