CONNECTICUT OPTICIANS ASSOCIATION

Welcome to the Connecticut Opticians Association

Since our founding in 1935, the Connecticut Opticians Association has been dedicated to promoting the highest possible standard of honor, integrity, and professionalism for opticianry in the state of Connecticut.  Due to the diligence of our founding members, Connecticut was the first state in the nation to license opticians, and we consider our obligation to the profession and to the patients of Connecticut to be an ongoing process of improvement and maintenance of the highest possible standards.

More than 85 Years - Our Experience Counts!   click to see A History of Our First 50 Years.

There is only one Connecticut Opticians Association. Don't be confused by any other organization in Connecticut using a similar name. 

We hold that opticians and opticianry are a vital part of the health care delivery system, and as a professional organization representing all opticians, no matter who you are, or where you practice, we encourage, provide, and promote standards of optical competence, knowledge and performance through the development of educational programs, training, and credentialing of optical personnel.

We encourage all practicing Connecticut opticians and students of opticianry to join us in our efforts. 
We support you, no matter who you are or where you practice!

The Connecticut Opticians Association gratefully acknowledges the support of these industry sponsors:

Transitions
Cherry Optical Lab
Contamac US
Hoya Vision
Taylor Madison Eyewear
Etnia Barcelona

Announcements

LICENSE and CONTINUING EDUCATION REINSTATED EFFECTIVE MAY 10  (May 17, 2022)

 

In a 
document dated May 10, 2022, The Commissioner of Public Health, Manisha Juthani, MD, reinstated all the requirements for renewal of any license to be issued by the Department of Public Health.
 
If you did not renew your optician’s license during the global pandemic of 2019, renewal is now reinstated. 
 
Any licensee who did not renew during the suspension period is allowed a grace period of six months to renew. Any licensee not current must renew by November 10, 2022, or the license will expire. In addition, any past licensing fees not paid during the period of suspension are now due. Past renewal fees are not forgiven.
 
The mandatory requirements for continuing education have also been reinstated. As a prerequisite to renewal, any license renewed from May 5, 2022, through the grace period of November 10, 2022, must have completed the mandatory requirement for continuing education credits.
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The Connecticut Opticians Association will be there to provide you with the Best Speakers and the Best Education. Watch for the Fall Super Sunday coming in October!

WARBY PARKER WRITTEN TESTIMONY  (March 20, 2022)

PUBLIC HEALTH COMMITTEE
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2022
 
S.B. No. 329 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE RETAIL OPERATION OF OPTICAL ESTABLISHMENTS, OFFICES AND STORES.

The Public Health Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 21, 2022 at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom.  The public hearing can be viewed via YouTube Live.  In addition, the public hearing may be recorded and broadcast live on CT-N.com.  

?TO SEND WRITTEN TESTIMONY ONLY:
Please email written testimony in WORD or PDF format to PHtestimony@cga.ct.gov Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related Bills. Testimony should clearly state testifier name and related Bills.  The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda. 

All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and indexed by internet search engines.

You can be assured that the COA and our lobbyists will continue to monitor and protect your statutory rights to practice, and will continue to protect the public health and saftey in eyecare.

WARBY PARKER PROPOSAL SET FOR PUBLIC HEARING  (March 17, 2022)

UPDATE: This proposal has been scheduled for public hearing before the Connecticut General Assembly, Public Health Committee on Monday March 21. The ZOOM Hearing starts at 9:00AM. Your written or verbal testimony is essential. Contact the COA at CTOpt@aol.com

S.B No. 329  has been put on the calendar of the Public Health Committee of the Connecticut Legislature. If passed, the proposal drafted by Warby Parker will change the way opticianry is practiced in Connecticut.

Founded in 2010, Warby-Parker began operating exclusively as an online retailer of prescription eyewear and sunglasses. In 2013, they opened their first brick-and-mortar store. Headquartered in New York City, they currently have three physical stores in Connecticut located in Farmington, New Haven, and Norwalk.

Claiming a shortage of opticians to meet the needs of some stores to maintain business hours 7 days a week, the proposed legislation would allow, that in the event of reasonably unanticipated circumstances, an optical establishment could, for a period of time, remain open during regular business hours without the supervision of a licensed optician.

Unanticipated circumstances would include but not be limited to the licensed optician's illness, injury, family emergency, termination or resignation from the optical establishment. The language would allow that an optical establishment could remain open, without licensed supervision, as long as reasonable action was taken to have another licensed optician present at the establishment during regular business hours. The period of time to remain open and what constitutes reasonable action is not defined.

The proposal also includes a requirement that an optical department in any establishment, office or store that displays optical glasses, kindred products or other instruments to aid vision for purchase online, be required to obtain an optical selling permit.

Members of the C.O.A. Board of Directors and our lobbyist, and representatives from Warby Parker and its lobbyists, have met with State representative Johnathan Steinberg. Representative Steinberg (D) from the 136th district of Westport serves as House Chair of the Legislature’s Public Health Committee. The committee will soon conduct a public hearing on this proposal.

The Connecticut Opticians Association is concerned about the impact this proposal will have on the welfare and safety of Connecticut consumers. The COA is opposed to the passage of this bill.

Your COA has been, and will continue to be, diligent in following the progress of this legislation. We will notify you when a date is set for the public hearing on the proposal.

Anyone who is interested in testifying before the committee should contact the Connecticut Opticians Association, Executive Director at CTOpt@aol.comBe sure to include your phone, your home address and your business address.

ONLINE CONTACT LENS COMPANY ORDERED TO PAY $3.5 MILLION IN PENALTIES  (February 01, 2022)

See "COA News".

BOARD OF EXAMINERS UPDATE - SEPT 20, 2021  (September 20, 2021)

The Board of Examiners for Opticians met by video conference for its regularly scheduled meeting on September 20, 2021. Present were Jenney Rivard, LO and Public Member, Alden Meade, JD.

The agenda included discussion on the reinstatement of the Continuing Education requirements. At this time, while the Governor's emergency Executive Orders are effective, the requirement for credits prior to license renewal are waived. When the governor’s emergency orders are lifted, the Board will be notified when licensed opticians will need to complete the required 7 hours of CECs again.

 The existing waiver for renewing an optician’s license was also discussed. Currently, it is optional for LOs to renew their license. However, when the Executive Orders are lifted, renewals will again be mandatory and the fees will reflect that. In other words, if one does not renew for a year, the next year they must retroactively pay the previous year’s fee for a total payment of $410. So there is no waiver of the fees, just an extension of time to pay it.

Public Act 21-152 was also discussed at the meeting. This new law effective July 1, requires that the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health submit a report to the governor’s office regarding implementing national or 3rd party examinations in lieu of State administered exams. The board again unanimously declared their support of maintaining the current state administered practical exam rather than adopt a virtual exam. It is the opinion of the Board that the virtual exam does not reflect the scope of practice that Connecticut Opticians possess. The Board also maintained their stance that the license should be all encompassing, rather than broken into a two-tier license, separating contact lenses from dispensing.

The Act also requires a report on whether the training requirements to obtain a license should be lessened. The Board strongly and unanimously reiterated that the public health, welfare and safety is best served by maintaining the current high standards of Connecticut Opticians. DPH will relay these positions to the Commissioner for inclusion in her report to the Governor.

We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

Stay safe.

Jenney T. Rivard, LO, FCLSA
Member, Board of Examiners for Opticians