pride power progress
February 2019
• Recently submitted Virginia House Bill 2099 seeks to deregulate opticianry.

• This matter is crucial not only for opticians in Virginia, but for the field of opticianry as a whole.

• The OAV, backed by the support and power of the OAA, is already making our collective voices heard toward preventing passage of this bill into law.
The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) conducts program evaluation, policy analysis, and oversight of state agencies on behalf of the Virginia General Assembly. Given the current “deregulation” environment, the Virginia House just passed a resolution ( HB 883: The Regulatory Reduction Pilot Program ), advising JLARC to implement a three-year regulatory reduction program aimed at a 25% reduction in the regulations and regulatory requirements, as defined in the bill, of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation and the Department of Criminal Justice Services by July 1, 2021. 
Unfortunately, Opticianry is an occupation that the JLARC has recommended be deregulated.  
As a result of the JLARC’s recommendation of deregulating opticianry, State Representative Nicolas Freitas (R-30) has introduced House Bill 2099 that would, if passed, deregulate opticians in Virginia.
Obviously, this short-sighted action taken by Representative Freitas may not only cause a great setback not only in Virginia, but may set a precedent leading to nationwide ramifications. The OAA has been in close communication with the Opticians Association of Virginia (OAV) since release of the initial report from JLARC, and has provided financial backing and other support to assist with this legislative battle.
In response, the Opticians Association of Virginia started a grassroots movement urging all Virginia licensed opticians to contact their elected State Representatives and voice their opposition to the deregulation bill. Due to OAV’s quick and proactive call to action, there has been an overwhelming response to the call—so much so that the Virginia State legislators have ... READ MORE about this vital legislative issue and what your membership support is helping us do about it.
What Can Sixty-Five Bucks Get You?

  • 16 Lattes at Starbucks (1 to 2 weeks' worth)
  • 1 Brunch at the Russian Tea Room (sorry—that's a table for one, not two)
  • 1 Day at the Dream Downtown Beach, NY (weather permitting)
  • 1 Can of Pure Fresh Air in New Zealand (yes, air)


A Full Year of Membership with
Support the Organization that Supports YOU .

A Message from
Donna Hatch
Chairman, 2019 OAA State Leadership Conference

"What Does the OAA State Leadership Conference Do for ME ?"

The OAA State Leadership Conference brings together the collective talents and expertise from opticianry leaders from every state. It serves as a place to network with old friends and make some new ones. Every attendee brings a fresh perspective on opticianry and is willing to share new innovative leadership ideas, personal success stories, and progress they are seeing within the profession in their home state. 

Regardless of where you fit into the profession of opticianry, the Conference will inform, instruct and inspire in ways that you'll carry with you long after as you assist in making our profession stronger—in your home state and nationwide. 

Here a just a few of the “Keys to Leadership” that will be presented during the Conference:

  • How to Write an ABO-NCLE Course
  • How to Build Your Own Private Practice
  • How to Create a Powerful Presentation
  • How to Mentor New Opticians
  • How to Succeed with Modern Technology
  • How to Influence Effective Legislation in Your Home State

READ MORE about what the 2019 OAA State Leadership Conference has in store for YOU.

Some Important Dates And Times

  • Thursday, February 14 (12:00 pm): OAA State Leadership Conference Opens

  • Thursday, February 14 (6:30–8:30 pm): OAA President’s Opening Reception

  • Friday, February 15 (10:15–11:45 am): OAA Partner Resource Experience

  • Friday, February 15 (6:30–9:30 pm): "Celebrating the American Optician" Reception

  • Saturday, February 16 (12:15–2:15 pm): OAA Awards Luncheon

  • Saturday, February 16 (5:30 pm): OAA State Leadership Conference Concludes

Your State Association
The Small-But - Mighty Opticians Association of
This past year RIARDO (Rhode Island Association of Registerd Dispensing Opticians) became Opticians Association of Rhode Island. 

Why, you ask? When using our former name, RIARDO, we risked losing our identity. We felt convinced that we needed to include the word OPTICIAN. Our new name puts ‘Optician’ first— as it should be .

This one seemingly small step has been a springboard for our organization to start fresh and begin the process of acknowledging WHO we are and WHAT it is we do as opticians:


The Association is committed to providing the highest quality of continuing education programs that fulfill the state’s mandatory licensing requirements, while enriching our members' professional development. Each March, we offer a 6-credit ABO seminar in a comfortable setting to fulfill the requirement.

OARI established a partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island to develop a two-year Distance Learning Associate Degree Program in Opticianry (NFOS member since 2012). OARI also established the first annual college scholarship award to a CCRI opticianry student.

OARI ensures through its legislative actions that the optical professional is well represented.

Noteworthy Legislative Achievements:

1982 Established a separate Board of Opticianry within the Department of Health, independent of optometric rule.

1998  Further advanced the profession by requiring a two-year mandatory ophthalmic science degree.

2007 Separated opticianry rules and regulations from the rules of optometry

2007  Passed law to give opticians the ability to change/add powers in spectacle prescriptions. Strengthened eyewear duplication language

2011 Eliminated a one-year apprenticeship requirement for licensing.

As a member of OARI, you can expect the level of attention and benefits commensurate with an organization which has been serving opticians since 1972. OARI maintains an active board of officers who consistently engage in the promotion of our profession.
The members of our organization enjoy a vast array of resources in terms of education, fellowship, legislative representation and up-to-date information concerning our profession.

Robert L Burgess, ABO, RI Lic., President OARI
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Coming Up!


THU. 14 — SAT. 16

WED. 20 — SUN. 24
SECO International Meeting (New Orleans, LA)

SAT.23 - SUN. 24
OAO,Southwest Ohio Region - Receptions (Fairfield, Ohio)


SAT.9 - SUN. 10
OAO, Northeast Ohio Region - Holiday Inn French Quarters (Perrysburg, Ohio)

THU.21 - SUN. 24

Mark Your Calendars

February 14-16, 2019
Memphis, Tennessee

March 21-24, 2019
New York, NY
Meet Our Newest Partners!

Morel Eyewear USA and National Vision have joined the OAA Family in order to show their support for and belief in the America Optician. Without the support of our partners, the OAA would not be able to properly fund the programs and legislative action that help to build a stronger opticianry profession.

Please click their logos above to visit the websites of these new partners . They're not only doing cool things with eyewear; they're doing some pretty cool things in the world.

Remember : supporting them is essential to our supporting you , the American Optician!