By Linda Conlin, Pro to Pro Managing Editor

Bob Reynolds, OAA President, reports that there is a surge in attempts to deregulate or consolidate licensed professions by doing away with or combining state licensing boards. Attempts at deregulation have been made recently in Ohio, Arizona, Virginia and Florida, with more states certain to follow. You may recall that the OAA was instrumental in assisting opticians in Virginia, where a bill to deregulate opticians died in committee.

Reynolds recommends that opticians remain vigilant and ready to protect themselves by:

Staying Informed - Read all emails and newsletters
Joining Your State Association - Make your voice heard
Knowing Your State Representatives - You may need them
Getting Involved - Step into leadership, we need you
Being Ready To Act - Make calls, spread the word

Reynolds also reminds us that, “The OAA is here and ready to offer advice, organizational help or financial assistance as needed. Remember: communication runs both ways. If you hear of a potential threat, let us know. We will do the same. Together we can meet and defeat these threats. The public counts on knowing that their optician is what they expect.”

There is strength in numbers. The Opticians Association of America is a nationwide network of member states whose collective voice far surpasses what any of us could hope to accomplish alone. The OAA keeps abreast of legislation that affects the field of opticianry. They work to create and uphold laws that recognize and protect qualified opticians, while challenging or opposing those which might harm the profession. What’s more, while their branding efforts aim to educate consumers as to the role and importance of opticians, lawmakers and courts are not as keenly aware of the facts as they should be. The OAA, together with its members and sponsors, works to change that.

You can be a part of the Pride, Power and Progress that is the OAA, by becoming a member. There are several levels of membership including Individual, State Society and Guild Member. Membership offers many other benefits, too, such as ongoing training and education, a broad scope of networking opportunities, and mentorship and leadership development, as well as benefits in the form of savings on everything from training materials and conference tickets to exclusive discounts at retailers. For more information about the OAA and to become a member, visit