Membership Benefits

Why Join the AACO?

The AACO is a close network of orthoptists and orthoptic students across North America, working together to promote both the profession and the individual member. There are several different types of membership: Active Member; current AOC-certified orthoptists who have paid dues to the AACO, Associate Member; orthoptists who paid dues to AACO but who do not have a current AOC certification and/or orthoptists certified in another country. Life Membership, retired orthoptists who were dues-paying members of the AACO for at least 20 years; Student Membership, students in AOC-accredited orthoptic programs who pay reduced dues; and Honorary Membership; conferred upon non-orthoptists in recognition of outstanding contribution to orthoptics. One does not have to be employed in the United States to be a member of the AACO.

To become an AACO member, email the Membership committee to obtain a Dues form. Email Paula Schanilec , C.O.

Being an AACO member provides an Orthoptist many benefits!

Billing for Orthoptic services: information and support

Free access to salary and benefit survey via Practice Management Committee

Continuing Education at reduced prices

    • Discounted registration at the national meeting
    • Self Assessment Exam

Professional Publications

    • American Orthoptic Journal (AOJ): distributed annually
    • PRISM Newsletter: distributed bi-annually
    • Straight Scoop Bulletin: e-mailed bi-monthly
    • AACO Membership Directory

Ability to vote at national business meeting to help shape our organization’s future

Opportunities to hold office or be an elected representative.

    • Opportunities to serve on the AACO Executive committee or Board of Directors. Opportunities to serve on AOC

Volunteer opportunities to serve on committees

Access to the orthoptic listserve

Access to the Members Only section of the AACO website which includes:

    • Employment opportunities
    • Brochure for your office: Selecting Children’s glasses
    • Straight Scoop and PRISM archives
    • Access to the AACO Bylaws and Policy Manual
    • Pre- and Post- Academy reports
    • Fundraising contact list for offices hosting a meeting
    • Application for the AACO Honor Certificate

Automatic membership to the International Orthoptic Association (IOA)

    • Reduced registration to attend the IOA Congress
    • Reduced registration to attend Orthoptic meetings in IOA member countries
    • Access to the Members Only section of the IOA website:
    • Receive special offers from journal publishers
    • Access to the Orthoptic search facility containing titles and authors for international meetings (ESA, ISA, IOA) and articlesin the British and Australian Orthoptic journals
    • Download transactions from the recent IOA Congress
    • Access to all IOA reports and minutes of the Annual General Meeting
    • Access to the IOA Phrasebook containing a collection of useful phrases when carrying out an orthoptic exam (translated into the languages of the IOA member countries and several other languages)
    • Access to the IOA Terminology document containing translations of over 500 orthoptic, ophthalmology and neuro-ophthalmology expressions (in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish)
    • Access to Orthoptic job offers posted with the IOA
    • Access to the Orthoptic World Wide Survey (OWWS)
    • Access to the International Vision Screening Survey (IVSS)

Ability to participate in the IOA Exchange and Volunteer Programs

Ability to join important IOA committees

Ability to network with your international orthoptic colleagues

To become an AACO member, email the Membership committee to obtain a Dues form. Email Paula Schanilec, C.O.