Association History

1900 - First known reference by progressive opticians in Connecticut to form a Society. January 10, 1900 - R.R. Gwillim of Meriden, CT offers to assist in forming a State Optical Society for "up-to-date opticians".  Gwillim eventually becomes the 4th president of the Connecticut State Optical Society in 1914.

1907 - The American Optometric Association sends its first call for a meeting to organize a group in Connecticut for the purpose of regulating optometry as a profession.

1908 - 1st Annual meeting of the Connecticut State Optical Society is held in New Haven.  33 men were in attendance.
1909—An Act Concerning Public Health by Defining Optometry and Regulating the Practice Thereof, first introduced to the CT General Assembly.
1913 - The Articles of Association of the Connecticut State Optical Society - Filed on November 13, 1913 
1914 - Connecticut's initial optometric practice act went into effect on January 1, 1914.

1919 – The Connecticut State Optical Society to the Connecticut Optometric Society on May 12, 1919.

1957 - The Connecticut Optometric Society Celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 1957 at the Hotel Griswold in GrotonConnecticut:

1967 - The Connecticut Optometric Society held its Annual Banquet on June 25, 1967 at the Park Plaza Hotel in New Haven. United States Senator Abraham A. Ribicoff was presented with the Association's "Distinguished Service Award" by Dr. Murray Rapapport.

1982 - The Connecticut Optometric Society Celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 1982 at the Hotel Sonesta, Hartford, Connecticut:

1992 – CT General Assembly passes the therapeutics bill enabling optometrists to prescribe and use pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of eye diseases.

1993 - The name of the association was again revised to its present name, the Connecticut Association of Optometrists 

1996 – Advanced Optometric Care legislation signed by Governor Rowland.

2006 – Transitioned the CAO from a 20 year relationship with an association management firm to an Executive Director managed structure.

2007 – An Act Updating the Scope of Practice of Optometry passes the CT General Assembly.  CT Association of Optometrists celebrates 100 years.


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