American Orthoptic Council
The American Orthoptic Council (AOC) was founded in 1935 with the main purpose of establishing standards for orthoptists in the United States. Besides examining and certifying individual orthoptists, the AOC also is responsible for setting and monitoring standards for the education of orthoptists, and reviews and grants accreditation to orthoptic programs in the United States. It encourages and helps to provide continuing education for recertification, and establishes guidelines for the professional and ethical conduct of certified orthoptists. The Council has more recently expanded its scope to include other means of support for the orthoptic profession, is involved in long-range planning of the profession, and assists in recruitment and public awareness of orthoptics. The AOC supports orthoptic educational goals and works together with the AACO in the planning and presentation of educational workshops and symposia at national meetings.
The American Orthoptic Journal has existed since 1943 and is “the official journal of the AACO.” The journal serves as a forum for published articles and symposia by orthoptists and ophthalmologists worldwide. The AOC is now also involved in encouraging new Orthoptic Programs in geographic areas where none currently exist. Finally, it acts as a support organization for the AACO and its members.
Currently, there are twenty-four members of the AOC: 12 orthoptists and 12 ophthalmologists. They are representatives from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Ophthalmological Society (AOS), the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPO&S), the American Association of Certified Orthoptists (AACO), and the Canadian Orthoptic Council (COC) and The Canadian Orthoptic Society (TCOS).
The twelve Orthoptist members that make up the AOC include:
- The President of the AACO
- The Vice President of the AACO
- Two Elected Representatives of the AACO
- The Representative of the IOA,
- The Representative of the JCHAPO
- The Representative of the TCOS
- The Appointed Chair of the Education Committee
- The Orthoptist Member Representing AAP
- Three Orthoptist Members Representing AAPOS