Tools & Resources

The History of The Alabama Optometric Association

by John Amos, OD, MS, DOS

Dean & Professor Emeritus UAB School of Optometry  

The primary goal of this book is to record the history of the significant legal and legislative achievements accomplished by the dedicated members and staff of the Alabama Optometric Association (ALOA). It also includes a beginning chapter on the many discoveries related to glass, optics, vision science, and clinical care that led to the development of the foundation for what would eventually become the profession of optometry. The chapters in this book cover not only the highlights of the legal/legislative events that have served to define optometry in the State of Alabama, but to describe other legal changes that have impacted the profession from a national perspective. It is not the goal of this book to record a comprehensive history of the ALOA but to discuss, in some detail, the major legal/legislative successes achieved by the ALOA.

The many legal and legislative achievements of the ALOA are quite remarkable considering the rural nature of the state; the difficulty in traveling any significant distance during the early years of the organization's existence; the relatively small numbers of its membership before the establishment of the UAB School of Optometry; and the fact that for almost seven decades these courageous actions were completed entirely through the volunteer efforts of its members. Even a cursory review of the ALOA member's accomplishments makes the reader appreciate their significant achievements.

It is true we stand on the shoulders of giants. All of the founding and early members of the ALOA are, of course, no longer living. Unfortunately, the members who served the ALOA in the time period following World War II, and those who served from the 1950's through the 1980's, are decreasing in numbers. It is in memory of all these optometrists, and in honor of those still serving, that this book is dedicated. Their unselfish service is a reminder to Alabama optometrists, that optometry is a legislated profession, and its future depends on the support and cooperation of all optometrists. Optometry must remain eternally vigilant if it is to continue to progress in the future.

CHAPTER 1 - THE EVOLUTION OF THE HISTORY OF OPTICS

CHAPTER 2 - THE AUTHORIZATION OF THE ORIGINAL ALABAMA OPTOMETRY PRACTICE ACT

CHAPTER 3 - OPTOMETRISTS BEGIN TO ASSUME MORE RESPONSIBILITY

CHAPTER 4 - THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A SCHOOL OF OPTOMETRY IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA

CHAPTER 5 - GIBSON V. BERRYHILL; THE CASE THAT HELPED CHANGE THE FACE OF AMERICAN HEALTH CARE

CHAPTER 6 - THE QUEST FOR MEDICAID PARITY FOR OPTOMETRISTS IN ALABAMA

CHAPTER 7 - DIAGNOSTIC DRUG LEGISLATION IN ALABAMA

CHAPTER 8 - OPTOMETRIC SCHOLARSHIPS

CHAPTER 9 - TERM LIMITS FOR ALABAMA STATE BOARD OF OPTOMETRY

CHAPTER 10 - THERAPEUTIC DRUGS IN ALABAMA