COVID-19 Updates

March 29, 2020

VSS 2020 Online Meeting Survey

Dear VSS Members,

The VSS Board is considering whether to hold an online version of VSS 2020 later this year.

After discussion, the Board has concluded that given the international nature of the VSS membership and the correspondingly large range of time zones, a real-time virtual event is not feasible. Thus, we propose to hold an online event which will feature recorded presentations, together with interactive discussion by chat, message boards, or perhaps some scheduled live times for each presenter. We envision that the deadline for presentation upload will be in June or July, with the interactive discussion extended over one or two weeks. The 2020 symposia, keynote and awards lectures would not be part of an online meeting; rather these events will be incorporated into the VSS 2021 meeting.  Presented abstracts will be published in Journal of Vision, while those withdrawn will not.

VSS incurs fixed costs each year, whether we hold an annual meeting or not. These costs are partially but not completely covered by membership fees. With this in mind, we can run an online meeting as outlined above for a reduced registration fee of $100 for regular members and $50 for trainees. VSS 2020 membership would also be required to register for the online meeting.

Those who have already registered for VSS 2020 and choose to participate in the online meeting would receive a refund for the difference between the online registration fee and any registration fees they have already paid for VSS 2020. Those who have already registered for VSS 2020 and choose not to participate in the online meeting would receive a full refund of their registration fees. Membership fees are not refundable.

The Board sees both advantages and disadvantages of holding an online meeting.  In order to reach a final decision about whether or not hold to hold an online version of VSS 2020, the Board would appreciate input from the membership.

Please complete the VSS 2020 Online Meeting Survey by April 5.

The VSS Board


March 13, 2020

VSS 2020 Cancelled

Dear VSS Membership,

The VSS Board has been closely monitoring the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. Given the increasing scope of the disease, the declaration of a National Emergency in the US, the increasing number of governmental and institutional travel bans, and the need for social distancing in order to fight the COVID-19 outbreak, we regretfully must cancel the VSS 2020 in-person meeting, which was to be held May 15-20 in St. Pete Beach, Florida. We did not take this decision lightly, but protecting the health of our VSS community is our highest priority, and at this juncture we cannot responsibly move forward with the meeting.

The Board will now turn its attention to whether it is feasible to hold a Virtual VSS Meeting this year, with the goal of facilitating the high-quality scientific exchange that is the hallmark of our Annual Meeting.

One important factor in our decision to cancel the in-person meeting now is our desire to provide as much advance notice as possible for those who were planning on attending, so that they can manage travel and accommodation cancellations. Once we have established whether it is feasible to offer remote participation, we will make a detailed announcement outlining the options. These will include the option to refund registration for those who choose not to participate.

We thank everyone who has already invested their time and energy in planning for VSS 2020, and will be in touch as soon as possible with more information. We apologize in advance if we are unable to respond quickly to individual questions and suggestions.

The VSS Board of Directors


March 5, 2020

The Vision Sciences Society meeting is scheduled to take place as planned from May 15-20 in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

VSS is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the potential impact on travel to the VSS 2020 Annual Meeting. As a guide, VSS is following the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notice Warning Levels, which designates countries affected by COVID-19 as Level 1, 2, or 3. A Level 3 Warning advises against all nonessential travel. Currently, the following four countries fall under a CDC Warning Level 3 Travel Health Notice: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.

Presentation and Registration Policies

In response to the government-imposed travel restrictions, VSS has formulated the following exceptions to its established presentation and registration policies:

Presenters traveling from Level 3 countries

VSS is offering two alternatives to attending the meeting

  1. Present Remotely:  Talk presenters have the option of presenting a pre-recorded talk. Poster presenters have the option to send the poster in electronic format to VSS, to be printed and hung during their scheduled session. Substitute presenters for posters are allowed, but not required. All presenters from Level 3 countries choosing the remote presentation option will need to register for the meeting. Requests for remote presentation must be submitted to by April 1, 2020.
  2. Withdraw Abstract: Presenters from Level 3 countries who choose not to participate remotely may withdraw their abstract. Full registration refunds will be provided. Please email by April 1, 2020 to formally withdraw and to request a registration refund. Membership fees are non-refundable.

Non-presenting registrants traveling from Level 3 countries

VSS will provide a full registration refund if requested. Registration refund requests must be submitted to by April 1, 2020. Membership fees are non-refundable.

All other VSS registrants and presenters

VSS is following its standard policies for registration refunds and abstract withdrawals.

Additional Information

VSS will continue to keep the membership updated as new information becomes available.

If you have specific questions regarding the VSS meeting, please contact us at . For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19, please refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites.


February 14, 2020

VSS is monitoring the coronavirus situation closely. If you plan to attend VSS 2020 and are traveling from a country with a government-imposed travel ban, we recommend that you register for the meeting now in order to avoid higher registration fees later. If travel bans are not lifted in time for the meeting or in time for visas to be approved, VSS will provide full refunds to affected members. For presenters unable to attend VSS 2020 due to a coronavirus travel ban, we will make every effort to facilitate your remote participation in the meeting.

We understand that this is a fluid situation and will continue to update the membership as the situation changes.

VSS Board of Directors