40th Anniversary

IACLE marked its 40th year with anniversary events in the UK, the Philippines, Colombia and United States during 2019.  

Celebrations have been held at the British Contact Lens Association Clinical Conference & Exhibition in Manchester (30 May – 1 June), the Asia Pacific Optometric Congress in Manila (17-20 June), the FEDOPTO Congress in Bogotá (8-10 August), and at the joint Academy 2019 and 3rd World Congress of Optometry in Orlando, Florida (23-27 October).

Find out more about these 40th Anniversary events . Other national and local meetings around the world have marked the occasion.

Our 40th Anniversary greetings

‘As IACLE marks its 40th anniversary, this is a good opportunity to thank those who have worked tirelessly for this great organization over those years, including those who have provided the much-needed financial support without whose input we would not exist. Looking ahead, we look forward to providing the much-needed training for the contact lens practitioners of the future!’

Dr Shehzad Naroo, IACLE President



‘On behalf of the World Council of Optometry I want to recognize and congratulate President Dr Shehzad Naroo and IACLE on its 40th Anniversary, especially recognizing 6 November as the “actual” birthday! As an optometric student many years ago I was a beneficiary during my studies of IACLE members, including Drs Murchison Callender and Luigina Sorbara, at the University of Waterloo in Canada. We were happy to celebrate with you at the recent 3rd World Congress and American Academy meeting in Orlando, Florida. If it were not for the research and education of IACLE members, global optometry would not have its current stature and success nor the great future we all hope and wish it will have. Congratulations once again and best wishes for the next 40 years!’

Dr Scott Mundle, Immediate Past President – World Council of Optometry

‘Congratulations to you and your colleagues within IACLE on the occasion of IACLE’s 40th year. IACLE has made significant contributions over this time to the development of optometry and enhanced provision of eye care in the Asia-Pacific region through the provision of education to optometric educators and the development of teaching materials to support contact lens practice across our region, thus enabling the delivery of improved contact lens care by optometrists.

‘APCO was pleased to have IACLE as a partner in the 22nd Asia-Pacific Optometry Congress in Manila this year, and is grateful for IACLE’s support of and participation in the continuing education program and workshops at the congress. IACLE’s input helped to make the 22nd APOC a highly successful congress, with over 600 optometrists from 26 countries attending.

‘IACLE can indeed be proud of its contribution to the development of optometry and eye care, and its impact on contact lens practice over the past 40 years’.

Assoc Prof Peter Hendicott, President, Asia-Pacific Council of Optometry

‘Congratulations on the upcoming 40th anniversary of IACLE! This is an amazing accomplishment and major milestone for your organization and for worldwide optometric contact lens education! As a member organization and contact lens educator at Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, we salute you on this special event, and wish you continued success for the next forty years!’

Dr Joel A Silbert, Professor and Director of Contact Lens Education, Salus University, USA

‘On behalf of the École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, we would like to extend our sincere congratulations to IACLE on its 40th anniversary. The numerous programs that IACLE offers educators has helped elevate contact lens education globally. “Educating the educators” is an effective way of providing the latest information which can be quickly integrated in the contact lens curriculum and teach safe lens wear for over 125 million global wearers. Furthermore, identifying risk factors, such as dry eye, that can potentially reduce comfortable lens wear and vision, has become a part of the work-up for contact lens candidates. We are proud to have faculty members that are longstanding members and supporters of IACLE and on behalf of both the contact lens and dry eye department at our school, we wish you congratulations on this milestone anniversary.’

Dr Christian Casanova, Director and Professor, École d’optométrie, Université de Montréal, Canada

Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) and University of Waterloo School of Optometry & Vision Science, Canada

View our anniversary video

Find more about the history of IACLE, its achievements and the changing face of contact lens education, in our 40th anniversary video.

Our thanks to Rens Bais of Limestone Group for compiling the video, and to the Brien Holden Vision Institute and Neues Optiker Journal for historical images.

What our sponsors say…

Platinum Sponsor Alcon

‘Since 1979, IACLE’s noble mission has been to increase the number of qualified contact lens educators and improve the quality of contact lens teaching, thereby increasing the number of skilled contact lens practitioners throughout the world and facilitating the use of contact lenses worldwide, in partnership with industry. No other organization in the world fulfills this undertaking like IACLE. Alcon is committed to continuing its Platinum Sponsorship to enable IACLE to expand its vital work that is essential to contact lens educators worldwide.’ 

FIACLE Dr Dwight Akerman,Vice President & Global Head, Professional Affairs, Alcon

Gold Sponsor CooperVision

‘Over the last 40 years, contact lens technology has undergone tremendous transformation as we continue to make advancements for the benefit of patients. IACLE has been there every step of the way, supporting the educators responsible for teaching each generation of eye care professionals. Our partnership with IACLE has spanned over three decades, and it has been a privilege to see first-hand the impact of the organization’s work. CooperVision congratulates IACLE on this milestone and is proud to celebrate alongside them.”

Dr Gary Orsborn, Vice President of Global Professional & Clinical Affairs, CooperVision

Silver Sponsor Johnson & Johnson Vision

‘Ensuring future practitioners around the world start their professional journeys with the knowledge and skills that allow them to recommend contact lens wear with confidence is so important in helping better address patient needs. Many congratulations to IACLE for 40 years of supporting all those involved in contact lens education and driving more consistent standards of undergraduate education around the world. With constant innovation in lens designs, materials and fitting approach, their work will never be complete and Johnson & Johnson Vision are proud to support this dedicated international team of educators.’

John Meyler, Senior Director of Global Professional Education & Development, Johnson & Johnson Vision

Bronze Sponsor Bausch + Lomb

Over the past 4 decades, IACLE has been dedicated to provide high quality resources to assist contact lens educators to upgrade the standard of education for contact lens practitioners around the world. IACLE programs have been particularly successful and welcomed by contact lens educators and practitioners in developing markets. These programs have eventually helped millions of people see better and live better with contact lenses. Bausch + Lomb has a long history of support to IACLE and we wish IACLE every success in the future.

Osbert Chan, Director, Medical Affairs, Asia Pacific at Bausch & Lomb 


View our anniversary messages

Hear what IACLE means to our members


Hear from Professor Nag Rao of L V Prasad Eye Institute, India, a former IACLE Asia Pacific Regional President


Hear from Professor Lyndon Jones of the University of Waterloo, Canada, the 2018 IACLE Americas Contact Lens Educator of the Year


Our 40th Anniversary presentation resources

View a PDF of our 40th anniversary slide presentation. Email IACLE Executive Director Bonnie Boshart at b.boshart@iacle.org for a PowerPoint version


View a PDF of our 40th Anniversary slide template. Email IACLE Executive Director Bonnie Boshart at b.boshart@iacle.org for a PowerPoint version


Media coverage of our 40th Anniversary