Press Releases

IACLE calls for entries for 2020 Educator of the Year and Travel Awards

Six contact lens educators from around the world will be attending major international meetings this year, as winners of the 2020 IACLE Awards.

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) is offering educators worldwide the chance to become IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year and travel to the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), Academy 2020 Nashville, in Tennessee, USA (8-10 October). IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Yearwill be awarded to three individuals, one from each of IACLE’s three global regions: 

  • 2020 IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year
  • 2020 IACLE Asia Pacific Contact Lens Educator of the Year
  • 2020 IACLE Europe / Africa – Middle East Contact Lens Educator of the Year

These awards recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education and are sponsored by CooperVision with support from the Academy. The winners will each receive a bursary of up to US$3,000 towards the cost of attending Academy 2020 Nashville and permission to use the title 2020 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year for their region. 

The IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards are open to all IACLE members who have been paid-up members for at least 3 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.  

‘Continuous advances in contact lens technology require ongoing evolution in contact lens education,’ said Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional and Clinical Affairs for CooperVision. ‘We are proud to continue our partnership with IACLE to recognize the educators who never cease to give their students the best possible preparation for a career in optometry – today, tomorrow, and well into the future. We look forward to celebrating those who rise to the top in 2020.’

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).

This year there will be three IACLE Travel Awards. Recipients will attend either Academy 2020 Nashville (one award), or the Association of Optometric Contact Lens Educators (AOCLE) Annual Workshop (one award) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (28-31 May), or another major meeting to be agreed by the IACLE Executive Board (one award). Academy attendance is supported by AAO and AOCLE attendance by AOCLE.  

‘A dream fulfilled’ is how 2019 IACLE Travel Award recipient Joseph Afonne from Mzuzu University, Malawi described his experience of attending the British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference in Manchester, UK last year. And 2019 IACLE EAME Contact Lens Educator of the Year Dr Fabrizio Zeri of the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy said being chosen for this prestigious award was ‘a great honour’.

IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo said: ‘I would encourage all members to consider applying for the 2020 awards or perhaps nominate someone for an award. We are grateful to all our sponsors for their support, to CooperVision for continuing to sponsor the Educator Awards, and to the American Academy of Optometry and AOCLE for additional support.’

The deadline for entries for the 2020 awards is midnight (EST) on Friday 28 February 2020. Entries must be submitted using the application forms at (Awards). 


PICTURE CAPTION: IACLE President Dr Shehzad Naroo (left) and Dr Gary Orsborn (right), Vice President, Global Professional and Clinical Affairs at CooperVision, pictured with some of the 2019 IACLE Awards winners (l-r) Dr Fabrizio Zeri (Italy), Professor Craig Woods (Australia), Joseph Afonne (Malawi) and Dr Rubén Velázquez (Mexico), and BCLA President Professor Sunil Shah (second right), at the 2019 British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference.

For media enquiries please contact: 

Alison Ewbank 
Communications | International Association of Contact Lens Educators
International Association of Contact Lens Educators
London | United Kingdom
Work: + 44 208 390 9378 | Mobile: + 44 7732 121 959
Skype: alisonewbank1 | Web:


1. Click here for full details of the IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards and here for a full list of previous recipients. 

2. Click here to find out more about the IACLE Travel Awards. 

3. Dr Shehzad Naroo is Reader at Aston University in Birmingham, UK. 

4. Information on all IACLE activities and membership benefits is available at

5. Details of Academy 2020 Nashville are here and the AOCLE Annual Workshop here.


The International Association of Contact Lens Educators was established in 1979 and is a non-profit, non-political association. IACLE has more than 869 (as of June 2019) active members in 79 countries and welcomes contact lens educators from all eye care professions and related disciplines. IACLE is dedicated to raising the standard of contact lens education and promoting the safe use of contact lenses worldwide. It is the leading provider of educational and information resources essential to contact lens educators. IACLE is supported by leading global contact lens manufacturers: Platinum Sponsor Alcon, Gold Sponsor CooperVision, Silver Sponsor Johnson & Johnson Vision, Bronze Sponsor Bausch + Lomb and Donor Sponsor Euclid. 


CooperVision, a unit of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. The company produces a full array of monthly, two-week and daily disposable contact lenses, all featuring advanced materials and optics. CooperVision has a strong heritage of solving the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism and presbyopia; and offers the most complete collection of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit