The Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, International (NORA) is an inter-disciplinary group of professionals dedicated to providing patients who have physical or cognitive disabilities as a result of an acquired brain injury with a complete ocular health evaluation and optimum visual rehabilitation education and services to improve their quality of life. NORA is committed to advancing the art and science of rehabilitation, with particular emphasis on treatment modalities designed to optimize visual-motor, visual-perceptual and visual information processing dysfunction among neurologically affected persons.
- Increase public and professional awareness and understanding of the need for and where to find Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation services.
- Advance professional knowledge and understanding of Neuro-Optometric care and promote research in visual science.
- Encourage an interdisciplinary team approach among all professionals who provide rehabilitative services to individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
NORA’s origin can be traced back to 1990 when a small group of optometrists -- Vincent Vicci OD, Gus Forkiotus OD, Dan Gottlieb OD, John Streff OD, Todd Davis OD , John Thomas OD, and William Padula, OD – met in Chicago to share their experiences in diagnosing and treating neurologically/cognitively injured and disabled patients.
Following this meeting, the small group of doctors decided to meet again and again. As word of mouth spread about their meetings, others asked to join their discussions – not just optometrists, but physicians, therapists, psychologists, nurses, and other health care professionals involved in treating physically disabled or traumatic brain injured individuals.
NORA was officially established later that year and Dr. Padula was invited to become the Founding President. “The name NORA was chosen to demonstrate that we are an optometric association with multi-disciplinary interests and a specific emphasis on working with persons who are affected neurologically,” he says.
In 1992, the first NORA international Symposium took place in Atlanta, Georgia and was attended by optometrists, occupational therapists, physicians, social workers, orientation-mobility specialists, and others from throughout the United States and Mexico. The three-day symposium emphasized the visual/neuro-motor rehabilitative needs of persons with a traumatic brain injury and further demonstrated the need for neuro-optometric rehabilitation as part of the multi-disciplinary team.
Today, NORA continues with its mission to advance public and professional knowledge and understanding of Neuro-Optometric care and encourage an interdisciplinary team approach among all professionals who provide rehabilitative services to individuals who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.