Seeing the eclipse, and the AOA, everywhere

April 11, 2024
Ahead of this year’s total solar eclipse, the AOA and doctors of optometry jumped in early and often to educate the public about eye safety.
Dr. Benner - Live Total Eclipse Coverage

Taking advantage of the historic moment in time that the total solar eclipse presented, the AOA, affiliates and members worked to educate the public about proper eye safety.

The AOA’s promotion of safe viewing habits garnered national and local coverage reaching over 500 million people, so far. Notable placements to date include CNN, USA Today, CNET, LiveNOW FOX, and CBS.

AOA Total Eclipse Media Coverage Logos

Even Bill Nye, The Science Guy, went all in on the eclipse. As the CEO of The Planetary Society, Nye is continuing his legacy of helping people take an active role in space exploration. AOA President Ronald L. Benner, O.D., was featured on the podcast episode, Eclipse Tips: A guide to safe observing and astrophotography.

Bill Nye Solar Eclipse Post

Coordinating with affiliates in the path of totality for market-specific opportunities, eye safety messaging reached local communities in Ohio, Indiana, Maine and beyond. Each segment further established AOA doctors of optometry as a trusted, credible source the public can turn to if they experience any post-eclipse symptoms.

Celebrating in style

In several states, eclipse celebrations took over. From city-wide block parties to live concerts, the total solar eclipse brought people together.

Some doctors of optometry threw eclipse parties to celebrate the historic moment.

Harbor Eye Associates of New York sponsored two days of education and entertainment for the total eclipse. A Pink Floyd tribute band played “Dark Side of the Moon”, and a DJ played sun, moon and doctor-related songs. Over 8,000 people filled the park and witnessed 3.5 minutes of total darkness.

Educating their communities

Across the country, AOA doctors of optometry leveraged their platforms to share their top eclipse safety tips with their audiences and drive awareness of the importance of seeing an AOA doctor in preparation for this event.

Dr. Joseph Allen Eclipse YouTubeFollow Joseph Allen, O.D. at Doctor Eye Health on YouTube.  

"The Ohio Optometric Association was proud to serve as an educational resource for the public during this once-in-a-lifetime event.  We were cited as a resource in over 17 media outlets, including TV and print, and the past Apollo Award-winning Realeyes Program was able to create an eclipse educational program with live doctor Q&As.  We reached over 90,000 children in schools across Ohio, educating them on the importance of eye safety while enjoying the eclipse."

- Elizabeth Muckley, O.D., CEO and Executive Director of the Ohio Optometric Association

"The Indiana Optometric Association was actively engaged in helping Indiana prepare for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse. We partnered with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security last year during early stages of planning where we created an educational flyer on safe viewing of the eclipse. In addition, we distributed 1,000 solar eclipse viewing glasses to school nurses, legislators, and optometrists between November and February. We sponsored a free continuing education webinar for all Indiana optometrists in February, presented by Indiana University School of Optometry’s solar eclipse expert and optometrist, Hin Cheung, O.D., and shared the webinar as an on-demand CE for those optometrists who were unable to attend the live webinar. Many Indiana ODs were also featured in news around the state."

- Tabitha Arnett, CAE, Executive Director of the Indiana Optometric Association

"Houlton, Maine was very close to the centerline of the eclipse, just one of the amazing places to experience the total solar eclipse. Houlton is also the last place to view totality within the U.S. and it lasted over three minutes. The temperature dropped and darkness fell upon the town, and the celebration of this amazing event happened in a big way up in Northern Maine. Large crowds flocked to our beautiful state to take in this amazing event, ready to go with eclipse glasses"

- Caroline Fontaine, Executive Director of the Maine Optometric Association

Donate undamaged eclipse glasses

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