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CAOS organizes various events throughout the year  ​to further our mission of enhancing student public awareness of the optometric profession.

Keep an eye out on this page and our social media for information on our public events throughout the year.

Please keep in mind due to COVID-19, events will likely be held virtually for this upcoming year.

Education & Outreach


The iCare Eyecare event is one of CAOS’ initiatives for outreach to the UW campus and local community. We go out to areas of public gathering, usually a community centre (ie. local YMCA) and promote the importance of eye health to the families or individuals who drop by. The main conversation piece is to emphasize the importance of regular eye exams, whether it is from the UWaterloo clinic or their local optometrist. Along with little eye related goodies to draw in the younger audiences, the iCare Eyecare event has proven to be rewarding, encouraging the community to prioritize their eye health.



The Educational Workshop is an initiative to educate the community on an eye-related topic, such as cataract or glaucoma. It is a one hour workshop at the community center where students will present scientific information in an engaging manner. The objective of this workshop is to educate the public by presenting scientific findings in a format that is tailored to the audience. Educating the public on scientific findings is as important as conducting the research because the public will benefit from better understanding their eye health. In addition, community members will be invited to interact and engage with each other through interactive activities, such as trivia, to test the knowledge they learned. Community members will be able to learn more about their eye health, the ocular conditions that affect them and how they can take care of their eyes.

Political Advocacy


Every fall, a representative from the OAO speaks to UW students about Optometry in Ontario and Canada. This is an opportunity for the OAO to share with students current events and stances that the OAO is working on. It also allows students to ask questions about how our associations support Optometrists, how to become involved in provincial associations after graduation, and any other burning questions.


In the new year, we host one advocacy event sponsored by the CAO that gives students the opportunity to take action and to learn how they can be an advocate within our profession. The event is usually in the form of a workshop where students work together, or guest speakers to discuss the current challenges Optometrist and Associations face. In the past, representatives have been from the CAO and OAO.

Special Events


The first year kick-off is part of orientation week for incoming first year students. During this event, guest speakers come in to offer students an introduction into optometry as a profession. CAOS exec members explain our roles as an organization and students are encouraged to join.


 ​Through our generous sponsors, we are able to provide backpacks to our first year students. Backpack presentations are a common practice in Canadian professional healthcare programs, and this adds to our sense of optometry community. The colour of the backpacks are kept a secret until the last minute and this event is fun for everyone involved! 


Through partnerships with our generous sponsors, second year students are provided with Mastercraft equipment cases to carry their optometry equipment in. We hold a case presentation ceremony, where our sponsors are given the opportunity to speak to students. 

Fundraising Initiatives


The 5K Colour Run is a fundraiser event hosted biennially in support of Optometry Giving Sight’s World Sight Day Challenge. Optometry Giving Sight is a global initiative dedicated to preventing blindness and impaired vision due to uncorrected refractive error. The funds go directly to support programs that train local eye care professionals, establish vision centres for sustainability, and deliver eye care and low-cost spectacles. The Colour Run follows through a scenic route through Waterloo, and starts and ends with bursts of colour at the dedicated runners. There is also a silent auction at the event that allows participants to bid on amazing items, all in support of Optometry Giving Sight. 


Dining in the Dark is a biannual fundraising event run by the first year representatives to support Optometry Giving Sight, a global organization that targets the prevention of blindness. It is a fun way for students to enjoy dinner while getting a taste of the hardships of vision loss by being blindfolded throughout the meal. Speakers are invited to educate the students about vision impairment and generous sponsors provide prizes for giveaways and raffle tickets.

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Interview Day

 Interview Day is an event that occurs annually at the end of April. Interview Day offers an opportunity for soon to be graduates of the optometry program to connect with employers. CAOS organizes a space and day where employers come to UW from all over Canada to fill job positions. Soon-to-be grads have the chance to interview for many different positions throughout the day.

Keep an eye out on our website and social media for more information closer to April! 

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