April 15,2020
The United States of Opticians

State Associations Newsletter
Dear State Association Leaders ,

There is no doubt that right now is probably one of the most challenging times for state associations. COVID-19 has presented us with cancellations of conferences, membership issues and an uncertain near future.

One of the primary goals of the OAA in 2020 is to help to strengthen and grow state associations. This newsletter is one of our latest efforts to increase communication and share ideas.

We know that a strong state association means a strong profession; and you, the state leaders, are the heroes . You work tirelessly, devoting your spare time to your members and your profession. Bravo! This newsletter is designed to help you do what you do even better. If you have any questions, suggestions or ideas, please do not hesitate to CONTACT US .

Thank you for all you do!

Dibby Bartlett
President
Opticians Association America
How We Help Our Members 

~~~~~

" T he single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

—George Bernard Shaw

~~~~~

Never has this been more true, given the events of the last month and the ongoing saga of the pandemic we are experiencing. 
Social media has been telling us:

  • how to react
  • what to expect
  • how we should be dealing with our feelings
 
Your Members Need Communication

The problem is, most of what is considered communication is nothing more than people talking. Given the speed at which the COVID-19 situation took over the optical industry, our country and the world as a whole, it is not surprising that opticians turned to their state associations for guidance. 

True Communication

True communication is an event between two parties which requires listening, processing, then reacting/replying.

As state associations, we know it is our place to get information out; but it it also necessary to find out what opticians are experiencing and what their most pressing needs are. 

In Ohio, we had a barrage of emails, phone calls and social media messages asking for direction and guidance.  

“Should we stay open?”

“Will I get unemployment?”

“Can my employer make me work in unsafe conditions?” 

As an association that always seeks to provide valuable resources :

We listened to the issues.

We directed to CDC, state and national associations.

We shared personal stories… about our own struggles.

We keep listening and keep responding . We continue to write personal letters, telling our members that we are here for them, and that we are experiencing the same hardships together with them. We do not have all the answers, but we are able to point them to where answers can be found.
 
We want to be the place they come when they need information—not just during a crisis, but whenever they need information.
 
Our goal is to continue to communicate to our members that there is only one organization that exists solely to represent their interests. That organization is their state optician's association. 

John Bruening, 
We have created a facebook page specifically for State Association leaders and directors. Please join us here.
How Many State Associations Are There?
Opticians Association of Alaska
Arizona Association of Dispensing Opticians
Opticians Association of Arkansas
California Association of Dispensing Opticians
California State Society for Opticians
Opticians Association of Colorado
Connecticut Opticians Association
Society of Connecticut Opticians
Professional Opticians of Florida
Opticians Association of Georgia
Opticians Association of Iowa
Opticians Association of Kansas
Opticians Association of Kentucky
Louisiana Association of Dispensing Opticians
Opticians Association of Massachusetts
Opticians Association of Michigan
Minnesota Association of Optometrists and Opticians
Nevada Association of Ophthalmic Dispensers
New Hampshire Opticians Society
Opticians Association of New Jersey
Opticians Association of New Mexico
Opticians Alliance of New York
New York State Society of Opticians
North Carolina Opticians Association
Opticians Association of Ohio
Opticians Association of Oregon
Opticians Association of Rhode Island
South Carolina Association of Opticians
Tennessee Dispensing Opticians Association
Certified Opticians Association of Texas
Opticians Association of Vermont
Opticians Association of Virginia
Opticians Association of Washington

Did We Miss Anyone?
Is A Zoom Conference In Your Future?
W e are all dealing with cancellations of our spring educational meetings, and attempting to reschedule them at this point seems dicey.

The Opticians Association of Massachusetts will be conducting their Spring Education Conference in June, via Zoom!
Let's hear what Kevin Silva, Vice President of OAM , has to say about this meeting. ( Click video image below to open video in YouTube. )
Keep Planning!!!

Keep your calendar updated...it will help your members concentrate on the future! Don't forget VisionExpo West, ABO-NCLE Testing Dates, and local and regional meetings.
Do Your Members Need Free Credits?

With so many educational conferences cancelling and rescheduling, you may feel your members need access to free credits in the meantime. As each state association handle their cancellations, reschedules and credits differently, these may provide another option, if you feel they will be valuable to your state association and your members.


DEAR OAA MEMBER:

As you have likely read and heard, eye care professionals and consumers have been asking if contact lenses are safe to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, misinformation being shared on social media and through news reports has the potential to create unsubstantiated concern and fear among our colleagues and wearers.
 
Everyone at CooperVision wants to make sure that unbiased, accurate information is being communicated, and we are sure you feel the same. With this goal in mind, we are including links to additional resources regarding COVID-19 and the SAFETY OF CONTACT LENS WEAR .
Additionally, we want to include our own CONTACT LENS WEAR CARE TIPS .
 
And here are even more great resources regarding contact lens wear and care:
 
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued GUIDANCE FOR CONTACT LENS WEAR AND DISINFECTING (see the bottom two items in the "How To Protect Yourself" section). 
 
The Contact Lens Institute (CLI) issued a news release sharing guidance issued earlier this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding CONTACT LENS WEAR DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC . This was a collaborative effort with CooperVision along with the other CLI member companies including Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, and Johnson & Johnson Vision.
 
A NEW PAPER published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye , authored by some of the world’s most respected experts, concludes that there is no evidence to suggest an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact lens wear compared to wearing prescription spectacles. 
CALLOUT - no evidence to suggest an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 through contact lens wear
CLICK HERE for CooperVision 's resources to support Eyecare Practices.

Thank you and please stay safe and healthy!

Your Friends @
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