Awards & Recognition

The Paraoptometric Resource Center recognizes and rewards outstanding paraoptometric associate members each year for their significant contributions to the profession. Two professional awards are outlined below.  Both awards are recognized at Optometry's Meeting each year. The next celebration will be during the 121st Annual AOA Congress & 48th Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry's Meeting®, June 20-24, 2018, in Denver, Colorado.

Nominate your outstanding staff and colleagues.  What a great honor for your practice to celebrate!

Paraoptometric Recognition Week

September 17-23, 2017

Paraoptometric Recognition Week is an opportunity to recognize praoptometrics for the value they contribute to the success of your practice.  It is the only formal observance in the nation specifically intended to honor optometric practice staff.

Recognition of paraoptometry as a profession hinges on the strength of paraoptometric members and support of doctors of optometry and other health care providers. By paraoptometrics seeking education, acquiring new skills and becoming certified, the high standards for the profession will challenge other support personnel who work within the profession to do the same.

Paraoptometric Recognition Week is observed annually during the third week of September by the AOA Paraoptometric Resource Center (PRC).

Doctors are encouraged to be creative in planning their recognition of staff.  Thank you for supporting the value of your staff.

Paraoptometric of the Year Award

Awarded annually to a nominated paraoptometric who has made outstanding and worthwhile contributions to the profession of optometry and the general public.

All nominations will be judged based on the following criteria: service to optometry and paraoptometric associations, public service, and personal achievement and endorsement.

Nominees must be AOA associate members, not currently serving on the PRC Committee. Nominations can be submitted by a state, regional, or local paraoptometric organization, an AOA member OD, or an AOA associate member.

The recipient of this award will receive recognition at an awards luncheon, an attractive plaque, roundtrip airfare to Optometry's Meeting®, three nights lodging reimbursement at a contract hotel, and $500 to assist with travel expenses. All award values are required to be reported as personal income.

Nomination forms, rules and criteria are available here. Completed forms must be postmarked on or before Feb. 1, 2018. For additional information pertaining to this award, e-mail PRC@aoa.org or call 800.365.2219, ext. 4108.

View the 2017 recipient

Paraoptometric Community Service Award

The Paraoptometric Community  Service Award is awarded to an AOA Associate member who is not currently serving on the Paraoptometric Resource Center Committee and who has generously donated his or her time and talents to the profession. Each nominee is evaluated based on his or her performance in the following categories:  

  1. Community Service within the optometric practice in which he or she works
  2. Self or practice-sponsored community service
  3. Individual's personal participation in community service


The recipient will be presented an attractive plaque of recognition, a $100 personal cash award, and a $100 award to the charity of the recipient's choice. All award values are required to be reported as personal income.

Nomination forms are available here and may be submitted to PRC@aoa.org. Completed forms and recommendations must be received by the Paraoptometric Resource Center on or prior to March 31, 2018.

View the 2017 recipient

The Bridgeway Award - FINAL RECIPIENT 2017

2017 was the final year the Bridgeway Award will be awarded in its current format. The recipient was honored this year at Optometry's Meeting. This award recognized a state association that helped promote the profession of paraoptometrics at the state and national levels. The state received an attractive plaque recognizing their contributions, as well as a library of PRC offered educational materials for staff development (a $650 value).  

View the 2017 recipient

CPC Lifetime Achievement Award

As a way to honor retired certified paraoptometrics, the Commission on Paraoptometric Certification has created a new award called "The Lifetime Achievement Award." This award will recognize those who are currently retired and who have served the profession of optometry by continually giving of themselves in areas of patient eye care, office management, mentoring colleagues and in service to the paraoptometric profession. 

Nominations can be submitted by a state, regional or local paraoptometric organization, an AOA member doctor,  an AOA associate member or a certified paraoptometric. Unlike the other paraoptometric awards, this award will be presented at a state association meeting.   

Nomination forms, rules and criteria are available here. For additional information pertaining to this award, e-mail CPC@aoa.org or call 800.365.2219, ext. 4135.