Membership Categories

Active Member - Most members of the association fall under the Active Member classification:

(1) Ascending: The Board of Directors may provide a sliding scale of WOA dues for Active Members during the first five years following licensure: First Year - 20 percent of full dues; Second year - 40 percent of full dues; Third year - 60 percent of full dues; Fourth year - 80 percent of full dues; Fifth year - 90 percent of full dues. 

(2) Descending: Active Members may by request for the first calendar year after attaining the age of 65 pay a sum equivalent to 90 percent of full dues; with a 10% reduction each year thereafter until the age of 72 at which time 20% of full dues will be required. A member on the descending dues schedule is entitled to full association benefits including the right to hold office and vote unless otherwise specified by the Board of Directors. 

(3) Partial Practice - This applies to an optometrist who works 24 or fewer hours per week in compensated optometric-related activities (including patient care and or administration), and whose status is certified annually by the Membership Committee as partial practice or equivalent member with full membership privileges subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The annual dues of a partial practice member shall be: 8 hours or less – 25 percent of full dues; 8.1 hours to 16 hours – 40 percent of full dues; 16.1 hours to 24 hours – 60 percent of full dues.

(4) Economic Hardship: The Board of Directors may provide a reduction of dues for an active member when a local optometric society president has requested a reduction in dues for a member, and the Board agrees that a reduction is warranted.  Such a reduction may be approved annually for a maximum of 12 months.

(5) Federal Services - A licensed optometrist on active duty in the armed services of the United States or on active duty in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service and is a member in good standing of the AOA shall be eligible to be a federal services member of this Associa. A federal services member is entitled to full association benefits including the right to hold office and vote unless otherwise specified by the Board of Directors. Federal services members shall pay annual dues as established by the Board.  Upon leaving active duty dues shall be computed according to his/her date of original licensure.

(6) Optometric Educator – A licensed optometrist who is a full-time educator primarily engaged in school related activities such as teaching, research and administration at a school or college in the United States, accredited or pre-accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, and who is directly compensated by such school or college shall be eligible for classification as an Optometric Educator.  Optometric Educators are limited to 16 hours per week in patient care. An optometric educator member is entitled to full association benefits including the right to hold office and vote unless otherwise specified by the board and shall pay annual dues as established by the Board of Directors.

(7) Post-Graduate – The following individuals shall be eligible for membership: a. A licensed optometrist who is engaged full-time as a resident or a fellow in a residency program approved by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education, or by a school or college of optometry which is accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education. Application for such post-graduate membership shall be made directly to this association and shall contain a certification of the resident’s full time status by an appropriate official of the residency program. Such post-graduate membership may continue until the end of the calendar year in which the resident’s participation in the program is completed. b. A licensed optometrist who is a full-time student in an accredited institution of higher education. Application for such post-graduate membership shall be made directly to this Association and shall contain a certification of the student’s full-time status by an appropriate official of the institution. Such post-graduate membership may continue until the end of the calendar year in which the post-graduate member graduates and is licensed in any jurisdiction prior thereto.

8. Special Class - A licensed optometrist not engaged in the practice of optometry. Election to such membership shall be at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Dues, benefits, and rights for Special Class Members shall be determined by the Board.

Retired Member - An optometrist who is currently a member and at least 55 years old on January 1 of any membership year and who no longer receives compensation for optometry related activities shall be eligible subject to approval by the Board of Directors. The annual state dues of a retired member shall be 20% of full active member dues for the WOA.  Total Annual dues shall be the sum of WOA and AOA dues. A retired member is entitled to full association benefits including the right to hold office and vote unless otherwise specified by the Board.

Life Member - An Active or Retired Member may be elected to Life Member by the Board of Directors provided the member has held membership for 45 years. Life Members shall not be required to pay dues or assessments to this Association.  Life members are entitled to full association benefits including the right to hold office and vote unless otherwise specified by the Board of Directors. A member who provides medical certification of terminal or other serious debilitative illness may request that the years of membership requirements be waived for life membership.  All such requests for waiver must be approved by the Board. 

Affiliate - A licensed optometrist who is a member of AOA and an affiliate optometric association and meets active membership criteria, subject to approval by the Board of Directors. Affiliate members shall pay dues established by the Board and shall not be eligible to vote or hold office in this Association. Affiliate member benefits shall be determined by the Board.   

Student Member - A student in good standing at a school or college of optometry accredited by the Council on Optometric Education may apply. Student members shall pay dues as established by the Board of Directors and do not have the right to vote or hold office in this Association. Such student membership may continue to the end of the calendar year in which the student member has received their Doctor of Optometry degree.

Honorary Member - An individual who has rendered some singular service to this Association, or who has distinguished himself/herself in some branch of the vision sciences, or who has made some significant contribution in the field of health care or to the advancement of professional optometry.  Honorary Members are not required to pay dues nor shall they be eligible to vote or hold office and may have benefits as determined by the Board of Directors. Nominations for Honorary Membership shall be by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors and acceptance shall be by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting at the annual business meeting.

Associate Member - An individual or entity not licensed to practice and not engaged directly or indirectly in the practice of optometry in Wisconsin but who has supplier or other relationships with optometrists which the Board determines are consistent with the purposes of the Association and whose application for membership has been approved by the Board. An Associate member shall not have the right to vote or to hold office and may have benefits as determined by the Board. Dues for Associate Members shall be set at the discretion of the Board of Directors and may be of two types and amounts - individual and corporate.

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