Student blog post explaining to the audience (the eyewear consumer) the importance of keeping eyeglasses in good adjustment and who to see for that service.
So, your new glasses are ordered, and you can not wait for their arrival. The frames you chose are the perfect balance of style and function. You get the call that they are ready to be dispensed. You eagerly journey to the optical shop, put them on, and they slide right off your face. Instead of being filled with the warm fuzzy feeling of new glasses, you are now feeling like you purchased a headache. Fortunately, the proverbial headache can he easily cured by having your glasses adjusted. Frame adjustments are necessary, and the importance of properly adjusted glasses should not be overlooked. Correctly adjusted frames will provide comfort, and in some cases be the determining factor on how well your glasses work for you.
The different parts of the frame work together. If one portion is not aligned it will throw the whole frame out of balance. One part to focus on is the bridge. This is the upper part of the nose between the eyes. The bridge of glasses determines how high or low the frames sit on your face. This are is particularly important to patients with bifocal or progressive lenses. If the bridge is not properly aligned this will either raise or lower the prescription viewing area, thus making it difficult to utilize the distance, intermediate, and reading portion of your lenses. The same can be said for the temples. Temples can be raised or lowered to either increase or decrease the tilt on the lenses. This is important because the amount of tilt in the lenses directly affect the prescription. The tilt of the lenses either increases or decreases the amount of space between your eyes and your glasses.
Even if you have had your glasses adjusted and they are fitting and working perfectly, you may have to bring the frames into an optician to be readjusted. Regular wear and tear can drastically change the way the glasses fit. That time you placed your glasses on the top of your head like a headband (don’t worry, we all do it) may have stretched out the temples and shifted your nosepads. Children may have a less delicate hand when it comes to caring for their glasses. Parents should routinely check their child’s glasses for changes in adjustments.
If you find that you are in need of an adjustment, do not worry. All it takes is a stop to your optician. In most cases an appointment is not needed, and adjustments can be made on the spot. Their may be times when the adjustment requires more time, in which case the optician may need to hold the glasses. This is a great time to think about having a back up pair of glasses for emergencies like this. There is no fee to adjust glasses, so do it as needed. Frames and lenses can be pricey. In order to protect your investment and ensure you are seeing your best always make sure your glasses are aligned. A small tweak can make your glasses go from blah to AAAAAHHHHHH!!
The Society of Connecticut Opticians (SOCO) is Connecticut's state organization that believes in the unity of Connecticut opticians, their partners, their sponsors, and the national organization the Opticians Association of America (OAA).
Take a few moments to browse through SOCO's website to explore what SOCO stands for literally and figuratively, how to join, how to help, and what unity in opticianry means.
This is a shoutout to all CT opticians inviting you to join SOCO.
After celebrating 20 years of empowering hard-working students to become sought-after employees, Goodwin College kicked off 2020 by announcing that it will become Goodwin University effective immediately.
“Becoming Goodwin University is a natural progression for our institution, our faculty, our staff, our supporters, and most of all, our students,” said Goodwin University President Mark Scheinberg. “Over the past two decades, Goodwin has evolved from a technology training center into a leading nonprofit institution of higher learning that offers certificate programs as well as associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Not only does ‘University’ better reflect our range of offerings, it advances our mission to make a quality, career-focused education more accessible to a greater number of students. It also offers new opportunities for focused research that supports access, workforce, and community issues.”
Over the past 20 years, both the school’s array of programs and its enrollment have continually expanded. In the past decade alone, enrollment has increased nearly 110%.
Three Schools of Goodwin University
As part of the transition to Goodwin University, Goodwin has reorganized its five academic departments under three schools. These schools will be led by current department chairs who have been elevated to deans to better reflect their responsibility for creating partnerships within the institution and community.
Goodwin University will consist of the School of Nursing and Health Professions led by Dean Dr. Paula Dowd; the School of Business Technology and Advanced Manufacturing led by Dean Dr. Cliff Thermer; and the School of Applied Liberal Arts and Social Sciences led by Dean Dr. Diana LaRocco.
“These three schools reflect our key strengths in helping students prepare for in-demand careers in growing economic sectors,” said Goodwin University Provost Dr. Danielle Wilken. “This well-defined structure will break down silos and provide faculty with more opportunities to collaborate on curriculum, course design, and staffing to provide even more robust offerings for more Goodwin students. In addition, the schools recognize the growth that we have experienced and better reflect the depth and breadth of our credentials and content areas.”
An Innovative Approach to Learning
Goodwin University is also one of the world’s first universities to adopt an innovative instructional approach that transforms the way in which faculty teach and students learn. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) recognizes that traditional teaching methods have not kept pace with the fact that university students have become more diverse in terms of age, race, ethnicity, and learning ability. Goodwin University faculty are given rigorous training on this new approach to teaching that doesn’t ask students to conform to traditional, outdated teaching strategies but instead embraces each student as an individualized learner. UDL empowers a more inclusive array of students and educators to be successful and encourages flexibility in the way students access material, engage with it and demonstrate their command of the newly learned knowledge.
In 2019, Goodwin University established the Goodwin University Institute for Learning Innovation (GUILI) to develop and implement transformative learning for students and faculty. Goodwin University is also expanding its UDL model outside the classroom to departments including Admissions and Academic Advising. Goodwin University plans to infuse UDL into Goodwin University magnet schools as well, becoming the first institution with a pre-school through graduate UDL education model.
“Goodwin is a pioneer in the university-wide adoption of UDL in post-secondary education. Our ‘no labels’ approach to UDL is unique because we view it as a method for teaching and learning that benefits everyone,” said Dr. LaRocco who also serves as the Executive Director for GUILI. “Since we began incorporating UDL principles into our curricula in 2016, we’ve had a tremendously positive response from both students and faculty as well as measurable increases in test scores in our pilot programs.”
Partnering to Develop Connecticut’s Workforce
While the Goodwin name and logo will change, its commitment to serving the community of Greater Hartford, the State of Connecticut, and the region’s businesses is unwavering. For two decades, Goodwin University has partnered with state, municipal, and business leaders to fill skills gaps across Connecticut. In 2018 alone, most of Goodwin graduates were employed within six months of graduation and over 90 percent were employed in Connecticut.
In 2003, Goodwin played a pivotal role in solving the state’s nursing shortage by launching its registered nursing program. Since then, more than 2,200 nursing students have graduated from Goodwin, most going on to work for Connecticut hospitals and health systems.
Goodwin University is also focused on addressing the need for skilled manufacturing workers. It will continue to work closely with state officials and business leaders to grow R&D capabilities in Connecticut’s manufacturing sector and prepare students from middle school through college for manufacturing careers — both in the classroom and through practical on-the-job training.
“Manufacturing is vital to our state’s economy. Goodwin University continues to offer valuable job training and learning opportunities to students in Connecticut, helping to bridge the manufacturing skills gap in the state, which boosts employment in the First District,” said Congressman John Larson (CT 1st district).
Goodwin University has also forged a workforce development partnership with the Town of East Hartford and Capital Workforce Partners to provide resources to job seekers and employers through the American Job Center. In 2019, the American Job Center opened a full-service branch on the Goodwin campus to further strengthen Goodwin University’s commitment to the employability of their graduates and the Greater Hartford community.
Goodwin University in the Community
Goodwin University continues to deepen its roots in the community of East Hartford. Its campus is on the site of a former blighted riverside property which it helped to transform into a vibrant educational center. Most recently, Goodwin University began a construction project that will revitalize the area around its South Main Street campus and bring in commercial and retail businesses, services and jobs.
Goodwin UniversityGoodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.
Today 3 New England opticianry school program directors convened at the Basketball Hall of Fame (amazing venue) providing ABO and NCLE credits to opticians on a very hot summer morning. Attendees earned credits after attending The Hygienic Optician by Maryann Santos (that's me) of Goodwin University, East Hartford, CT, Care of the Diabetic Contact Lens Patient by Dr. Aarlan Aceto of Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT and Lifestyle Consulting for Your Visually Impaired Patients by Blair Wong of Ben Franklin Institute, Boston, MA. I enjoyed listening to my colleagues speak on their topic of choice and I left learning something new.
The topics were well received by the attendees, as each topic generated some questions and conversation. There's something to be said about earning continuing education credits in chunks instead of the typical "all in one day" approach.
From a learning standpoint, the message seems to get lost after three hours of instruction. I enjoyed observing how the attention span and interest level maintained an even keel at noon when the program was over.
What is your opinion on the length of CEC programs? Are you for One and Done-all credits in a day or weekend? Or is your preference having the courses spread out over the course of 2 or 3 programs throughout the year?
Please let me know in the comments section.
To be accepted into the Vision Care Technology program, students partake in an interview with the program director. Goodwin College's director of admissions wrote a blog on the topic. Enjoy!
How to Get the Most Out Of Your College Admissions Interview
By Dan Williamson, Director of Admissions
Students are often nervous about first visits to campus and admissions interviews for obvious reasons. Stepping foot on a new college campus for the first time can be intimidating and create feelings of anxiety. Also, there’s a common misconception that students may be grilled with random questions to justify admission to the college or university. And it is true that admissions staff typically look for ways to determine how well a student will fit with the school, whether it’s reviewing SAT scores or reading over essays. However, I like to encourage students to view the admissions interview from the opposite perspective.
Consider the admissions visit an opportunity for YOU to interview the college — not the other way around! Often times, students unnecessarily carry anxiety to their first visit or interview — they wonder if they’re “ready” for college. Or for many transfer students that had a previously bad experience, going through admissions steps isn’t something to look forward to. But this is the best chance to ask questions that apply to YOU. Ask about resources on campus that are specific to your needs. Ask about tutoring and the hours that it’s available. If you work during the daytime, you’ll want to know about evening availability for extra help in areas/subjects that you already know are weak points for you academically. If you’re not working but want to earn some extra money, ask about federal work-study. Lots of jobs on campus are available for students. If you’re a military veteran, ask about VA services. If you have specific medical needs such as diabetes, ask where the health center is. Ask about campus clubs. Ask about the hours for various service departments. Ask about where graduates get hired. Getting the point? You can never ask too many questions during your admissions interview. Plan ahead by preparing questions before the visit and be sure to write them down or store them in your smart phone.
And you can never bring too many transcripts. In fact, I encourage students to bring all transcripts — unofficial or official, high school or college, certificates and licenses as well. If you happen to work in the healthcare field, certifications and licenses are common. Our admissions team encourages students to bring CPR cards, LPN licenses and CNA certifications that selective admissions programs might need to pair up with a future application. If you have SAT scores, bring them (or at least plan on trying to retrieve the scores online). Most colleges honor SAT scores for up to three years, and if your scores are high enough, they might even waive you from having to take a placement test for math or English.
Ask questions about financial aid — be direct! Ask about the differences between subsidized and unsubsidized loans. Ask about factors that impact grant and scholarship eligibility. Ask for assistance with the FAFSA — this is critical! Applying for financial aid on the first visit helps get you closer to the finish line for enrollment to officially register for classes.
Pay attention to the surroundings on campus. Does the environment feel welcoming and warm? Do staff appear helpful and service-based? Pay attention to your inner compass and how you are made to feel when finding your way through the building to the Admissions Suite. Are students disgruntled waiting in long lines for service departments? Or do you see administrators helping students with issues? These are important signs to look for when visiting a college for the first time. Our welcome center typically has baskets of fruit set out front for students and visitors. During finals week, you’ll see “Fuel for Finals” displays with coffee, juice, and snacks for students trying to ace the last test of the semester. What do these surroundings communicate to you as a student? Pay attention to these inner thoughts as they’ll help guide your experience.
Lastly, always ask to meet with a program director for the major you are interested in or ask to see a specific facility (like a manufacturing facility, dental hygiene clinic, or vision technology lab). Let your admissions officer know early on while scheduling your appointment so that this can be part of your visit. There’s no substitute for the real thing — seeing a class or instructor live is valuable to determine if you’re going to fit with the program.
Learn more about Goodwin College’s Admissions Department.
See a complete list of Goodwin’s degrees and certificates.
"So, what can be done? For starters, let’s use the word Optician as often as possible. Let’s put it in print, let’s say it out loud."
Retail StrategiesTaking Charge: Building a Better OpticianBy Johnna Dukes, ABOC
As an Optician, how do you see yourself? Are you the one who takes the order, or are you the one who chooses the best lens, selects the frame that best suits and fits the patient and helps craft both your patient’s look as well as their vision? I don’t know about you, but I am firmly the latter choice. If you don’t see yourself in that manner, then neither do your patients. Want to change the perception? Read on, my friend.
As I see it, Opticians are in a constant battle for credibility. Not only do we need the public to see us as professionals, but wouldn’t it be great if the public could see us at all. By that I mean that John Q. Public has no idea what the word Optician even means, and they certainly don’t know what we do.
So, what can be done? For starters, let’s use the word Optician as often as possible. Let’s put it in print, let’s say it out loud. Let’s see if we can get others to recognize what it is we do. How? Start by evaluating how we see ourselves. If you look at yourself as a professional, you will naturally want to elevate your skills; you will work to find answers for things you don’t fully understand in order to better teach your patients about them. If you see yourself as a professional, it is much easier for you to present yourself that way in front of your patient, who will in turn, see you as a professional too. Katniss Everdeen would call that “catching fire.”
Next, let’s make sure we are looking at our interactions with clients differently from the way we are now. If you are one who lets the patient choose their own frame, I’d start right there and re-evaluate. Remember, a professional evaluates the patient’s bridge fit, facial features, temple length, and prescriptive needs, and then makes recommendations based on these factors. If you’re not doing that, you ought to be.
Then, we need to see how things are going with lens selection. Are you driving the conversation? Are you asking how the patient is using their eyes? Are you asking questions at all? Things that we need to know about will be near versus intermediate usage, whether they are a candidate for a near variable focus lens or progressive lens design. Have you discussed sunwear or the need to protect the eyes from blue light and/or Ultra Violet Radiation? If you’re only asking about whether or not they want a “no-line” lens, I’d venture to say you’re missing the boat, and you’re not presenting yourself as a professional.
Remember, the patient wants to be cared for by a professional, and if you’re not a professional, they will go where they can find one. Perceptions change slowly, but rest assured, they do change. So start where you are with what you can, and if you present yourself as a professional, you will see that shift begin to happen!
Glaciers, Alaska and Opticianry
By Maryann Santos, Program Director
Vision Care Technology, Goodwin College
Have you ever been to Alaska? Do you live there? If so, you know the beauty and splendor of America’s largest and 49th state. We all learned in grade school that Alaska is the largest state of the union, larger than Texas, California, and Montana combined!
In August, I had a unique opportunity to travel to Alaska via cruise ship with some fellow opticianry professionals. After visiting Glacier Bay, I made some associations between opticianry, glaciers, and Alaskan wildlife.
Glaciers and icebergs differ. Icebergs form when large chunks of ice break off from glaciers. Icebergs travel with the ocean’s current. Glaciers on the other hand, are formed by fallen snow that transforms into ice after a long period of time. What makes glaciers unique is that they move and flow like very slow rivers.
Opticianry is like a glacier in a few ways. Our profession is large and strong and we move; often very slowly. Glaciers affect people as they provide drinking water and irrigate crops. Opticians provide solutions for good vision, and help people perform, look and feel their best.
Besides viewing glaciers, I had the delight of viewing humpback whales and sea otters in Glacier Bay. Humpback whales journey from Hawaii to Alaska like clockwork each year. Whales are mammals, they breastfeed and, unlike fish, whales cannot get oxygen from the water and need to surface to breathe in air. It is amazing to see a whale blow air from its blowhole! This occurs when a whale surfaces to empty its lungs and breathe fresh air in again. Whales represent the larger entities in opticianry such as managed care and online sales. We need to empty our optical lungs from old ways of thinking and performing, and breathe in new ideas. We must stay on top of trends and technology to be able to perform well on our optical journey.
The sea otters are so much smaller than the whales and represent the independent optician, as they are small but mighty. Sea otters can dive more than 300 feet to forage for food! Additionally, besides primates, sea otters are some of only a few mammals that use tools for survival. They are known to use rocks to break shells away from rocks, then hammer them to pry them open for food. Sea otters remind me of the independent optical as they are resourceful, and use their entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity to stay strong and successful in our field.
I kayaked in 380 foot waters that are home to the visiting humpback whales, orcas, and other sea creatures. The deep waters and vast Alaskan terrain remind me of how deep and vast our profession is and that there are enough people in the world in need of visual correction for us all to take part. We come from various industries in optical but, in the end, we are here to serve our patients well.
If you visit the U.S.Department of the Interior’s National Park Service page on Glacier Bay National Park, you will see how they describe this precious area of land. “It is a land reborn, a world returning to life, a living lesson in resilience. If ever we needed a place to intrigue and inspire us, this is it.”
The rainbow I saw after visiting Glacier Bay was a reminder that opticianry is a profession returning to life with committed and open minded professionals willing to work together. We, too, are a living lesson in resilience. With changes in technology and professional responsibilities, we can and will work together to help people see and look their best.
Eyewear & Art
By Maryann Santos
Do you know when a thought pops into your head and you just run with it not knowing why it’s there, but you stay with it? Recently, I was thinking about the connection between eyewear and art. Artistic trends come and go, and are influenced by a variety of sources reaching as far as music, theatre, literature, politics, nature, emotions and feelings, personal experiences, science and fashion. While pondering the connection between art and eyewear, I thought of one of our students who has her bachelor’s degree in art history and is pursuing an associate’s degree in vision care technology. I imagined art history blending with opticianry, like colors on a palate. Art historians wonder about who created, painted and designed a work of art. They examine the time period, what the object is made of, and how the work of art is or was used. While studying art and art history, one develops an eye for perspective, color and detail.
Eyeglass frames are art for the face. The way a work of art adorns a wall, an ophthalmic frame adorns a face. Opticians who work with ophthalmic frames use some of the same thoughts and skills an art historian uses. When an ophthalmic frame representative comes into the dispensary, the optician enters the world of examiner. We examine the varied shapes, designs, textures and colors of the pieces. Ophthalmic frames, like art, run the gamut from classic and traditional to bold, edgy and contemporary. Most optical shops have displays that are similar to a gallery. We have come a long way from the Shuron Ronsir frame.
Art aficionados have their own unique taste when it comes to art, as there are countless forms and materials. There are hundreds of genres of art from abstract to urban.
The materials used by artists and ophthalmic frame designers overlap. Some materials we share are metal, titanium, wood, plastic, aluminum, copper beryllium, carbon fiber and gold.
According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 16th-century painter Simon Bening painted himself on tempera and gold leaf on parchment holding a pair of spectacles in 1558. This artist was so proud of his spectacles that at the age of 75 he decided to do a self-portrait!
Artists frame their works of art, and we frame our works of art—our patients.
Why you should see an optician for eye-wear adjustments.
It is super important to keep your glasses clean and in good adjustment, most people do not realize how much better you can see when your glasses are lined up where they are supposed to be, and how much better the world looks when your lenses are clean! Adjustments aren’t always simple, so it is important for you to see an optician on a regular basis, especially if you are having problems with your vision. NEVER try and adjust your glasses by yourself. And because your glasses are always on your face, make sure that you come in for regular nose pad replacements and tune ups.
Adjustments aren’t always a walk in the park. Contrary to popular belief your face is not as symmetrical as you may think. One ear is usually higher than the other, and sometimes your eyebrows being uneven can give you illusion that your glasses are crooked. Opticians are trained to compensate for things like this, and making sure that you see one on a regular basis means that your glasses are always sitting where they need to be. Your glasses are measured when the frames are in perfect alignment. So when the glasses are crooked, you may not be seeing the best you possibly can. If you feel like you can’t see as well in your glasses after you fell or got hit in the face, you may need an adjustment.
Never try and adjust your glasses yourself. It takes expertise to be able to fit glasses, and we have tools to manipulate glasses that you may not have at home. One example is heat. Heat is one of the most used tools in adjusting eyewear. It makes the plastic bendable and the heat is specialized so that the frames don’t get too hot, but hot enough where they can be manipulated without breaking. IF your glasses ever do break, NEVER USE GLUE. If glue gets on your lenses, there is no recovering from that. If something happens to your glasses, always bring them to a shop to have them looked at. Opticians try everything to save a pair of glasses, but if they can’t be saved they can give you options on what to do next.
Crooked Glasses; Can Effect More Than Just Your Appearance
Rebecca-Lyn Roberts ABOC, NCLEC.
When was the last time you brought your car for a tune up? The same question should be asked about your glasses as well. Our glasses, need routine care just as our cars do!
How often do we accidentally fall asleep with our eyewear on our face? How often do we drop or accidentally sit on our glasses? Bringing your glasses to a local optician for regular adjustments can save eyestrain, headaches, dizziness and can all around allow you to have better vision out of your eyewear.
What is an Optician?
1: a maker of or dealer in optical items and instruments
2: a person who reads prescriptions for visual correction, orders lenses, and dispenses eyeglasses and contact lenses, preforms adjustments to eyewear, fits contact lenses
Opticians can be found at your family eye doctor, privately owned optical shops, and even large chain stores including but not limited to Lens Crafters, BJs, Costco, Target and Walmart. Some optical stores will not adjust outside frames and it is important to know most have a policy that they are not responsible for any breakage to outside frames when adjusting them. But, with today’s world it is common to find an optical shop within a five-mile proximity, so it is important to bring eye wear in for routine inspections and adjustments.
What Does Misalignment Actually Do to My Prescription?
When your glasses are first given to you by an optician, the glasses are and should be throughouly adjusted to you to ensure your lenses are aligned correctly with your facial features as well as your prescription. In order to see light passes through the optical center, through the pupil and focuses in the back of your eye. If this is off center in any way your vision can be obscured, and eye fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and general discomfort can occur. Your prescription is centered in your frame using a measurement we call Pupillary Distance, this is the distance in-between your two eyes, and also, your optical center height, this is where the center of your eye sits in the frame. So, if the glasses become misaligned, you are not looking through the full strength of your eyeglass prescription. Wearing progressive lenses; also known as invisible lined multifocal lenses, that are misaligned can cause tremendous amounts of eyestrain and difficulty seeing at fixed distances.
Steiner, J. (n.d.). Can Crooked Glasses Make Your Eyesight Worse? Retrieved March 09, 2018, from http://endmyopia.org/crooked-glasses-worse-eyesight/
Optician. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/optician
Crooked glasses. (2009, February 18). Retrieved March 09, 2018, from https://mindflowers.wordpress.com/2008/11/02/crooked-glasses/
This is "our" place to share ideas, information and thoughts on opticianry, eyewear, & contact lenses.