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Optometry is defined as the means of employed (other than drugs or surgery) for the measurement of vision and the adaptation of lenses to aid vision deficiencies. Recognizing the dangers inherent in the unregulated practice of optometry, the Legislature in 1909 created the Board of Examiners in Optometry. Three persons, one from each county and all engaged in the practice of optometry, were gubernatorially appointed to two-year terms. They were charged with administering tests to all prospective applicants desiring to practice optometry within the state. All currently practicing optometrists were required to register with the Board within six months of the passage of the legislation, and to re-register annually. In addition to granting optometric licenses, the Board could also revoke said licenses in cases of incompetence.1
Licensing standards were revised in 1927, with the addition of more stringent requirements for the applicants, such as four years of high school; subsequent graduation from a college or school approved by the Board; and three years residency work in optometry while in college. Questions on the examination were to include subjects such as ocular anatomy, physiological optics, pathology and hygiene, and theoretical optometry.2
By 1955, the Board had developed a close working relationship with the Delaware Optometric Association, with new Board members to be appointed only from nominees submitted by the Association.3 In 1965 members terms were extended to three years.4
In 1969, the Board was moved to the Division of Physical Health, within the newly created Department of Health and Social Services (RG 1500), which assumed all duties and responsibilities of the Board.5 Then, in 1979, it was again moved to the new Division of Professional Regulation within the Department of Administrative Services (RG 1340), where it remains presently.6

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1 25 D.L., ch. 113.

2 35 D.L., ch. 58.

3 50 D.L., ch. 482.

4 55 D.L., ch. 224.

5 57 D.L., ch. 301.

6 62 D.L., ch. 86.
jrf/June 2, 1988; July 26, 1988; January 3, 1989; February 7, 1989

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