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Vision Expo Announces Upcoming Virtual EYE2EYE Series Session

The session is titled Opening Your Eyes! The First Look at the Industry’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey Results.

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(PRESS RELEASE) ALEXANDRIA, VA — The Vision Council and Reed Exhibitions, co-organizers of Vision Expo, announced the next Virtual EYE2EYE Series Session. Scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 6 from 7:30–9:00 pm EST, the session is titled Opening Your Eyes! The First Look at the Industry’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey Results. Presented in collaboration with the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO), and the National Optometric Association (NOA), the session will take a close look at The Vision Council’s 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report, which was released in early April and provides an in-depth analysis of the results of the custom survey The Vision Council fielded to the vision care community in November 2020.

The interactive panel discussion will highlight key data points and specific recommendations that will contribute to leading the industry in a more equitable direction.

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To register for the session, click here. To download The Vision Council’s 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report, click here.

“The 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Survey was designed to serve as a starting point for fostering a more diverse, equitable and inclusive vision care community,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “Through important conversations like the upcoming Virtual EYE2EYE Series panel, we are bringing the industry together to discuss these topics and develop actionable pathways and tangible next steps in achieving this goal.”

The session will be moderated by Dr. Derrick Artis, management consultant at Artis Consulting. Panelists include: Dr. Sherrol Reynolds, president of the NOA; Dr. Ruth Shoge, chair of the Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee at ASCO; Dr. Cynthia Heard, chair of the AAO DEI committee; and Dr. Diana Canto-Sims, co-founder at Buena Vista Optical and designer at La Vida Eyewear.

In addition to their primary roles, Artis and Canto-Sims also serve on The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. Comprised of 13 vision care community leaders, the task force is charged with developing dynamic programming and community initiatives and identifying goals for the industry in order to provide actionable pathways for members to access. The Vision Council’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force is using the survey results to prioritize key areas for change; identify potential policy and culture shift; set impact measurements; and identify additional resources for the industry. The Task Force’s next steps and recommendations will be shared in the coming months.

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“The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and its member institutions embrace diversity and the continued cultural competence of our students and in our profession. We look forward to sharing the results of the Vision Council’s DEI Survey Analysis, the first of its kind. More importantly, we look forward to continuing to work with other organizations in creating an equitable and inclusive profession in an intentional and purposeful way,” Dr. Ruth Shoge, Chair of the Diversity and Cultural Competency Committee at ASCO.

“The National Optometric Association (NOA), an organization dedicated to ‘advancing the visual health of minority populations,’ is thrilled to partner with The Vision Council, the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and the American Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) in presenting this informative panel discussion addressing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in our industry,” said Dr. Sherrol Reynolds, president of the National Optometric Association

“Diversity, equity and inclusion is finally coming to the forefront for difficult and transparent conversations. Examining one’s own identities replaces the silence and fear with tools that allow courageous conversations to occur. As we consider the healthcare disparities facing minority communities, it’s important to look within our own industry to understand the makeup of our demographics and the diversity hurdles we face in order to tackle them head on. This survey and panel discussion partnership among these four organizations helps to provide the foundation on ways in which the optometry profession can do our part to better close the gap on these issues,” said Dr. Cynthia Heard, chair of the AAO DEI committee.

The Vision Council’s 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report

The Vision Council released the 2020 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report in early April. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the custom survey The Vision Council fielded to the vision care community in November 2020.

The Vision Council’s comprehensive report is available to download here, along with several industry segment-specific reports highlighting data from different industry segments.

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The confidential survey, developed in partnership with Nonprofit HR, one of the leading full-service human resources firms focused exclusively on the nonprofit sector with expertise in DEI consulting, was designed to benchmark the vision care leadership landscape in order to help organizations within the industry identify opportunities they have to promote diversity, cultivate talent and improve their performance. The survey was open to all members of the vision care products and services industry and was fielded from November 9–24, 2020. The survey received 1,527 usable responses, all U.S.-based.

The Vision Council’s main goals in commissioning the survey included: to assess diversity, inclusion, and career perceptions within the optical industry; to understand if certain populations were experiencing the industry differently; and to obtain feedback on how The Vision Council and other network organizations can provide support in this area.

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