Diversity & Inclusion

The Academy is committed to uplifting and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging at every level of the Academy to drive meaningful change that will advance the Academy’s mission and its commitment to promoting health equity in eye care.

Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and views that define our unique differences including race, ethnicity, religion, size, language, socioeconomic status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, gender identity, political belief, neurodiversity, physical ability, and more.

The Academy recognizes that the current Academy membership does not adequately reflect the demographics of the U.S., and while we understand that progress has begun, there is much more work to do. The Board has created targeted strategies, including the formation of the new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Committee to advance key initiatives further.


Board Policy

The Board of the American Academy of Optometry is dedicated to ensuring diversity in its composition, as well as within its committees, Sections, SIGs, and staff. The Board highly values the engagement of individuals that vary by background; including race, ethnicity, religion, size, language, socioeconomic status, national origin, sexual orientations, age, gender identity, political belief, neurodiversity, and physical ability.

Our Goals

  • Foster a diverse, equitable, accessible, and inclusive environment.
  • Encourage the diversification of our leadership, committees, and membership to cultivate a professional community that mirrors the diversity of the communities we serve to advance health equity.
  • Promote accountability through data collection and reporting.
  • Advocate that diverse voices and perspectives are heard, respected, and invited into all facets of education and research.
  • Enhance accessibility at the Annual Meeting.