July 2019
Tariffs On Chinese Optical Products:
The OAA Responds
The OAA, along with several other industry organizations, recently joined The Vision Council in urging the Office of the US Trade Representative to consider the consequences of a 25%higher tariff ( China Tariff 301 ) on optical goods from China. The organizations submitted a joint letter to the Office opposing the proposed tariffs and highlighting the hardship the tariffs would creat e, s tating that prescription eyeglasses, regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are the most widely used medical device in the United States, if not the world. As of March 2019, approximately 164.4 million Americans—64.3 percent of the U.S. population—wear prescription eyeglasses, with 78.6 million pairs of new eyeglasses dispensed to Americans annually.

“Any increase in the landed cost of the Optical Products through the imposition of additional Customs duties will inevitably result in higher costs for medical devices designed to provide therapeutic or prophylactic benefits to those with mild to serious vision issues. Any duty-related increase will be passed through the supply chain to the ultimate consumer—the eyecare patient."

The following items would be effected:

  • Spectacle lenses of glass, unmounted
  • Spectacle lenses of materials other than glass, unmounted
  • Frames and mountings of plastic for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • Frames and mountings, other than of plastics, for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • Parts of frames and mountings for spectacles, goggles or the like
  • Sunglasses—corrective, protective or other
  • Spectacles, goggles and the like—corrective, protective or other, other than sunglasses; binoculars
  • Optical telescopes, including monoculars

Be sure to read your upcoming newsletters for further updates.

First Licensed - 1956

Apprenticeship - Yes

Opticianry Schools - 3
Georgia Piedmont Technical School Ogeechee Tech
Wiregrass Tech

Licensed to Fit Contact Lenses - Yes

Continuing Education Required - Yes: 10 CE's every 2 years (2 must be NCLE)

Board Governed - Yes: Governor appointed (5 opticians and 1 public )

Executive Director - Thomas Blair, Jr

President - Bob Yoe

Celebrated Alumni - Bob Reynold, President, OAA

Georgia would love to have you come visit our beautiful state and take advantage of the continuing education offered by OAG .
Letter To The Editor:


I’ve heard of a trend in our field of changing our title from optician to "frame and lens expert," to keep from confusing our patients. This feels like a bit of a slap in the face to me, as I went through a two-year apprenticeship and a state board test to become an optician. I am not a 'title' person, but I feel I deserve to be classified as on optician , because it is much more than a "frame and lens expert." Am I making too much of this?

Signed, Concerned

Dear Concerned,

There indeed appears to be a trend to diminish our title, optician . And no, in our opinion, you are not making too much of this.

For the past six years, the Opticians Association of America has led a branding campaign with the specific goal of educating the consumer about who we are and what we do. That includes our vast education and qualifications, and the importance of having a person with said qualifications help consumers choose, fabricate and dispense the eyewear they require. (See the OAA website Branding page.)

We have engaged in this to preserve and strengthen our profession. Without the title to define us, the profession could simply slip away. The consumer is unaware of what qualifications need to exist, so anyone—literally anyone—could step into our place and they would be none the wiser. And we recognize it would be damaging to the consumer to allow that to happen. 

So spread the word! Use as many of our free and easy branding tools as you can, and be sure your name tag says optician !

TUE. 16
Certified Opticians Association of Texas
Houston Area Meeting: ZEISS Vision

FRI. 9 — SUN. 11
Professional Opticians of Florida
2019 Summer Showcase (Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort)

SAT. 17-SUN.18
Opticians Association of Georgia
Continuing Education
University of Georgia
Athens Campus

WED. 18 — SAT. 21
OptiCon at Vision Expo West  (Las Vegas, NV) 

The complete event for ophthalmic professionals — where eyecare meets eyewear, and education, fashion and innovation mingle.

SUN. 22
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Region 4 Symposium
(The Desmond Hotel, Albany)
8:30A - 3:00P

SUN. 22
New York State Society of Opticians (NYSSO)
Long Island Symposium
(Radisson Hotel, Hauppauge)
8:30A - 3:00P

SAT. 28 — SUN. 29
Opticians Association of Ohio
Central Region Annual Conference
(Bruce E. Seigel Center for Health & Education, Columbus)

September 18-21, 2019
Attention Florida Opticians !
POF Introduces ABO/NCLE Webinar Series    

The webinar series consists of six, two-hour interactive sessions with an HCC Opticianry Program Instructor. It can also be taken from anywhere in the country, though it is limited to Florida candidates.