by Linda Conlin
Evaluation of OpticalCEUs Conferences
names Linda Conlin
of the Year.
are working to ensure opticians have information regarding
the impact of
COVID-19. Should you know
actions being taken by any health department in regards
email me at LindaConlin@opticalceu.com.
Gov. Extends Licensing
Deadline until November 20,
good news keeps coming regarding licensing. Connecticut
opticians will not have to renew their licenses until
deadline extension came with the Extension of Angency and
Municipal Emergency Orders by Gov. Ned Lamont just recently.
More specifically, opticians with licenses current as of
March 30,2020, will not need to renew them until six months
after the deadline for the civil
preparedness emergency order. That
date is November
of Agency and Municipal Emergency Orders: Any unexpired
order, rule, regulation, directive or guidance issued by any
official, agency, department, municipality, or entity
pursuant to an unexpired COVID-19 Order, which by its own
terms provides that it shall remain in place for the duration
of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, shall
remain in effect through May
unless earlier modified or terminated by the issuing
authority or a subsequent executive order.”
Business Relief Grant Program
Rhode Island Small Business Relief Grant Program is now
accepting applications. This program provides grants of up to
$5,000 for Rhode Island-based small businesses that have
suffered financially due to the COVID-19
will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis through
5 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2021.
learn more about the program, click
Passing of Peter Dera
Dera, 71, of Unionville, CT, passed away on March 5th
after a courageous and committed battle with cancer.
1976 he began his service as first a student and then a
licensed optician, a vocation that he loved and enjoyed for
more than 45 years.
“vision” that he exemplified both literally
through his work and figuratively to all those he came in
contact with will never be forgotten. He will be sorely
military service was held on Saturday, March 20th,
at 11am at the Middletown Veterans Cemetery.
Board Recognizes Live, Online
Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians (BOE) recently
made dramatic changes in the administration of its practical
exam and its acceptance of online continuing education
credits for ABO and NCLE certification.
the board “agreed to temporarily accept
the ABO and NCLE virtual practical exams only during
the current state of emergency in the state.”Candidates
eligible for licensure can contact the DPH about procedures
for acquiring a license. To sit for the Connecticut licensure
exam, a candidate still must complete a two-year Associates
Degree from an accredited opticianry program or log in 8000
hours within a four-year supervised apprenticeship program.
The candidate also must successfully complete the ABO and
NCLE basic certification exams.
the emergency orders are lifted, the BOE could reinstate the
standard practical exam, meaning individuals must participate
in an in-person exam.
second modification affects continuing education. Under the
new modification, individuals can earn credits at live
programs conducted on platforms such as Zoom. In other words,
live, online seminars meet the state’s requirement for
face-to-face instruction. BOE noted that “the sponsoring
agency must have a method to periodically monitor course
attendance and will only grant a CEC after completion of the
full seminar requirements. All courses must be approved by
sessions are not eligible.
Board of Examiners Meetings Agendas and Minutes can be
Virtual Spring 2021 Seminar
has changed the way opticians have done business for the past
year,” said Linda Conlin, president and founder of
OpticalCEUs, the leading provider of continuing education
credits in New England for 20 years. “It has changed
the way we’ve learned.”
CT Board of Examiners recent modification, she notes, “The
pandemic has forced our society to reconsider the very nature
of the classroom. We have done it with our students, who have
learned in hybrid and virtual classrooms for more than nine
months. While there have been hurdles, the virtual classroom
has given students a chance to learn during these unusual
times. Now opticians have the same chance.”
Conlin, who has worked as an optician for four decades, is
researching the potential of an online, real-time ABO/NCLE
continuing education program for “Spring” 2021.
She is consulting with education and online communcations
specialists. There are many requirements that a provider must
demonstrate with the ABO and NCLE in order for the seminars
to be certified. “We are confident we can make this
happen. The new platform will differ from those of the past,
but it will provide new opportunities for the betterment of
opticians and, most importantly, our patients.”
Health Department Warns
Connecticut Department of Public recently sent out the
following email regarding a “phishing” scam
directed at individuals with licenses issued by the
Department of Public Health has been notified that there is a
“phishing” email making its way through
Connecticut, targeting license holders with the State of
Connecticut. The email appears to be from the state (though
it is not), and asks credential holders to follow a link to a
web page that looks like the state’s eLicense system.
There they are asked to validate their license by entering
personal information, such as name, address, social security
number and date of birth.
To protect your
personal information, please do not provide any information
without ensuring that you are at the legitimate site, which
and requires a login to update personal information.
If you received the referenced email and believe your
information may have been compromised, please visit the FTC’s
web site with advice on preventing and dealing with identity
a Fellow Optician
befell long-time Connecticut optician Matthew Marci. The
Monday after Mother’s Day, his mother and sister were
killed in their Windsor home. It has been called a murder.
the money raised through a GoFundMe
fundraiser will pay the women’s ‘final
expenses,’ which ‘includes having their house
professionally cleaned from this horrific attack.’”
estimates that the cleaning bill will run about $20,000. He
set up the page on May 13, and by May 20 or so, friends,
neighbors, and colleagues contributed enough to cover the
cleaning and “final” expenses.
condolences go out to Matt and the extended Marci family.
COVID-19 Prevention Checklist
Island has prepared a checklist for businesses opening up
in the next few days. It offers great tips and a poster to
display for customers.
and NCLE Instituted At-Home Exams
these times of Covid-19 and social distancing,
ABO and NCLE have
temporarily made the Remote Proctored Examinations (RPE)
available for specific exams. Certification candidates now
can take certain exams in-person or at-home. RPE exams (the
at-home versions) include ABO Basic, NCLE Basic, ABO
Advanced, and NCLE Advanced. The associations also are
pilot-testing RPE versions of the ABO Practical and NCLE
Practical exams. Should the results of the pilot programs
come out as expected, ABO and NCLE will make these exams
available under the RPE program.
associations also expanded the May testing window for both
the in-person and at-home examinations through July 31, 2020,
with no late fees incurred for any of the May examinations!
You Register for the At-Home Exam
contact their state licensing authority to find out if it
will accept the results from the at-home exam. Currently,
Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Washington have met and
approved the use of this Remote Proctored Examination.Do
not register for the at-home exam until the state’s
licensing authority has approved this exam.
Temporary Licensing Procedures
is extending the registration of professional licenses “until
90 days following the termination of the [current] state of
emergency.” The ruling applies to licensed opticians.
For more detailed information about the extension, go to
Exam for Opticians
Department of Public Health has postponed administration of
the Optician Practical exams tentatively scheduled during the
weeks of June 16 – 25.
see how the situation with the COVID-19 evolves,
any future date might be determined.
Postpones Seminar ‘Til Fall
of concern for the health and safety of attendees and in
conformity to CDC recommendations regarding group meetings
during the COVID-19 outbreak, the May 17 OpticalCEUs
Continuing Education Seminar at Foxwoods will be postponed
until the fall.
credits: If you need credits for license renewal prior to
September, the following states accept online ABO/NCLE
approved credits: Massachusetts, New Hampshire (3
credits), Rhode Island, Vermont (2 credits), Connecticut is
considering a waiver of the continuing education requirement,
but it is not official.
of State Licensing Boards: Contact your state licensing
board for more information:
New Hampshire https://www.oplc.nh.gov/,
Rhode Island https://www.ri.gov/Licensing/,
appreciate your support of OpticalCEUs seminars and look
forward to seeing you in the fall. Should my contacts in the
Connecticut health department get me more information, I will
post it here. Remember, though, these individuals are
extremely busy dealing with the effects of the COVID-19
outbreak, so it may take time for them to get back to me.
safe, wash your hands, and stay well,
Draws One of Its Largest Seminars
than 12 dozen opticians from the New England area celebrated
in the Grand Pequot Ballroom, Foxwoods Resort and Casino on
Sunday, October 27. There were awards recognizing those
opticians who have attended the seminars since they began in
1999. There were cookies, cake, and a wonderful buffet.
That’s not to mention the seven ABO/NCLE accredited
courses that helped them learn how light, the eye and brain
work together to enable us to see, about the next Generation
of Transitions lenses, how refraction affects our work as
opticians. and about three microbes that can invade the eye.
Watch the first of the
two-part video at this YouTube site.
Accredited lecturers Linda Conlin,
Deborah Kotob, Joe Forte, and Herb Fletcher
will present seven courses enabling you to earn three ABO
and four NCLE credits.
1999, Linda, Managing Editor for 20/20 Magazine’s
Pro to Pro, launched OpticalCEUs as an educational
resource for opticians. She is ABO and NCLE certified,
licensed in CT, MA and RI, and was an adjunct instructor for
the Goodwin College Vision Care Technology Program.
the Director of Education for 20/20 Magazine, creates
and presents ABO, NCLE and JCAHPO seminars related to optics
and best practices. A Massachusetts-licensed optician, she
was the Education Facilitator for Vision-Ease, has owned two
optical businesses and was a sales representative for MODO
and Luxottica. Deborah has achieved ABOM and NCLE
the director of contact lens services for Greenwich
Ophthalmology Associates, lectured at CUNY Tech, Vision Expo
and Optifair. He received his Master in Contact Lens
Technology (NCLEM), is certified as an Advanced Level
speaker, and was program director of the Interboro Institute
College of Opticianry. Joe has been a Fellow of the CLSA
is a Transitions Brand Ambassador for Younger Optics.
A Connecticut licensed optician with 30 years of experience
including management, he is ABO and NCLE certified, and has
presented continuing education courses for ABO and state
associations and Optician and Optometry colleges around the
Celebrates Its 20th
with a 7-Credit Program
April 7, 2019, Joe
Forte, Deborah Kotab, and Linda
Conlin dazzled more than 130 opticians from Connecticut,
New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. It has been two
decades since Linda Conlin launched Opticalceus’ first
program, attended by some 44 opticians.
honored those attendees who have been at all 20 programs.
They include Gerald Boss (who claims to be the oldest,
living, working optician), Calvin Harden, Angela Dunphy,
Harry Celentano, Ronald Kellie, Gary Murphy, and Edward
Talaniec. Ron Kellie received an award for the most dedicated
of attendees. After receiving her honor, Angela took the
microphone from Linda: “I would like to thank Linda for
alternative, quality education.” All attendees received
a specially wrapped chocolate chip cookie with registration
as well as cake specially decorated by the chefs of Foxwood
Resorts. As always, conference attendees can enjoy a
delicious hot buffet lunch compliments of OpticalCEUs.
Morning Sessions will include Everything You Always
Wanted to Know About Lenses but Were Afraid to Ask, presented
by Joe Forte (1 ABO) 9am-10am; Visual Perception: From
Photon to Neuron, presented by Deborah Kotob (1 ABO pending)
10am-11am NEW!; and Light Adaptation:
Photopic, Mesopic, and Scotopic Vision, presented by Deborah
Kotob (1 ABO pending) 11am-Noon NEW!.
Sessions will feature Rigid Contact Lenses for All
Opticians, presented by Joe Forte (1 NCLE) 1pm-2pm;
Nutrition and Vision Update, presented by Linda Conlin (1
NCLE) 2pm-3pm; Reflecting on Refraction, presented by Joe
Forte (1 NCLE pending) 3pm-4pm !; and Anatomy and
Diseases of the Eye, presented by Joe Forte (1 NCLE pending)