Director of Autism and Neuro-Optometric Vision Rehabilitation, The Eye Care Institute
Rachel A. “Stacey” Coulter, OD, MS, received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1983 and a Doctor of optometry degree in 1991 from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO). She completed a residency in Pediatric Optometry and Vision Therapy at PCO in 1992. She received an MS degree in Exceptional Student Education from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 2012.
Dr. Coulter is a Professor of Optometry at NSU, where she teaches in the classroom, clinic, and residency program and is active in clinical research in Pediatric Optometry. She oversees the Vision and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Service that provides vision care to children and adults with autism, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental disorders as well as trains optometry students and residents, and supports clinical research in this area.
Dr. Coulter is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (AAO) and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and a Diplomate in Binocular Vision, and Perception, and Pediatric Optometry. She is also a member of the American Optometric Association, the Florida Optometric Association, and supports OD-EYE PAC. Dr. Coulter is a frequent presenter and has lectured throughout the United States, as well in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, India, and China. In 2016, Dr. Coulter, she received the American Academy of Optometry’s Feinbloom Award for her contributions to clinical excellence. She has received multiple other awards for scholarship and professional service including Vision Monday’s Most Influential Women in Optical – Outstanding Mentor, the New England College of Optometry Behavioral Scholar-in-Residence, and Distinguished Practitioner, National Academies of Practice.
Throughout her career, Dr. Coulter has been interested in vision and its link to child development and learning. She served as a Principal Investigator in the NIH-funded clinical trials, Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial (CITT) and CITT-Attention Reading Trial, as well as multiple other research studies. She has published multiple articles and book chapters. Her research on eye care for children with autism was presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research in San Sebastian, Spain in 2012 and in Montreal, Canada in 2019.
Dr. Coulter has held multiple administrative appointments and leadership positions including Chief of the Pediatric Optometry service (1995 -1999), and Chair of the Optometric Sciences department (1998- 2011). She also served as Chair of the AAO Binocular Vision, Perception and Pediatric Optometry Section and the Children's Vision Committee of the Florida Optometric Association. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Duke University Institute for Brain Sciences and the Advisory Committee for the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness. As an officer of the American
Academy of Optometry Foundation, she supports fundraising to advance optometric research and education.