Scope Expansion Tools

AOA resources for member and state association scope expansion.

The AOA has prepared resources to assist members and state associations in preparing to address scope expansion. With the definition of scope varying across the nation, communicating the different nuances can be just as complicated as the legislation. The tools and resources provided here will help states navigate the current political and legislative landscape, as well as engage with lawmakers, the media and other key audiences. In all cases, advocates are encouraged to modify the materials as needed, particularly to reflect aspects of the legislation that are unique to their state.

We hope the information provided here will help bolster your insights as you strategize and develop a plan for victory in redefining what it means to be a doctor of optometry in your state!

Download the full toolkit

Scope expansion

Legislator/candidate involvement

Establishing a relationship with a legislator can seem like a daunting task, but the importance of these relationships cannot be stressed enough. Your success will be built on these relationships.

  • You are guaranteed nothing more than an open door and a conversation.
  • Treat these relationships with the respect and attention they deserve.
  • Your success depends on it now and into the future.

Get to know your legislator/candidate

In the legislative world, especially among advocates of any kind, your word is your most valued resource. Above anything, never compromise the trust a legislator has in your expertise by compromising the information provided simply to gain a short-term victory. Always be truthful and honest, no matter what.

To the elected official, you are the expert and their source for accurate information on issues relating to optometry. These legislators look to you to give them the information they need and can count on.

"See you at the..."
There is a multitude of ways you can get to know your legislator or candidate for public office. Below is a list of examples which continue to be effective:

  • Fundraisers.
  • Private meetings.
  • Campaigning.
  • Legislative meetings.
  • Day at the Capitol.
  • Townhall meetings.
  • Casual get together.
  • Caucus and state political party events.

Grassroots efforts

Campaign with a candidate

  • Get involved in a political campaign.
  • Door to door delivery of campaign literature.
  • Help with campaign mailers (e.g., stuffing envelopes).
  • Host a fundraiser.
  • Encourage friends and family members to support the candidate through emails, Facebook, Twitter, and phone calls.
  • Make phone calls during campaign phone bank hours.
  • Volunteer at a fundraiser, you are not hosting.
  • Walk-in parades and other public gatherings.
  • Attend election night events.

AOA Keypersons Network

  • Be sure each key person fully understands what is involved.
  • Outline expectations and hold them accountable.
  • Involve them during your "Day at the Capitol" so they can learn the ropes of the process and continue to grow comfortable in this role.
  • Educate them as to why a key person is necessary.
  • Keep them engaged throughout the year.
  • Instill in them they must always be courteous and respectful, no matter the situation -- this is key to long term success.


  • Develop talking points and a solid foundation as to why your legislation is necessary. DO NOT deviate from the core points, but personalize them and make them conversational. You want to talk with your audience, not at them.
  • Your lobbyist is your legislative expert and your eyes and ears on the ground. Use them as a sounding board to make the key decisions.
  • Stay personally informed as to what is going on during and out of session, as well as during elections.
  • Knowing the process of the legislature will help you to forecast the movement of a bill. Always stay a few moves ahead of the other guys.
  • Stay calm and see the end game. Things can change rapidly during a session, but you're prepared and ready for this challenge.
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