Dr Luigina Sorbara – Tributes

IACLE members pay their tributes to Dr Gina Sorbara

If you wish to share your condolences with other IACLE members, please add your comment.

‘Gina’s death is premature. She wasn’t ready to retire and leave us, and we are not ready to lose her. She still had a lot to give to the optometry field, and we still had to learn a lot from her. She was a living resource of scientific knowledge, wisdom, and love. She was an inspiration, and now she has become even more so. One way to honor her is to try to live as she lived, fully and with passion. Death makes very few people immortal; Gina is one of them.’

Daddi Fadel, Italy

Dr Luigina Sorbara Tribute

IACLE is saddened by the passing of Dr Luigina Sorbara

Dr Luigina (Gina) Sorbara passed away on 11 February after battling a long illness that she fought so hard to overcome. She has been a huge part of the IACLE family for many years and she influenced hundreds, if not thousands, of educators and eye care practitioners worldwide. She leaves behind a legacy of kindness and generosity – always sharing her time and resources with others. 

Gina was an Officer of the IACLE Board of Directors since the early 1980s and acted in several roles, including Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Vice-President. In addition to her active involvement on the Board, she travelled around the world to provide contact lens education to educators and their students, participating in national and regional educational meetings, train-the-trainer programs and world congresses. In 2020, the IACLE Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Gina for her many contributions over the almost 40 years she has been involved in imparting her knowledge to IACLE members worldwide. Gina was touched by the recognition of this award and said, ‘It has always been my privilege to work with IACLE and I am especially thankful for all the wonderful opportunities it has given me to contribute to international optometry.’

Dr Sorbara completed her OD degree and later MSc degree in Physiological Optics in 1993 at the University of Waterloo. Since 1984, Gina was Head of the Contact Lens Clinic and became an Associate Professor. Gina was a Fellow of both the American Academy of Optometry and BCLA and had a Diplomate in Cornea and Contact Lenses. Her research interests were particularly in specialty lens designs for keratoconus and orthokeratology, optical coherence tomography, corneal topography, fluorophotometry, clinical grading and clinical trials involving new lens materials, designs and care systems.

IACLE Chief Executive Officer Bonnie Boshart said ‘Over and over these past weeks I have seen Gina described as one of a kind – and she was indeed like few others I have ever known. She was a kind and generous person who willingly shared her time and her resources to help others. During her many years serving as an Officer on the IACLE Board of Directors, she travelled the world to provide contact lens education to our members and their students. Gina always said that she wasn’t ready to retire as she still had so much left to do yet. She was taken from us far too early, and we will miss her dearly.’

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo said ‘Gina was the face of IACLE for many years. She was an inspiring teacher and researcher. She was loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was passionate about IACLE and the field of contact lenses. She will be sorely missed and all at IACLE offer their prayers and love to her family.’

Read more memories and messages shared by the IACLE family

Members are welcome to share their condolences on this tribute page

Special Notice – paid up member benefits

Final reminder to renew your IACLE membership to ensure your exclusive access continues

We are making some changes to the membership renewal process to ensure exclusive access to full benefits remains for our paid-up members. This year, we are extending our successful TLC Initiative and adding further member-only benefits to support and connect our members:

  • The Student Area within IACLETOP has developed further, providing additional benefits for educators and their students. The area includes access to the Student Trial Exam, IACLE Case Report Series – available in two formats, as self-directed learning and as flipped classes – student access to our recorded global webinars, and the ability for educators to develop their own teaching materials 
  • The IACLE Contact Lens Course is exclusively available via IACLETOP, with translations into core and other languages 
  • The Distance Learning Program, launching in March, is designed to improve educators’ contact lens knowledge. We encourage members who intend to sit the IACLE Fellowship Exam to utilize the program that will be available in English, Spanish, Korean and Chinese 
  • The Fellowship Exam will take place on 14 November 2021 via IACLETOP, with preparation assistance through the Fellowship Area within IACLETOP, launching in April
  • The IACLE Library – a searchable database of donated clinical images, videos and PDFs launching at the end of February
  • A second Virtual Conference in April themed ‘Integrating research into education’
  • A new program of weekly themed webinars on a global, regional and national basis

To ensure your exclusive access to all of the above membership benefits continue, please renew your membership before the end of February to avoid a late fee

For more information on how to renew your membership or to make a payment

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented, ‘As a member of IACLE, you are part of our worldwide community dedicated to the highest standards of contact lens education, using the latest platforms and up-to-date content. The contact lens field is rapidly changing, as are the ways the subject is taught. IACLE is committed to ensuring educators have the best tools to undertake this role.’

Your active participation in IACLE is important to us

Thank you for being a member and for your continued support

Information on all IACLE membership benefits is available at www.iacle.org

IACLE IS SPONSORED BY

Dr Luigina Sorbara – IACLE Tributes

IACLE colleagues pay their tributes to Dr Gina Sorbara

Dr Luigina (Gina, to most of us) Sorbara was first and foremost an educator in every sense of the word. She embodied the role of a Professor with grace and leadership, continually reinventing herself as the field of optometry expanded. Her passion was in the area of contact lenses, sharing her knowledge for nearly 40 years at the University of Waterloo, School of Optometry. She was involved in didactic courses, laboratories, clinical research as well as the contact lens clinic where she would transfer her knowledge to improve patient care. She was at the cutting edge of contact lens prescribing, teaching future eyecare professionals the art of soft, gas permeable, keratoconic, presbyopic and scleral lens fitting.
Over the years, she collaborated with so many colleagues from around the world to enhance the contact lens field through an impressive array of publications, presentations, workshops and conferences. One of her passions was enhancing contact lens education on a global scale, teaming up with the Center for Contact Lens Research Unit in Australia (now the Brien Holden Vision Institute), the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE) at Waterloo, and the International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) where she became intimately involved at the executive committee level for many years. With IACLE, she volunteered countless hours to participate and advocate for contact lens education where it was most needed, often travelling to China, Philippines and India, to name a few.
On a more personal note, Dr Sorbara was my teacher (many years ago) and since, she became a colleague, a mentor and a friend, sharing with me some of the challenges of academic life. She was omnipresent at all the major contact lens meetings and was a reassuring presence for many of us who were starting our careers. She was a role model for many women that professional and family life could strike a successful balance. She often shared, at meetings, her family’s successes and her proud Italian roots.
She was truly a dedicated educator and a formidable ambassador for Waterloo and contact lens education. She leaves an incredible legacy for optometric education; one of dedication, mentorship, leadership and unselfish devotion to optometry and contact lens education, inspiring several generations of optometrists, that will outlast her life’s work. Thank you Gina!’

Professor Etty Bitton, IACLE Treasurer

The passing of a unique and productive individual invariably leaves gaps in their chosen field, society generally, and of course their family. As well, their absence gives rise to unmet needs, sadness, and ultimately an opportunity for another to fill, at least partially, the void they leave behind. The latter is a huge ask when Dr Gina Sorbara is that absent individual. She was a person like no other, she was in places more often than most others. She was often ‘roped in’ at the last minute to fulfill commitments accepted by others who were unable to deliver for whatever reason life threw in their path. That was Gina. Fortunately for all concerned, her role in life was understood all too well by her family, her employer, and her numerous colleagues and that usually meant the lasso snared the good professor and she was off to some remote part of the world at short notice.
Professionally, she was something of a chameleon because she wore various masks that might have identified her as a contact lens practitioner dealing with challenging cases (think keratoconus, toric RGP CLs, topographically challenged corneas, and children). She was a contact lens educator, a contact lens researcher, a mentor to a contact lens educator at home or anywhere else in the world, or the most senior academic admissions officer in the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. It is probable that at times she was two or more of those possibilities, concurrently. She was the head of the contact lens clinic at Waterloo from 1984 until her eventual retirement in mid-2020. In addition to her Optometric Doctorate (OD) and a master’s degree (MSc), she held Fellowships from the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and the British Contact Lens Association and was a Research Diplomate in the Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technologies Section of the AAO. She was also involved deeply with AOCLE (an organization that is some 5 years older than IACLE), not just IACLE, thereby ensuring no corner of the world was left untouched by her magic wand. Most recently (mid-2020), she was awarded IACLE’s Lifetime Achievement Award for services to the organization and contact lens education worldwide over an extended period. The LAA is awarded rarely, and Gina joins other recent recipients Professor Des Fonn (Canada, 2015) and Professor Deborah Sweeney (Australia, 2017). Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic meant that Gina’s award could not be presented in person as would have been most fitting. Instead, to accompany the award announcement, a video tribute to the awardee was produced by IACLE that included cameo appearances by its executives and senior members. The video also incorporated a large number of photographs taken of Gina in education mode in various parts of the world, especially India, the Philippines, and China, countries where her footprint was most often left. It is believed that Gina was also the longest serving IACLE Executive Board member. That is no mean achievement given the involvement of long-term stalwarts such as the late Professor Brien Holden, Professor Des Fonn, and Professor Debbie Sweeney. Tributes to Gina include telling words such as methodical, generous, accommodating, and selfless.
Gina’s involvement in IACLE’s endeavours spans most of the organization’s 42 years of operation and included all the IACLE World Congresses, 1994, 2000, 2015. Her activities were characterized by enthusiasm, an indefatigable drive to contribute, an uncanny ability to convey her message with clarity and within practical time frames, and an innate ability to relate to students and educators regardless of their native language, their level of knowledge, or their age. She was always a reliable reviewer of IACLE’s Fellowship Exam drafts
The wider significance of Gina’s absence from Waterloo, IACLE, and various parts of the contact lens world outside North America will be felt or realized fully once a ‘new’ COVID normal is achieved, and international travel is recommenced at some practical level. It is probable that more than one person will be required to fill the shoes left behind by Dr Gina Sorbara such is the depth and breadth of the roles she filled during her lifetime. Our sympathies go out to her family for their huge loss – she will be remembered for a long time to come and we will all be reminded of our collective losses each and every time someone thinks ‘where is Gina when you need her?’

Dr Lewis Williams, Former IACLE Manager of Educational Development

I remember meeting Gina for the first time I think in Berlin at an ERS meeting – we were both pregnant with our first children – neither of us really knowing how this next step in our lives was going to play out for our careers, our aspirations. It was a bond that lasted between us. I know how much her husband and kids meant to her and how terribly proud she was of both of her children. A terrible tragedy that she won’t share the next 20 or 30 years with them.
Gina Sorbara joined IACLE over 30 years ago, many as a valued member of IACLE’s Executive Team where she served as Treasurer. She made huge contributions to all of IACLE programs and helping to guide its vision and strategy. As a dedicated and caring contact lens educator and researcher, Gina contributed to the development and content of the Contact Lens Course, the Distance Learning Program, the Students Trial Exam, and the Fellowship Exam. She supported IACLE Fellows who spent significant time with her in Canada gaining firsthand experience and insights into her approach to clinical education and research. She participated in Train-the-Trainer programs as well as IACLE’s educational meetings across Latin America, Asia Pacific and Europe. She was a much sought-after educator across IACLE’s network, and she shared her wisdom and approaches willingly to clinical education and RGPs in particular. Gina spent significant time for IACLE working with educators in the Philippines, where I know she transformed the lives of many educators and students through her passion for contact lens education and her mentorship.
I and many of our colleagues around the world have fond memories of Gina as an educator, a researcher, as an advocate, and as a mentor, but most importantly as a friend.’

Professor Deborah Sweeney, Former IACLE President

Gina was a co-author, collaborator, a graduate student, co-executive member of IACLE, co-examiner and educator of contact lenses at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo, researcher and integral member of the Centre for Contact Lens Research and most of all a dear friend. Will be sorely missed by so many.’

Professor Des Fonn, Former IACLE Vice-President

Global Member Newsletter February 2021

WHAT’S NEW AT IACLE

NEW IACLE Library launches later this month

A new searchable database accessible through IACLETOP is launching this month. The IACLE Library consists of IACLE images, videos and PDFs, and members can upload resources they wish to share with other IACLE colleagues. Photographs from the Image of the Month initiative can also be found here. 

Access IACLETOP

NEW Research Update area added to IACLETOP

Our monthly Research Update email now has a designated area within IACLETOP, with access through the Dashboard. Catch-up with previous issues, along with summary videos produced by Executive Manager of Educational Programs Nilesh Thite. Nilesh reviews the contact lens-related research literature and provides a summary of the most topical and essential articles. 

Access the Research Update area

NEW Student Area released on IACLETOP

A new Student Area for educators to use with their students is launching this month. This separate area allows educators to release the IACLE Case Reports to their students as and when they wish, giving educators control over which topics their students cover. Assigned STEs can also be found here.

Access the Case Reports on IACLETOP

NEW Case Reports now available as flipped classes

The Teacher Area within IACLETOP has been updated so members now have access to use the Case Reports as flipped classes using the Nearpod software. This software allows educators and their students to review each case using discussion boards and instant polling (pictured above) in an engaging online environment to stimulate conversation.

Access the Case Reports using Nearpod

NEW Save the date for our second Virtual Conference

Following our first-ever Virtual Conference’s success in September 2020, the IACLE Education Team is hosting a second global Virtual Conference on Saturday 24 April, starting at 12 noon (GMT), themed ‘Integrating research into education’. International experts will share their knowledge and experiences on how to combine research and education to become a successful academic. 

Look out for more details soon

NEW Brochure for 2021

The IACLE Brochure has had an update for the year ahead, highlighting activities, resources, programs and initiatives that are taking place throughout the year. We encourage all members to share the document with their peers.

Read the brochure

NEW Fellowship Exam date announced

We are pleased to announce that the Fellowship Exam will take place on Friday 12 November. Registration for the exam will open via the IACLE website on 1 April and closes on 30 June, and payment must be made by 30 June. A reminder to members that enrolment for the Distance Learning Program (DLP), designed to improve the contact lens knowledge of educators and support members who are taking the Fellowship Exam, opens in March on IACLETOP. Once members have paid and registered for the exam, a dedicated area will be accessible to give further support to those sitting the exam, including discussion groups, mock exams and periodic mentoring sessions. 

Look out for the opening of the DLP on IACLETOP

Innovative ways to assess students

As many institutions have suspended most face-to-face teaching activity due to the Coronavirus pandemic, educators have had to adapt to new ways of assessing their students. This month, our Worldwide Wednesday Webinar Series theme is ‘Innovative ways to assess students’, where educators will explore novel methods in this area. Members can find the Zoom login details through the ‘IACLE Webinars’ tab on the IACLETOP Dashboard. 

Watch the first webinar from this month’s theme

Renew your membership to receive full benefits this year

In November, we announced some changes to our terms and conditions of membership renewal. Please renew your membership now to ensure open access to all our member-only benefits continues. Access to full membership benefits ended on 31 January if payment was not received, and a late fee is payable after the end of February. Please note that members with an Emeritus Membership are exempt from the annual fee. 

Thank you Wim Borst (Emeritus Member) from the Netherlands for his kind donation to IACLE.

More information on membership renewal

MEET A MEMBER

Introducing Silvia Pulido, Professional Education and Development Manager at Johnson & Johnson in Madrid, Spain. Silvia specializes in contact lenses and anterior eye and uses IACLE resources to leverage her educational material. She has a keen passion for learning from colleagues who are from different backgrounds and cultures. Outside of work, Silvia enjoys family time, sailing, biking and swimming.

Have you advanced the teaching of contact lenses in your institution/company over the past year but have already taken part in Meet a Member? We’d like to hear about your achievements and share them with our membership. If IACLE colleagues would like to connect with other members, we can arrange this by simply emailing us at iacle@iacle.org.

Introduce yourself to other IACLE members by completing this short online questionnaire

IMAGE OF THE MONTH

Norma takes the winning image

Lifetime FIACLE Ajay Shinde from the Shinde Eye Centre in Bengaluru, India, captured this image using a slit lamp camera. The patient complained of a burning sensation when inserting their contact lenses but had not used tap water or moisturizer on their hands prior to incision. On slit lamp examination, diffuse superficial punctate keratitis (SPK) was observed. Ajay noted that the care solution was changed two months prior, and the patient was recommended tear substitutes and to stop contact lens wear for the time being. The patient was seen for a follow-up examination and the condition resolved within a week. Contact lens wear soon resumed with a new pair of lenses. 

Submit your image

RESOURCES

BCLA CLEAR initiative reviews academic contact lens literature

Ahead of the launch of its Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR) initiative, the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) describes the various papers in a series of blog articles. FIACLE Professor James Wolffsohn (pictured left) and IACLE Vice President Professor Philip Morgan (pictured middle) led the CLEAR initiative and it features several IACLE Fellows and members as authors, including IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo (pictured right). CLEAR will be published in the March issue of Contact Lens and Anterior Eye and will be available to BCLA members and non-members.

Access the blogs

Myopia tests for children

CooperVision has devised a tool for parents to test whether their children may become myopic. The Nearsightedness Assessment Tool is a short survey featuring questions for parents to answer about the age of their child, relevant family history and the amount of close work performed.  

Access the tool

Myopia in children at the forefront of research

Johnson & Johnson, the American Optometric Association, the American Academy of Optometry, the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry, and the Singapore Optometric Association have collaborated to produce a new myopia resource. The guide, titled ‘Managing Myopia: A Clinical Response to the Growing Epidemic’, provides a research-based rationale for how and why children’s eye health should be prioritized.

Read the guide

What does the future hold for ECPs?

Editor of Contact Lenses Today Dr Jason Nichols authors an article on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the contact lens industry titled ‘Contact Lenses 2020’. The 2020 Annual Report highlights the key trends in contact lens prescribing and discusses eyecare professionals’ future. 

Read the article

COVID-19 RESOURCES

Progression of myopia after COVID-19 home confinement

A recent study published by Wang et al in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests an association between home confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic and a substantial myopic shift for young children aged 6-8. 

Read the journal

Attitudes to wear and care during the pandemic in Jordan

A survey conducted in Jordan by FIACLE Dr May Bakkar and IACLE member Eman Alzghoul, recently published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, revealed that most patients continued to wear their lenses during the pandemic and reported improved contact lens hygiene habits.

Access the survey

GLOBAL UPDATE

AMERICAS

Students in Mexico sit the STE

For the first time, a large group of students (124) from the Interdisciplinary Center for Health Sciences Unit Santo Tomás IPN and FES Iztacala in Mexico City, Mexico, are sitting IACLE’s Student Trial Exam this month. This is a direct outcome of the second Mexican Consensus in Contact Lens Education meeting, held in Puebla in March 2020.

Read the Americas report

ASIA PACIFIC

China Team explore online teaching methods

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, educators have had to adapt to different teaching methods. Ma Yuying from Wuxi Vocational Institute of Arts & Technology in Jiangsu, China, and Liu Wenlan from Xi’an Medical University in Xi’an, China, held an online teaching methods session and interactive case presentations.

Read the full Asia Pacific report

EUROPE / AFRICA / MIDDLE EAST

Meet and Chat with Judith Morris

EAME Regional President Judith Morris hosted the first Meet and Chat for our European members. An array of topical thoughts was discussed, including the difficulties faced in clinical teaching due to COVID-19, assessments in practice and the effect of the current lack of hands-on experience. The next Meet and Chat session is on Saturday 20 February at 3.00 pm (GMT) for our Middle Eastern members who will receive the Zoom login details via email prior to the event. 

Tune into the next Meet and Chat

EAOO goes virtual

Due to the current situation, the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) have announced that their Helsinki 2021 meeting will now go ahead virtually. The event will take place from 23-25 April, and both lectures and exhibitions will be live streamed.

For more information and to register

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Key dates for 2021:

23-25 April – European Academy of Optometry and Optics Annual (EAOO) Conference (virtual meeting). Details

1-7 May – Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting (virtual meeting). Details.

20-23 May – Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) Annual Workshop, Fort Lauderdale FL, USA. Details.

13-14 June – BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, Manchester, UK. Details.

1-4 July – 5th Asia Pacific Ophthalmic Trauma Society Meeting, Bali, Indonesia. Details.

3-4 September – 49th European Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Congress (ECLSO), Paris, France. Details.

29-30 October – New Zealand Association of Optometrists 90th Annual Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand. Details.

3-6 November – American Academy of Optometry, Boston, USA. Details.

23-24 November – 3rd Asia Optometric Congress and 8th ASEAN Optometric Conference, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia. Details.

IACLE IS SPONSORED BY

2021 IACLE Global Virtual Conference

Following our first-ever Virtual Conference’s success in September 2020, the IACLE Education Team is hosting a second global Virtual Conference on Saturday 24 April, starting at 12 noon (GMT), themed ‘Integrating research into education’. International experts will share their knowledge and experiences on how to combine research and education to become a successful academic.

Look out for more details soon

Special Notice – Final Call – IACLE Awards

Last call for 2021 Educator of the Year Awards entries

Three contact lens educators from around the world will be attending major international meetings this year, as winners of the 2021 IACLE Awards.  

IACLE is offering educators worldwide the chance to become IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year and travel to a major international meeting providing COVID-19 restrictions allow. Please note, we will continue to monitor the situation and may need to postpone presentation of awards to 2022. IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year will be awarded to three individuals, one from each of IACLE’s three global regions:

  • 2021 IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year
  • 2021 IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year
  • 2021 IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Entries to be submitted through the application form here

The 2020 winners (pictured above left to right: Professor Renée Reeder, Professor Bariah Mohd Ali and Jo Underwood) will also receive their awards at meetings this year, when restrictions allow.

These awards recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education and are sponsored by CooperVision. The winners will each receive a bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending an international meeting and permission to use the title 2021 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year for their region. 

The IACLE Educator Awards are open to all IACLE members who have been paid-up members for at least three years. Members can either nominate themselves, or be nominated by another member, their IACLE regional / country coordinator or IACLE staff. Applicants must demonstrate use of IACLE resources, engagement with IACLE, impact on their institution and the ways that they inspire their students to become future contact lens practitioners.  

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘We are proud to be able to continue to offer the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards for our three global regions. IACLE encourages all members to consider applying for the 2021 Awards, or to nominate someone for the Award. We are grateful to all our sponsors for their support, and especially to CooperVision for continuing to sponsor the Educator of the Year Awards.’

‘Continuous advancement in contact lens technology has made it more important than ever for students to receive focused education in this area of education and practice experience,’ said Gary Orsborn, OD, Vice President of Global Professional, Medical and Clinical Affairs, CooperVision. ‘As one of the world’s leading soft contact lens manufacturers, CooperVision is proud to support IACLE each year in recognizing outstanding contact lens educators for their dedication to the future of the profession.’

The IACLE Travel Awards are bursaries of up to US$3,000 allowing IACLE Educator Members to attend international meetings. The IACLE Travel Awards are sponsored by IACLE through the generous support of all IACLE’s sponsors (Alcon, CooperVision, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Bausch + Lomb and Euclid). 

Three 2020 Travel Award recipients, Dr Elizabeth Chetty, Professor Martín Guzmán and Associate Professor Nirav Mehta will receive their awards at an international meeting this year, providing COVID-19 restrictions allow. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there will be no IACLE Travel Awards for 2021. 

The deadline for the 2021 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards is midnight (EST) on Sunday 31 January 2021.

Find more information

IACLE IS SPONSORED BY

Special Notice – Payment Scheme for IACLETOP

IACLE introduces payment scheme for IACLETOP

IACLE’s Teaching Online Platform, IACLETOP, is an online Learning Management System developed using Canvas. The platform will become the central point to access all IACLE online resources and teaching materials, with access via the IACLETOP Login. IACLE is developing IACLETOP to deliver an ever-increasing, powerful array of highly integrated learning products that enable educators worldwide to build a digital learning environment, tailored specifically to their needs, simplify teaching and elevate their students’ learning. 

IACLE continuously strives to support members and how they educate their students. IACLETOP provides members with the ability to develop individual teaching content and assessments, and to integrate IACLE resources into teaching, offering maximum flexibility in a dedicated teaching space. This increased flexibility requires a higher level of support. Due to this, some benefits will now incur additional fees:

  • Student Trial Exams – ran through IACLETOP, the STE is available in two versions, 50 and 100 MCQ formats, and can be resat where needed, allowing student progression to be monitored and compared
  • Student-specific Case Reports – available in two formats, self-directed learning or as an interactive format, each Case Report is available to deliver as a tutorial using the Nearpod software
  • Developing individual teaching material – to support student learning, teaching materials and individual assessments can be developed and delivered through IACLETOP

IACLETOP also has the potential for members to have dedicated space to use for their own teaching, and to use the power of the Canvas system to support their educational work. Additional costs apply for this facility and will be levied on a ‘per student per year’ basis, expiring on 31 December. The costs are as follows:

  • PPP1 US$5
  • PPP2 US$10
  • PPP3 US$15

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented: ‘Over the last year, IACLE has invested heavily into IACLETOP. Having our own virtual learning environment makes perfect sense to deliver the vast array of materials that we have. Whilst IACLE members can still access IACLETOP as part of their regular IACLE membership, we do expect that some members will see the benefit of having their own institutional space within IACLETOP and allowing access to their students. In the past we had a nominal fee for students undertaking the Student Trial Exam, the new fee structure is slightly higher but has many more resources that students will find useful.’

Executive Manager of Educational Development Professor Craig Woods said: ‘Incorporating a Learning Management System (LMS) into teaching is a game changer in so many ways. You will see an increase in your student’s motivation to learn and their engagement grow. An LMS allows students’ confidence to grow and they perceive an increase in transparency and fairness in assessments. IACLETOP gives educators unlimited scope in developing state-of-the-art teaching and assessment materials, as well as accessing extensive material developed by IACLE.’

Read more about the Teach. Learn. Connect. Initiative

IACLE IS SPONSORED BY

Special Notice – Renew Membership in 2021

Renew your IACLE membership now to ensure your exclusive access to all the benefits continues

We are making changes to the membership renewal process to ensure exclusive access to full benefits for our paid-up members. This year, we’ll be adding even more benefits to support our members and bring you together.

In response to the challenging year we faced in 2020, we’ve added many essential member-only benefits to supplement our existing educational activities:

  • Our Teaching Online Platform IACLETOP, developed using the Canvas system
  • More than 40 multilingual recorded live webinars, available to view via IACLETOP
  • The IACLE Contact Lens Course (ICLC), your essential resource to deliver a comprehensive contact lens curriculum, is now on IACLETOP
  • The IACLE Flashcards, to support the delivery of students’ practical skills
  • The Student Trial Exam (STE), conducted by members online for final-year students
  • The IACLE Case Report Series, a growing collection of interactive case reports

To support you as the recovery from the pandemic continues, we have extended our successful TLC Initiative into 2021 and adding further valuable benefits:

  • A new program of weekly live webinars on a global, regional or national basis
  • The IACLE Contact Lens Course is now exclusively available via IACLETOP, with more translations into core and other languages
  • The Fellowship Exam will take place in November 2021 via IACLETOP, with preparation assistance through the platform
  • The Distance Learning Program is designed to improve the contact lens knowledge of educators and is encouraged for those members who intend to sit the IACLE Fellowship Exam
  • The IACLE Library – a searchable database of donated clinical images
  • A second Virtual Conference in April 2021
  • Educators will be able to develop their own learning environment on IACLETOP

To ensure your exclusive access to all these membership benefits, we have a new renewal schedule:

  • Access to full membership benefits will end on 31 January if payment is not received
  • A late fee will be payable for members who have not paid by the end of February

Read our Membership Terms & Conditions

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo commented, ‘As a member of IACLE, you are part of our worldwide community dedicated to the highest standards of contact lens education, using the latest platforms and up-to-date content. The contact lens field is rapidly changing, as are the ways the subject is taught. IACLE is committed to ensuring educators have the best tools to undertake this role.’

Your active participation in IACLE is important to us

Thank you for being a member and for your continued support

IACLE IS SPONSORED BY

Global Member Newsletter January 2021

WHAT’S NEW AT IACLE

Translation – Chinese

NEW ICLC exclusively available on IACLETOP

From this month, the IACLE Contact Lens Course has been made exclusively available via IACLETOP and is no longer available through our website to ensure members receive full benefits of IACLE membership. Our contact lens curriculum is available in English, Chinese (simplified), Spanish, Korean, French and Italian with some content in German, Portuguese and Russian. 

Access the ICLC via IACLETOP

NEW Worldwide Wednesday Webinars

This month, we launched a new series of global webinars themed ‘Goodbye 2020, hello 2021’. Executive Manager of Global Education Lakshmi Shinde and Executive Manager of Educational Programs Nilesh Thite started the series and discussed programs and resources introduced in 2020, in addition to IACLE’s plans for 2021. Look out for webinars in Chinese, Bahasa and Spanish in the coming weeks. 

Catchup on IACLETOP

NEW Case Reports added on IACLETOP today

The Case Report Series has been restructured into a new flipped classroom format to provide learning opportunities for students, either as flipped classes or for self-directed learning. This format utilizes the Nearpod software and allows educators and their students to review each case using discussion boards and instant polling in an engaging online environment to stimulate conversation. Released today, the number of Case Reports has increased from four to 10. 

For more information and to access the Case Reports

NEW Save the date for our second Virtual Conference

Following our first-ever Virtual Conference’s success in September 2020, the IACLE Education Team is hosting a global conference on Saturday 24 April themed ‘Integrating research into education’. International experts will share their knowledge and experiences on how to combine research and education to become a successful academic. 

Look out for more details

NEW Meet and Chat for EAME members

Attending conferences around the world allows members to meet others in their region, talk about how they use IACLE resources and to share teaching ideas they have put into practice. Due to congresses being unable to go ahead at this current time, EAME Regional President Judith Morris is introducing a ‘Meet and Chat’ initiative to connect members, to learn from one another and to discuss educational needs. The sessions will be conducted via Zoom and will take place four times a year for each part of the region – Europe, Middle East and Africa. The first Meet and Chat for our European members is on Monday 25 January at 3.00 pm (GMT).

EAME members – please see your email inbox for the details

Apply now for the 2021 Educator of the Year Awards

Applications are still open for the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards. The Educator Awards are sponsored by CooperVision and winners will each receive US$3,000 towards the cost of attending a major international meeting and permission to use the title 2021 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year for their region. Pictured (center right) is 2018 winner Runa Mazumder at the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Optometry, with colleagues from the AP region. Applications close on Sunday 31 January at midnight (EST).

Apply now

Renew your membership to receive full benefits this year

In November, we announced some changes to our terms and conditions of membership renewal. Please renew your membership now to ensure open access to all our member-only benefits continues. Access to full membership benefits will end on 31 January if payment is not received. 

More information on membership renewal changes

MEET A MEMBER

Introducing Jenny Sandh, Professional Learning and Development Manager, Northern European Academy at Specsavers. Jenny is based in Stockholm and is a third-generation optometrist. Growing up in an optometry family created her curiosity for the profession. Jenny uses IACLE resources daily for finding information and to use as a reference when conducting training sessions. Outside of work, Jenny enjoys skiing, sailing and tracking. Creating ceramic objects and making silver rings out of antique silver spoons is another of her hobbies. 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO IACLE MEMBERS WORLDWIDE? WE’RE LOOKING FOR MORE MEMBERS TO TAKE PART IN MEET A MEMBER.

IMAGE OF THE MONTH

Norma takes the winning image

Congratulations to Colombian member Norma Cárdenas, winner of the 2020 IACLE Image of the Year. Norma receives one year of free IACLE membership, a US$100 Amazon voucher and certificate. Norma captured these images of a female patient with a history of incisional keratotomy approximately 30 years ago. Five years ago, her visual acuity decreased progressively, and her best correction with glasses was 20/200 binocularly. Slit lamp examination showed marked radial incisions with corneal scarring, a flat cornea in the center and a steep periphery. Oblate scleral contact lenses were fitted, obtaining a VA of 20/40. 

SHARE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THE 2021 IACLE IMAGE COLLECTION AND ENTER OUR IMAGE OF THE YEAR COMPETITION FOR THE CHANCE TO WIN A YEAR’S IACLE MEMBERSHIP AND A US$100 AMAZON VOUCHER!

Submit your image

RESOURCES

2020 roundup of the contact lens industry

Karen Walsh, Professional Education Team Leader and Clinical Scientist at the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE), Canada, authors an editorial in the latest Contact Lens Update titled ‘A year in review: a global perspective on the most extraordinary of years in clinical practice. This report reflects on events throughout the year through the eyes of clinicians, researchers and educators. 

Read the editorial. Sign up to receive Contact Lens Update

Prescribing contact lenses in 2020

An article written by Vice President Professor Philip Morgan, Executive Manager of Educational Development Professor Craig Woods and FIACLE Professor Lyndon Jones (pictured above), and other colleagues including Lifetime FIACLEs Eef van der Worp and José Manuel González-Méijome and FIACLEs Dr John Hsiao and Dr Ioannis Tranoudis summarizes information for clinical practitioners, industry and academia about contact lens prescribing behaviours during 2020. 

Access the article

Predicting the future for contact lenses

FIACLE Professor Lyndon Jones, Director at the Centre for Ocular Research & Education and Karen Walsh, Professional Education Team Leader and Clinical Scientist, assess the accuracy of predictions 20 years after they were made for the new millennium, and explore where the contact lens industry will be in another 20 years’ time. 

Read the full text

COVID-19 RESOURCES

Contact lens wear in Spain during the COVID-19 pandemic

A new study published by Marta Vianya-Estopa et al in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye emphasizes the importance of educating contact lens wearers to ensure safe wear.

Read the full text

Ensuring safe clinical teaching at university optometry schools

A new report outlines the challenges currently faced by optometry schools and describes strategies to minimize the risk of virus transmission to ensure safe clinical optometric teaching.

Access the article

GLOBAL UPDATE

AMERICAS

Latin America reports on the past year

In 2020, more than 50 IACLE members from the Latin America region took part in the radio program ‘IACLE in the world’, to discuss various contact lens topics. In total, the LA Team recorded more than 60 hours of content and over 6,000 ECPs tuned into the shows across Zoom, Facebook live and YouTube.

Read the Americas report

ASIA PACIFIC

Australian member awarded Lifetime FIACLE

An IACLE member for 24 years, Professor Helen Swarbrick (pictured right with past IACLE President Professor Deborah Sweeney) has been awarded Emeritus Membership on her retirement from the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales, and Lifetime FIACLE status. As well as introducing undergraduate students to contact lenses, she also developed and ran two very successful postgraduate courses – Advanced Contact Lens Studies and Specialty Contact Lenses Studies, taken by many international students through the Master of Optometry course. Helen acted as Assistant Secretary for IACLE for many years and has always enthusiastically encouraged her students at all levels to utilize the resources of IACLE in their learning, and subsequent contact lens clinical practice and research.

More information on the Fellowship Program

Korean university runs Student Trial Exam

Students from Kukje University in Seoul, South Korea recently took the Student Trial Exam (5 December). Korea National Coordinator Professor Park Kyung-hee said ‘Students acquiring the IACLE STE certificate is a big part of their future employment. In the future, we will continue to do our best to ensure that more students acquire licenses and find employment smoothly.’

Read the news article

Students successfully pass the STE in Indonesia

IACLE member Sylvianti Simanjuntak from the Academy of Optometry Leprindo in Jakarta conducted the Student Trial Exam on 28 October. Certificates were presented to all who successfully passed the exam (pictured above). Dian Leila Sari, Director of the Optometry School commented: ‘Thank you Sylvianti and Dr Cheni Lee for conducting and facilitating this STE exam. It’s a privilege that we are given this opportunity to gauge our students’ contact lens knowledge.’  

Read the full Asia Pacific report

EUROPE / AFRICA / MIDDLE EAST

BCLA appoints new President

The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has appointed their new President-Elect, FIACLE Neil Retallic. Neil hopes to push for advances in eco-friendly products and finding treatments for patients with ocular pathology. He will take over from current President, Indie Grewal, following the BCLA annual general meeting. 

Read a press release

EAOO Helsinki2021 takes place in April

The European Academy of Optometry and Optics’ conference will now take place in the Finnish capital Helsinki from 23-25 April 2021. The congress will include keynotes, poster presentations, workshops, discussion groups and professional exhibitions, and will be streamed online for those who cannot attend.

For more information

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Key dates for 2021:
21-23 January – The Global Specialty Lens Symposium (virtual meeting). Details

23-25 April – European Academy of Optometry and Optics Annual (EAOO) Conference, Helsinki, Finland. Details

1-7 May – Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting (virtual meeting). Details.

20-23 May – Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) Annual Workshop, Fort Lauderdale FL, USA. Details.

11-13 June – BCLA Clinical Conference and Exhibition, Manchester, UK. Details.

1-4 July – 5th Asia Pacific Ophthalmic Trauma Society Meeting, Bali, Indonesia. Details.

3-4 September – 49th European Contact Lens and Ocular Surface Congress (ECLSO), Paris, France. Details.

29-30 October – New Zealand Association of Optometrists 90th Annual Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand. Details.

3-6 November – American Academy of Optometry, Boston, USA. Details.

23-24 November – 3rd Asia Optometric Congress and 8th ASEAN Optometric Conference, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia. Details

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