Get involved: 10 minutes to learn optometry’s advocacy

May 3, 2021
A limited-time, members-only course offers an introduction to professional advocacy as optometry’s advocates gear up for Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill, May 23-25.
Get involved: 10 minutes to learn optometry’s advocacy

As optometry’s advocates prepare to take the profession’s priority issues virtually to Capitol Hill later this month, the AOA offers an advocacy primer course to equip doctors, staff and students for success.

Available in the AOA’s EyeLearn Professional Development Hub, the Advocacy 101 session is a 10-minute prep course for members attending Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill, May 23-25, that introduces key concepts and best practices for effectively engaging members of Congress and other elected officials, as well as how the AOA can support affiliates in their advocacy initiatives. The AOA encourages all advocacy-minded doctors, paraoptometrics and students to take a moment and review the session, especially before attending Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill.

“Even in its virtual form, AOA on Capitol Hill keeps growing in attendance with engaged doctors, staff and students who come together from across the nation to ensure our essential advocacy program translates into effective advocacy on Capitol Hill,” notes William T. Reynolds, O.D., AOA president. “With so much riding on our priority issues, we encourage those with a mind toward advocacy to log in and get involved.”

Optometry’s advocates stand for doctors’ rights to practice full-scope optometry, as well as patients’ ability to access that care—it’s a role that AOA and its volunteers approach diligently, and one in which everyone in the profession can get involved. But knowing where to begin can be challenging.

It’s never too late or too soon to get involved with advocacy. Opportunities, such as the Advocacy 101 session and Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill, provide members unparalleled access to the federal issues facing optometry today, the foundational knowledge and connections necessary to get involved.

Interested in learning more about getting involved in optometry’s advocacy? Keep reading for more information in AOA Focus.

Put that knowledge into practice: Join Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill

The AOA’s single-largest annual advocacy event and centerpiece of optometry’s federal advocacy efforts, Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill, May 23-25, returns in a virtual format in 2021 with new priority issues ranging from possible Medicare telehealth and materials benefit expansions to practical vision plan limitations. And you are invited to attend.

But register soon if you intend to support optometry’s advocates at Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill as registration closes Monday, May 10, to facilitate congressional scheduling.

What: Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill
May 23-25 (online sessions at various times)

For more information about Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill, agenda questions or the priority issues, email or call 800.365.2219. NOTE: Virtual meetings with members of Congress are pre-arranged and coordinated through state associations.

Paraoptometric Speaker Series highlights advocacy in May

In addition to the Advocacy 101 session, optometric practice staff also have access to May’s installment of the Paraoptometric Speaker Series on advocacy. Available on the first Tuesday of every month, the Paraoptometric Speaker Series went live on Tuesday, May 4, with a unique session geared toward providing staff actionable information for getting involved and why their involvement is critical to optometry’s advocacy as a whole.

The recorded Zoom session is now available for paraoptometrics to review in EyeLearn at their leisure, whether they intend to participate in Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill or their own state-level advocacy events.

Interested in learning more about paraoptometric advocacy? Read how paraoptometrics are taking the next step from patient advocate to the profession’s advocate at Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill this year.

Last chance to register for Virtual AOA on Capitol Hill

Registration for the AOA’s single-largest annual federal advocacy event closes May 10 to facilitate scheduling congressional meetings in close coordination with state associations. Consider registering for this free advocacy event today to help make a difference.

Related News

U.S. House pens Medicare vision benefit language, but funding woes threaten derailment

Congress’ Sept. 15 deadline for bill language passes with lawmakers backing key guardrails that AOA’s advocates say must be in place for a workable benefit. Yet, price tag developments may forestall efforts.

Congress sets deadline to ink Medicare vision expansion language

A September deadline means now is the time for AOA members to act. Attend an upcoming special advisory group session for the latest legislative information and contact your members of Congress.

White House extends student loan relief, AOA continues push for NHSC inclusion

The AOA continues its support of optometry students, advocating for a temporary suspension of student loan debt due to the pandemic, as well as a long-term avenue toward loan forgiveness and repayment.