The California Association of Dispensing Opticians was formed in 1939.

The owners of optical businesses in California banded together to form the California Association of Dispensing Opticians.


  • To promote legislation that would continue the existence of free-choice opticianry through licensing legislation.

The founders of CADO raised many thousands of dollars and hired the very best available legal and lobbying talent. Legislation was prepared, sponsors were found, compromises with the professions were affected, a lobbying program was mounted, and the foundation was laid for the revival and continuation of opticianry in California.

Ever since, the activities of CADO have kept these priorities, using paid professional staff and volunteer services of ophthalmic dispensing owner, executives, and their staff:

  • Watching for and defending against legislative attacks against the ophthalmic dispensing business.
  • Cooperating with the legislative programs of the medical profession.
  • Advancing the quality of ophthalmic dispensing services to the public through legislation and education.
  • Maintaining alert and intelligent liaisons with legislators state health-related agencies, national ophthalmic trade and professional associations, and educational facilities.
  • Maintaining a voluntary alert by our members against violation of state opticianry laws, and activating our own reporting service to state enforcement officers.
  • Where state enforcement efforts seem insufficient (or even nonexistent) in cases we perceive to be significant, mounting proceedings against violators of state optical dispensing laws.
  • To all Registered Dispensing Opticians in California, communicating regularly with a newsletter that- among other subjects-strongly emphasizes the importance of complying with state laws and regulations that govern optical dispensing.
  • Championing the interest of opticians with state and federal agencies.
  • Appearing in local, state and national courts and hearings:
    • to oppose serious attempts to end the enforcement of dispensing laws;
    • to authorize opticians to fit contact lenses;
    • to prohibit in-plant dispensing to corrective industrial eye wear by unlicensed personnel.
    • over the years, for forwarding many other matters vital to the existence and prosperity of opticianry.