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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 1782 (March 25, 2023).

49 Pa. Code § 23.1. Definitions.


§ 23.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—The Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (63 P. S. §  §  244.1—244.12).

   Board—The State Board of Optometry of the Commonwealth.

   Child abuse—A term meaning any of the following:

     (i)   A recent act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious physical injury to a child under 18 years of age.

     (ii)   An act or failure to act by a perpetrator which causes nonaccidental serious mental injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.

     (iii)   A recent act, failure to act or series of acts or failures to act by a perpetrator which creates an imminent risk of serious physical injury to or sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age.

     (iv)   Serious physical neglect by a perpetrator constituting prolonged or repeated lack of supervision or the failure to provide the essentials of life, including adequate medical care, which endangers a child’s life or development or impairs the child’s functioning.

   ChildLine—An organizational unit of the Department of Public Welfare which operates a 24-hour a day Statewide toll free telephone system for receiving reports of suspected child abuse, referring reports for investigation and maintaining the reports in the appropriate file.

   Clinical skills assessment examination—A clinical skills competency examination developed, prepared, administered and scored by the NBEO, which the Board adopts as the State clinical examination for licensure.

   Contact lens—A medical device or any other item or device of any material, tissue or power, including plano or zero-powered, that is required to be dispensed by prescription, and is placed directly on the cornea or the cornea and sclera to do any of the following:

     (i)   Correct vision conditions.

     (ii)   Act as a diagnostic or therapeutic device.

     (iii)   Provide a cosmetic or decorative effect.

   Continuing education hour—Fifty minutes of continuing education.

   Continuing education program—A group, self-study, correspondence or other program approved by the Board for which continuing education hours are given.

   Inactive status—The status of not having one’s license currently registered.

   Individual residing in the same home as the child—An individual who is 14 years of age or older and who resides in the same home as the child.

   NBEO—The National Board of Examiners in Optometry.

   National Board Examination—A written academic examination developed, prepared, administered and scored by the NBEO, which the Board adopts as the National uniform written examination for licensure.

   Perpetrator—A person who has committed child abuse and is a parent of the child, a person responsible for the welfare of a child, an individual residing in the same home as a child or a paramour of a child’s parent.

   Person responsible for the child’s welfare—A person who provides permanent or temporary care, supervision, mental health diagnosis or treatment, training or control of a child in lieu of parental care, supervision and control. The term does not include a person who is employed by or provides services or programs in a public or private school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school.

   Recent acts or omissions—Acts or omissions committed within 2 years of the date of the report to the Department of Public Welfare or county agency.

   Retired practitioner—One who is no longer engaged in the practice of optometry as defined in section 2 of the act (63 P. S. §  244.2; see the definition of ‘‘practice of optometry’’).

   Serious mental injury—A psychological condition, as diagnosed by a physician or licensed psychologist, including the refusal of appropriate treatment, that does one or more of the following:

     (i)   Renders a child chronically and severely anxious, agitated, depressed, socially withdrawn, psychotic or in reasonable fear that the child’s life or safety is threatened.

     (ii)   Seriously interferes with a child’s ability to accomplish age-appropriate developmental and social tasks.

   Serious physical injury—An injury that causes a child severe pain or significantly impairs a child’s physical functioning, either temporarily or permanently.

   Sexual abuse or exploitation—The employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement or coercion of a child to engage in or assist another person to engage in sexually explicit conduct or a simulation of sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction, including photographing, videotaping, computer depicting or filming, of sexually explicit conduct or the rape, sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, molestation, incest, indecent exposure, prostitution, statutory sexual assault or other form of sexual exploitation of children.

   TMOD—Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease Examination—An examination developed, prepared, administered and scored by the NBEO, which the Board adopts as the examination for certification in pharmaceutical agents for therapeutic purposes.

   Vision therapy—A term meaning any of the following:

     (i)   Design of treatment plans for problems of eye teaming, focusing, tracking, sensory adaptation and visual information processing.

     (ii)   Prescription of devices and procedures that modify the oculomotor and sensory aspects of the visual process.

     (iii)   Orthoptics.

   Visual rehabilitation—A term meaning any of the following:

     (i)   Diagnosis of a visual impairment.

     (ii)   Prescription of lenses, prisms, filters, occluders mirrors, and optical and electrooptical magnification and minification.

     (iii)   Design of treatment plans to compensate for central and peripheral visual field defects.

   Vision screening—The limited process of surveying an individual for problem areas such as visual acuity, eye muscle coordination and refractive error.


   The provisions of this §  23.1 added and amended under the Optometric Practice and Licensure Act (63 P.S. § §  244.1—244.12); section 812.1 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P.S. §  279.3a); and 23 Pa.C.S. §  6383(b)(2).


   The provisions of this §  23.1 adopted September 16, 1965; amended April 16, 1982, effective April 17, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 1231; amended June 22, 1990, effective June 23, 1990, 20 Pa.B. 3497; amended May 31, 1991, effective June 1, 1991, 26 Pa.B. 2552; amended November 8, 1996, effective November 9, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 5395; amended June 5, 1998, effective June 6, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 2586; amended June 3, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 3220; amended May 14, 2021, effective May 15, 2021, 51 Pa.B. 2633. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (311637) to (311639).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  23.115 (relating to confidentiality—waived).

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