The American Academy of Optometry has decided to cancel its in-person meeting, which was set to take place in Nashville in early October. The Academy made the decision after months of monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and receiving feedback from partners, exhibitors and attendees.

“We listened to our stakeholders and watched the national health situation very carefully including the impact on Nashville, and we absolutely believe this is the best decision for everyone,” Academy chief executive officer Peter Scott wrote in a release.

Despite canceling the on-site, in-person component to the meeting, the Academy is offering a virtual platform, “Academy 2020 At Home,” from October 7-22.

This will include many of the same events, from an exhibit hall and vision theater sessions to industry lunches and keynote sessions. Attendees can earn up to 80 hours of live CE credit (the in-person meeting provided a total of 34 CE hours per OD) and can choose from nearly 300 offered hours. Academy staples such as the Monroe J. Hirsch Research Symposium will be available, this year focusing on the growing impact of robotics and smart technology in optometry. Experts will share information on socially assistive robotics for vision rehabilitation, autonomous vehicles and optometric issues in space.

Other key events include the annual plenary session entitled “Today’s Research, Tomorrow’s Practice,” which will dive into the changes in standards of care and diagnostics, as well as the impacts of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and other common conditions. This year also boasts a special symposium on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Admission will remain the same price, and those who are already registered and choose not to attend can email the Academy for a full refund.

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