COVD’s 41st Annual Meeting: Las Vegas

By: Stefania Paniccia
IAUPR School of Optometry 

How much do you, future Optometrist extraordinaire, know about vision therapy? Look no further ladies and gentlemen, as COVD is here to prepare you for all of the challenges that may await you! COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) is an international membership association of eye care professionals including OD’s, optometry students and vision therapists committed to visual rehabilitation as well as behavioral and developmental vision care. As a student member, and the 3rd year Liaison for IAUPR’s School of Optometry, I was fortunate enough to attend their annual meeting in October.


Dr. Ciuffreda

COVD’s annual meeting is the stellar event where vision therapists, optometrists and students gather for continuing education,general education, networking, and to share stories of achievement in the field. This year, we assembled in Las Vegas, and it did not disappoint! Upon arrival, greetings and familiar faces appear to say “hello” just in time to register and have breakfast. Vision therapy techniques and triumphs were discussed casually over cappuccinos and lattes as everyone settled in for a few days of scholarship and camaraderie. Amongst the notable speakers were Dr. Kenneth Ciuffreda, Dr. Neera Kapoor, and Dr. W.C. Maples, to name a few. Topics discussed in lecture included acquired brain injury, general techniques in vision therapy, and current treatments for myopia. Dr. Bonilla-Warford and vision therapist Ruth Villeneuve offered a seminar on social networking, further emphasizing the importance of connecting with patients online. Lastly, Fellows of COVD were inducted into their new posts, and recognized for their diligence. Social events were naturally on the “to-do” list; my personal favorites being the poolside student mixer and evening hospitality suite.


COVD President Dr. Habermehl

I am privileged to have interacted with so many wonderful doctors and students that I would have otherwise missed the opportunity to know without attending the meeting. It is an organization of dedicated and welcoming individuals, who are extremely student-friendly. Vision therapy has improved the quality of life for autistic children, those with dyslexia, traumatic brain injury, and many others. It is easy to see why those at COVD are passionate about their work and labor on behalf of our profession. Dr. Bradley Habermehl, COVD president, had so many encouraging words and took the time to discuss goals and future endeavors for IAUPR’s School of Optometry with me. He will be visiting with us in February for the Tour de Optometry.

As a student, I can say I have reached a new level of motivation and understanding from this experience. Vision care is more than refractions and dilations; we as future O.D.’s should be educated about vision rehabilitation and behavioral optometry in order to serve our patients better and embrace the full scope of our practice. To learn more about vision therapy and COVD, visit and sign up for a free student membership. I hope to see you next year in Fort Worth, Texas!

Stefania Paniccia
IAUPR School of Optometry 


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