Diversity and Inclusion Resources

Content on this page will be updated frequently. Please revisit often.

The Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and its member institutions have embraced the concepts of diversity and multiculturalism in optometric education and in the profession. Goals include developing an applicant pool, student community, faculty and profession that reflects the diversity of the U.S. population, while  preparing future optometric clinicians for practicing  in a multicultural and global society.

ASCO’S embracing and promotion of diversity is based on the foundation that:

  1. diversity is good for optometric education and the profession
  2. it is the right thing to do
  3. that greater diversity among students, faculty and practitioners is associated with improved access to care for all, more patient choice and increased satisfaction, improved patient-provider communication, and expanded educational experiences for all students, which will better prepare all for the increasingly diverse communities they will serve in the future.

Recent Diversity and Inclusion Activities

Reference List and Resources

Anti-racism Compiled Resource List

(compiled from Student National Medical Association, George Washington University chapter. Thank you to Southern College of Optometry’s NOSA chapter and to SCO-Student Government Association.)

Be My Neighbor Definitions and Resources

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Symposium

Optometry TV 10/8/2020
Video recording of an ASCO/AAO/NOA Symposium which showcased the current state of diversity in optometry – featuring an overview of diversity in the schools and colleges of optometry; an equity and inclusion success story from a non-optometric health field (veterinary medicine); and strategies for working toward a more diverse, culturally sensitive and inclusive profession. For more information about this event, you may also view this ASCO newsletter article.

Race in Optometry: An Honest Conversation

Webinar Part 1
Disclaimer: All rights belong to the State University of New York, College of Optometry

This SUNY, College of Optometry webinar examined race in optometry, and how race affects optometric training and clinical practice, specifically addressing the Black experience. A panel of Black optometrists answered guiding questions about their experience as students, residents, and doctors of optometry, and how their race has affected their education, training, and careers. Additionally, they addressed the ways we can begin conversations about race in optometry and increase awareness within the optometric community.

Part 2 – Seeking Solutions – Race in Optometry: An Honest Conversation on Optometric Education

Webinar Part 2
Disclaimer: All rights belong to the State University of New York, College of Optometry

The second installment in this SUNY, College of Optometry webinar series featured an elite panel of Black optometrists and leaders in academia who focused on seeking solutions within optometric education by discussing diversity, inclusion, and mentorship, which help lead the way to career pathways. Part one of “Race in Optometry” laid the foundation for discussion by providing perspectives and insight into specific needs and identifying areas for improvement to help advance Black representation in optometric education and in the optometric profession.

Part 3 – Race in Optometry – An Honest Conversation on Diversity & Leadership Development in Industry & The Profession

Webinar Part 3
Disclaimer: All rights belong to the State University of New York, College of Optometry.

The third installment of the online forum featured an elite panel of leaders in academia and the eye care industry who focused on what can be achieved collectively, now and into the future, to advance diversity and leadership in education, the profession, and ophthalmic organizations at large.

Previous Diversity Activities