On September 6-7, COVD South Korea International Chapter (COVD Korea) held their 6th International Seminar at Busan. Along with the general meeting and educational events, a commemorative ceremony was held to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of COVD Korea’s formation in 2015, as well as the group’s official recognition by the Korean Ministry of Education one year prior. Many public figures–including the head of the Education Office, Vice President and officers of the KOA, professors from several schools of optometry, and chairs of related institutions–attended the ceremony to support and congratulate COVD Korea on its accomplishments.
“We have been growing every year not only in quantity, but also in quality,” explains Dr. Hoy Sun Shin, President of COVD Korea. “The number of members has increased to 80. The public has started to recognize vision therapy and COVD Korea through our annual community outreach activities of conducting vision examination and providing vision therapy to students in need.” She proudly continues, “We have been actively involved with Korean schools of optometry, conducting continuing education programs for teachers and members of the Korean Optometric Association (KOA), as well as providing education for visually-impaired children and their parents in cooperation with the Special Education Office. We have also published Korean versions of Fixing My Gaze, Jillian’s Story, and Dear Jillian to increase awareness by sharing those stories with the public.
“We are dedicated to promoting vision therapy in Korea, even though we face many challenges both inside and outside our nation,” Dr. Shin adds. “Despite these challenges, and because of our members and continuous support from COVD, we have been able to achieve more as an organization than we ever planned originally.”
Dr. Paul Freeman, a diplomate on low vision and the Chair of COVD’s Education Committee, was invited to conduct a 2-day intensive course on low vision evaluation and rehabilitation. The 70 members of COVD Korea who participated in this seminar were deeply inspired and highly impressed by Dr. Freeman’s practical knowledge and passionate teaching style. By attending his seminar, members of COVD Korea gained insight into providing care to low vision patients, as well as improved strategies for educating teachers and parents of blind children.
Check back next week to read about Dr. Freeman’s trip in Part 2!