We are proud of our 2016

"Ophthalmic Optician® of the Year" recipient Barry E. Santini, O.O.

2017 Has been the best year ever for the Society to Advance Opticianry!

​    In the Fall of 2016 we made our main mission to "Expand the Scope of Practice of Opticianry". We chose to do this by working towards developing a certification program in the area of REFRACTION. We have developed education programs, we are in the process of choosing "Subject Matter Experts", and we have began working with the NCLE to create a testing system so Opticians, COA's, and Optometric Assistants can become a "Certified Ophthalmic Refractionist".   

 "The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their DREAMS". Elenor Roosevelt   

In the early Fall of 2015, members of the Society to Advance Opticianry organized a Back to School Vision Screening in a low income area of Austin Texas.  One hundred and five children where screened. We found 35 children that needed referred to doctors for full eye health exams. All the children that needed eye wear received new glasses at no cost to the families. This screening is a part of an on going project to provide glasses to the under served and to the most in need of vision care.  

2014 and 2013 were also great years for the Society to Advance Opticianry! 

1. We became included on Wikipedia and other dictionaries.

2. We registered and protected our professional title “Ophthalmic Optician®”.

3. The SAO began mentoring those Opticians interested in improving their credentials.

The SAO and Ophthalmic Opticians® listed on Wikipedia.
An optician is a specialized practitioner who designs, fits and dispenses lenses for the correction of a person's vision. Opticians determine the specifications of various ophthalmic appliances that will give the necessary correction to a person's eyesight. Some registered or licensed Opticians also design and fit special appliances to correct cosmetic, traumatic or anatomical defects. These devices are called shells or artificial eyes. Other registered or licensed Opticians manufacture lenses to their own specifications and design and manufacture spectacle frames and other devices.[1][2]

​Corrective ophthalmic appliances may be contact lenses, spectacles lenses, low vision aids or ophthalmic prosthetics to those who are partially sighted. The appliances are mounted either on the eye as contact lenses or mounted in a frame or holder in front of the eye as spectacles or as a monocle.Opticians may work in any variety of settings such as joint practice, hospitals, eye care centers or retail stores. However, registered opticians have to meet standards of practice and training, commit to ongoing education, hold professional liability insurance and are held to these standards by their respective regulating bodies.

A fully credentialed Optician in the United States is known as an Ophthalmic Optician® and is credentialed by the (SAO) Society to Advance Opticianry (www.ophthalmicoptician.org). To achieve this nationally registered title an Optician must achieve:

1. a combination of a college education, plus state licenses in both eye wear dispensing and contact lens fitting or

American Board of Opticianry and National Contact Lens Examiners advanced certifications in both eye wear and contact lenses.

Like many health care providers, opticians are regulated professionals in certain countries. The profession is often regulated by optician specific agencies, as in Canada and some states of the U.S., or jointly with optometry such as the New Zealand Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board or the United Kingdom General Optical Council. Opticians usually work independently from an optometrist or ophthalmologist although some opticians may work in a joint practice with other eye care professionals. Opticians convert a prescription for the correction of a refractive error into an ophthalmic lens or some other device, such as reading aids or telescopic lenses.[3][4][5]


Registered and Protected Title "Ophthalmic Optician"

​Trademark Registration:  Although mark rights arise automatically upon first use in commerce, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office(PTO) permits federal registration of trademarks. Registration ensures that others are aware of your claim to nationwide rights to your marks. Registration also entitles you to seek additional remedies against infringers. Trademark law is, in essence, intended for protection of consumers – i.e., so consumers will not be confused as to the product or service, source there of, or quality. An infringement of trademark occurs if any subsequent adopter uses a mark that is confusingly similar to a mark of a prior adopter. There are some qualificationsto the foregoing sentence, though, such as subsequent adoption without knowledge of the prior use, so trademark registration is highly advised in order to preserve the greatest scope and extent of your trademark rights. The law treats an infringer as having knowledge of your mark if registered, whether or not the infringer actually did have such knowledge.  

Mentoring Program

The SAO offers MENTORING HELP to prepare Candidate Ophthalmic Opticians prepare for the ABO and NCLE exams.

“The Society to Advance Opticianry mentors Opticians upon request by a Candidate Ophthalmic Optician."