On Sunday April 19th Canadian Opticianry history was made. Inside Optics, Canada’s largest optician’s event, presented by the Ontario Opticians Association (OOA), was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to still provide professional learning to opticians, the OOA partnered with the Opticians Association of Canada (OAC) to virtually bring Inside Optics not only to Ontario opticians, but to opticians right across Canada. The OOA and the OAC took this great idea to another level by offering this event free to all OOA/OAC members. The event attracted over 1,400 opticians trying to participate, which was more than the 1,000-attendee limit on the platform used.
The day was co-hosted by Lorne Kashin, OOA Executive Director, and Martin Lebeau, OOA Deputy Executive Director. Seven hours of professional learning was available giving attendees half of their accredited con-ed requirements for the year. This was in line with the OOA’s pledge that attending two OOA events per year will satisfy all accredited hours required by the College of Opticians of Ontario (COO).
The day saw professional learning live from each of the presenters broadcasting from the safety of their own homes.
The first presentation was an update by the COO. Fazal Khan, COO Registrar, and Bryan Todd, COO President, updated attendees about the responsibilities of opticians during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included examples of what would be considered essential services provided by opticians and the various ways opticians could provide these services. The second half of the COO update explained the recent changes to the COO Standards of Practice regarding the delivery of contact lenses and also dispensing glasses without an in-person fitting. Other topics were covered including changes to the Quality Assurance program. The COO website has been updated and opticians were encouraged to consult the site for further information.
Zully Kasmani, RO gave attendees an Introduction to Low Vision Assessments. He
encouraged attendees to provide Low Vision services to their practice. Dr. Mark Eltis spoke about Long Term Outcomes and Recent Advances in Refractive Surgery. Dr. Kiran Ramesh gave attendees a window into The Power of Vision Therapy. Dr. Ramesh enlisted her family to help demonstrate Vision Therapy procedures. Amy Chow, RO continued her series on the fitting of Specialty Lenses with her presentation, Corneal RGPs or Sclerals. With recent changes to Standards of Practice, it was very timely that Cathi Mietkiewicz, of Mietkiewicz Law, presented Professional Judgement and Ethical Decision Making. John Yee, RO piqued attendees interest with a report on his thirty years of research and development of Orthoculogy (Ortho C).John’s presentation reported on the process and results of this process of controlling myopia.
All of the Inside Optics presentations will be made available free to OOA/OAC members in the OAC Continuing Education library .
The OOA would like to thank our sponsors for their great support in helping bring Inside Optics 2020 to opticians. We would also like to express our thanks to the OAC staff for their great work and efforts in partnering with us to bring Inside Optics 2020 online to opticians across Canada.