by Linda Conlin
Evaluation of OpticalCEUs Conferences
names Linda Conlin
of the Year.
Island Offers Small
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 ABO/NCLE."
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
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.
protect your personal information, please do not provide any
information without ensuring that you are at the legitimate
site, which is https://elicense.ct.gov
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 theft: https://identitytheft.gov/
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
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 certifications.
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 since 1992.
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
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)