College of Optometrists in Vision Development
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The College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) is an international, non-profit optometric membership organization which provides education, evaluation and board certification programs in behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy and visual rehabilitation. The organization consists of doctors of optometry, vision therapists and other vision specialists.
Established in 1971, COVD provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists who are prepared to offer a variety of services in: behavioral and developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. These specialized vision care services develop and enhance visual abilities and correct many vision problems in infants, children, and adults. The COVD International Examination and Certification Board process includes a rigorous evaluation of the eye care professional's knowledge and abilities in providing developmental and behavioral vision care for patients. Optometrists who successfully complete their certification process are Board Certified in Vision Development and Vision Therapy and are designated fellows of COVD (FCOVD). Vision therapists are certified to work with COVD fellows as Certified Optometric Vision Therapists (COVT).
FCOVD optometrists offer comprehensive vision exams that include a wide array of testing, including assessments of eye focusing, eye teaming, and eye movement abilities (accommodation, binocular vision, ocular motility). This is in addition to the more widely known acuity testing (the "20/20 chart"). If problem areas are noted, vision therapy is often prescribed to aid the patient. Unlike other forms of exercise, the goal of optometric vision therapy is not to strengthen eye muscles. Your eye muscles are already incredibly strong. Instead, vision therapy aims to retrain the learned aspects of vision through the recently-understood concept of neuroplasticity. Optometric vision therapy should not be confused with any self-directed program of eye exercises which is or has been marketed to the public. In-office vision therapy under the supervision of an optometrist is supported by ongoing evidence-based scientific research.
Optometry & Vision Development is an official COVD peer reviewed publication. It is published four times a year and is an open access international journal that is available both online and in hard copy.