The Ontario Opticians Association is a voluntary, professional association representing over 2,400 opticians practicing in Ontario and regulated by the College of Opticians. Opticians were denied permission to administer sight testing without the authorization of optometrists, due to the actions of a previous government.
The Brown & Cohen Solution
Set up one-on-one meetings with Ministry staff and over 30 MPPs to educate them on the optical profession and its ability to provide sight testing as a stand-alone
Involved the Minister of Healh and Long Term Care, George Smitherman, in the 2007 Annual Inside Optics conference with over 500 opticians. At 2004 - 2007 conferences involved up to five MPPs per conference in presentations to participants
Created grassroots "Neighbourhood Eye Care Fairs" in Toronto at the Ontario Science Centre and in a community centre in Whitby, to demonstrate services to the public
Trained the Association president, Chief Administration Officer, Board of Directors and members on ways to build relations locally and provincially with MPPs and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
Provided a strong voice to educate elected bureaucrats within government opposing the ability for opticians to conduct sight testing
Created a more active OOA membership
The fight for stand-alone sight testing is the next challenge and opticians across the province are gearing up to enhance their outreach.