Special Optometric Education Journal Issue on Diversity and Cultural Competence Available

ASCO’s special Journal issue on Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competence is available now at http://journal.opted.org/. The issue features two peer-reviewed articles: Cognitive Strategies to Improve Patient Care in Cross-Cultural Settings and Developing Military Cultural Competency to Better Serve Those Who Have Served Us, two special reports: The Path to Cultural Competence in Optometric Education and Practice: A Timeline to Multicultural Clinical Excellence and Diversity in our Colleges and Schools of Optometry and other insightful “Educator’s Podium” pieces. The guest editor for the issue, Dr. Gary Chu, of the New England College of Optometry and former chair of the ASCO Cultural Competency Curriculum Guidelines Subcommittee, also authored a guest editorial: Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural and Linguistic Competence: Do We Have a Strategy?

The timely issue examines ASCO’s and optometry’s commitment to diversity and cultural and linguistic competence to date and asserts that making an impact in these areas requires further efforts and an ongoing profession-wide commitment. Dr. Chu notes “ASCO has made great strides in moving the needle in the area of diversity and cultural competency. This journal is a reflection of what we have accomplished. However, there is much more to do. I hope this theme issue will help the reader pause, reflect, and act so we can move the needle further!”

ASCO and its member institutions have embraced diversity and cultural and linguistic competence in optometric education through the implementation of a multi-year, multi-stage project funded by Walmart that focuses primarily on the implementation of the ASCO Guidelines for Culturally Competent Eye and Vision Care at the 23 schools and colleges of optometry. The Guidelines are available on the ASCO website at: https://optometriceducation.org/files/Guidelines_CulturallyCompetentEyeAndVisionCare.pdf.