Continuing Education

2021 OANJ Fall Virtual Conference

2021 OANJ Fall Virtual Conference Agenda

 When Fitting Contacts 101 is NOT Fitting Contacts 101 

Presenter:  Velardi

How many of your patients are -1.00 D myopes that wear contact lenses, dispose of them as instructed, clean them as instructed, have back-up glasses, purchase their contact lenses from your office and come in every year for their annual examinations? The perfect contact lens patient! I’m betting not very many, if any!  

This short 1-hour class will cover a basic refresher on fitting contacts as well as the decision-making process that “should” go into the fitting of each individual patient. It will illustrate how complicated even the simplest -1.00D myope fitting can be [if done appropriately]. It will also include some “fun” he said/she said stuff. What you say and what the patient actually hears and subsequently does. The differences can be amazing!  

Rules & Regulations for Opticians in NJ

Moderator:  Danielle Vigilotti current President of the Opticians Association of New Jersey (OANJ).

This course will review the rules and regulations of the NJ state Board of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic technicians through a question and answer plus explanation format. A broad range of topics will be discussed and there will be ample time for attendees to bring up related topics for explanation or clarification.

Contrast Sensitivity and Visual Perception

Presenter:  Pete Hanlin

Vision is- by definition- the ability to perceive image contrast.  However, contrast perception is very rarely measured in real practice.  This is unfortunate, because many patients who have good acuity (i.e., 20/20 vision) may suffer from reduced contrast perception.  As a result, their vision may not seem "sharp," even though a routine examination indicates they have perfect vision.  This course explains the components of contrast sensitivity, how it is measured, ocular and ophthalmic issues that may reduce contrast, and how to ensure patients receive the best contrast sensitivity possible.

Compensated Powers- and other ophthalmic conundrums

Presenter:  Pete Hanlin

Compensation (aka wearer power) is perhaps one of the least understood feature of many modern progressive and even single vision lens designs.  This course describes the rationale behind compensation, and explains why compensation does not change the power of the lens (it merely describes how the lens should read when it is placed in a lensometer).  Additionally, this course describes the nature of chromatic aberration- as well as the actual impact chromatic aberration has on vision- and explains how an anti-reflective coating can actually increase the reflection of certain wavelengths (specifically the ultraviolet range).

Creating Perceived Value 

Presenter:  Pete Hanlin

Value perception is a largely subconscious evaluation of a product or service's worth.  However, it is a crucial concept to understand- because it largely determines what a consumer purchases, where they purchase it, and how much they are willing to spend on a purchase.  This course describes the drivers of value perception (quality, service, desire, convenience, and price) and provides practical recommendations of how the ophthalmic retailer can maximize and differentiate his/her products and services.  As Disney has demonstrated, when sufficient perceived value is created, there is almost no limit on the amount a consumer will spend to attain the product or service being offered.


We are pleased to offer the recordings of the Fall 2021 Virtual Meeting, totaling SIX credit hours.  Only interested in attending the Rules and Regulations session? There is an option to purchase the Rules and Regulations session recording only. If you have any questions please contact Jeff Leonard at [email protected].

Register Here


 2021 Spring OANJ Conference


2021 Spring Conference Agenda (6 total credits will be issued for attending the entire conference)


 Coding and Billing Post-Cataract Eyewear DME Medicare Claims for the Optical Dispensary

 Presenter: Pamela B Fritz

This interactive course gives opticians and billers the step-by-step process of how to submit DME Medicare claims for post-operative cataract eyewear patients' purchase and how to maximize patient benefit reimbursements for the optical.  Learn line-by-line claim entry, which items are covered and non-covered, use of modifiers and how to minimize claim rejection.  Commercial Medicare Advantage programs are discussed.  DME Supplier compliance, enrollment, timeline claim filing, and the top claim rejection codes will be viewed.  Handout:  2021 DME NJ V Code work sheet.  

Frame Inventory:  Management, Margins and Marketing 

Presenter: Pamela B Fritz

Learn how much frame inventory to carry and how to determine frame mix by patient Demographic. Why frame inventory software is critical.  Setting and adjusting your frame budget.  Keep you inventory fresh and timely and weeding out the “dogs”.  Working with frame reps and board space.  Determining frame prices, mark-up and margins.  Special frame categories:  insurance frames, second pair sales, Free Frame promotions.   Protocol for patient using their own frames.  Examples of frame marketing and merchandising will be shown.

Don’t Let your Lens Cost of Goods Wreck your Bottom Line

Presenter: Pamela B Fritz

The importance of auditing your lens sales.   How to track lab invoices against patient invoices.   Controlling the cost of goods of lenses.  Offering the Good, Better Best Lens Tiers.  Lens pricing, margins and lens discounting policies and protocols.  The beauty of Lens Packaging.  Ala-cart pricing verses lens packages.  Suffering the insurance write offs and adjustments.  Taking advantage of your Lab’s lens specials, 2nd pair pricing and manufacturer’s rewards programs.  Why optical software is critical to track your optical lens products.

Blood Borne Pathogens

Presenter: William Velardi, Jr. OD

As health care workers we are all at risk of coming in contact with blood borne pathogens. It will be the intent of this class to review the three big blood borne pathogens, HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, how they are transmitted and what to do if you think you have been exposed to any of them. We will also touch briefly on some less popular pathogens as well. And in these uncertain times, we will touch on SARS-CoV2, A.K.A. the Corona virus as well. While Corona is not a blood borne pathogen but a respiratory one, it is one that can be avoided by taking the correct simple precautions. We will take a quick look at the anatomy of the lacrimal system and tears and their role, or not, in the transmission of SARS - CoV2. And lastly, we will cover blood borne pathogens and Covid with regards to the wearing and the fitting [which includes insertion and removal training] of contact lenses.

What Else you can do with a Contact Lens

Presenter: William Velardi, Jr. OD

We all know about using contact lenses as a way of correcting an ametropia. Along with this "everyday" use come many lesser-known specialty uses for contact lenses. Uses such as, corneal rehabilitation, medication delivery and systemic and ocular medical condition monitoring, just to name a few. In these two hours we will cover these and a few other topics and we will also delve into an old use and design of contact lens that has made a resurgence in recent years, scleral lenses. Scleral lenses when used to treat keratoconus can be a life altering experience for our patients. They can give our patients back the vision they have not had in many years. Vision that some were told they would probably never have again.

Along with these "specialty" uses for lenses will be a refresher on complications of both "conventional" and "non-conventional" lens use. With patients having difficulty with access to care recently, complications from lens over-wear are an increasing problem. We will touch briefly on the major players in the realm of contact lens complications. Lastly, we will touch on the new, October 2020, changes to the FCLCA federal law regarding the release of contact lens prescriptions and sale of lenses.


Click here to register for the recordings from the 2021 Spring OANJ Conference and receive 6 hours of Credit.

If you have any questions please contact Jeff Leonard at [email protected].


2020 Fall OANJ Conference

2020 Fall Conference Agenda (6 total credits will be issued for attending the entire conference) 

Unpacking a new Era – New designs and New devices for taking measurements

Speaker: Doreen Gaede

Position of wear measurements will be presented in this session.  Too often, defaults and lack of time prevent this critical step in fitting the customer with their new lenses.  The benefits of taking measurements, along with multiple devices to help accurately fit the customer will be presented in this session.

Practice Growth with Safety

Speaker: Doreen Gaede

In this session, learners will be presented with methods to incorporate specialized services into their practice.  Marketing methods to reach niche groups will be evaluated.  Industries requiring these specialized glasses include sports; construction; maintenance; automotive; and manufacturing.  Attendees will leave this session with the tools to establish these niche services in their practice.

Profitability with Out-of-Network

Speaker: Doreen Gaede

In this session learners will be presented with business models including in-network, out -of-network, and both in and out of network. The pros and cons of each business model will be evaluated.  Learners will be provided with helpful tools including staff training materials, benefits calculators, and revenue dashboards to streamline operations in their own businesses. 

Fundamentals of Progressive Lens Design

Speaker: Pete Hanlin, ABOM

This 1-hour course is will teach individuals how to:

  • Define the functional limits of length of progression based on patient physiology.
  • Understand the optical characteristics having the highest impact on visual quality.
  • Identify symptoms related to poor PAL design or fitment.
  • Properly fit a progressive lens.

2nd Pair Sales

Speaker: Doreen Gaede

The benefits of training the entire team on marketing and selling the 2nd pair will be presented in this session.  Increased revenue and patient satisfaction are the two main drivers of encouraging 2nd pair sales.  Multiple scenarios will be presented to attendees, who will leave with the tools necessary to implement into their practice.

Transitions Contact Lens review

Speaker: Doreen Gaede

In this session, attendees will learn the benefits of transition lenses, and the differences in benefit across all age groups.  Attendees will be presented with the effect of transition lenses in the indoor setting, the outdoor setting, the color contrast, the affect in UV lighting, and at night.


Click here to register for the recordings from the 2020 Fall OANJ Conference and receive 6 hours of Credit.

If you have any questions please contact Jeff Leonard at [email protected].



13:33-1.43 New Jersey Continuing Education Requirements

The following is an excerpt from the State Board of Examiners of Ophthalmic Dispensers and Ophthalmic Technicians statutes and regulations book. The complete text can be found online, but the online version is not entirely up to date. It should be noted that the minimum of three credits in contact lenses is only the minimum, you may acquire more then the three minimum contact lens credits during the biennial period and utilize them towards your twelve credit requirement.

You should also be aware that the Board can at any time request from any licensee verification of completion of this requirement and rumors have it that they will randomly be doing so on a regular basis.

Remember that only face to face classroom style courses are accepted. No internet or correspondence courses are allowed.

Always check with the Board to make certain the courses you are taking are approved. There have been reports that some of the courses that have been given by educators other then from the OANJ, which NJ Licensees have been attending have not been approved by the Board. 
You, the licensee are responsible for knowing the validity of the course being taken.

If you are asked to submit your credits to the Board, only New Jersey credits will be accepted. ABO, NCLE, New York, Florida, etc. credits are not acceptable. Although in many cases New Jersey courses are accepted by these other Boards the reverse is not always true.

You may have noticed a wallet sized version of your license attached with your renewal certificate. Do not lose it or throw it away. This pocket sized certificate is said to become the new manditory identification tag, replacing all other various identification/name tags currently being used by licensees in the state.

Maintenance of Continuing Education Credits is Mandatory for All New Jersey Licensed Opticians

(a) An ophthalmic dispenser shall indicate on the license renewal form that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements as outlined in (b) below.  Ophthalmic dispensers applying for their first biennial renewal are exempt from this mandatory continuing education requirement.

(b) Each ophthalmic dispenser licensed by the Board shall successfully complete 12 credits per biennial period of approved continuing education course work, of which three such credits shall be in the dispensing of contact lensesin compliance with N.J.A.C. 13:33-3.2.  One credit shall equal one hour of attendance at an approved course.  Two credits may be carried over into a succeeding biennial period only if earned during the last six months of the preceding biennial period.

(c) The ophthalmic dispenser shall maintain sponsor verifications that he or she has completed the continuing education courses as part of his or her records for a period of four years.  Falsification of sponsor verifications may result in an appearance before the Board, penalties and/or disciplinary action.  The Board may request a review of an ophthalmic dispenser's continuing education records at any time.  Any ophthalmic dispenser who isunable to verify that he or she has completed the continuing education requirements shall be subject to disciplinary action.

(d) The Board may waive the requirements of this section on an individual basis in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

(e)  The Board shall approve only such continuing educational programs as are available on a reasonable non-discriminatory basis to all persons practicing ophthalmic dispensing in the State. The Board shall maintain a list of all approved courses and lecturers at the Board offices and shall furnish this information to licensees upon request. Courses to be approved for the continuing education requirement shall be in areas of ophthalmic science, study related to the human eye and its care, or such other areas of opticianry education as the Board shall designate. Speakers, lecturers and others participating in the presentation of programs shall be recognized as possessing requisite qualifications and being of recognized repute in their area of instruction.

(f) Any person desiring approval as a sponsor of a continuing education course, seminar or program shall:

1. Complete and submit the written application form provided by the Board. The application form will elicit descriptive information concerning the course offering, such as:

i. The name and address of sponsoring organization and the name of individual filing application;

ii. The title and a complete description of course offering;

iii. The date, time (beginning and end) and place of course offering;

iv. Curriculum vitae of each speaker; and

v. The mechanism to be used to assess program value. 

2. Secure Board approval prior to offering any continuing education course, seminar or program and prior to representing that any course, seminar or program fulfills the requirements of this section;

3. Notify all licensees of the time, place and date of the course being offered; and

4. Monitor the attendance at each approved course and furnish to each enrollee a verification of attendance.

(g) An ophthalmic dispenser on inactive status who seeks to reactivate his or her license shall submit proof to the Board of successful completion of 12 credits of approved continuing education course work, three of which shall be in the dispensing of contact lenses, for each biennial period of approved inactive status.



OANJ members who fulfill their continuing education at OANJ sponsored events and misplace their certificates are eligible to receive written verification and/or a transcript of those credits free of charge as a member benefit. For non-members, there will be a $50 administrative fee charged for this service.