History of the CLSA

On January 24th, 1955 an Organization of Contact Lens fitters  was established in New York City . The name of the Organization was to be The Contact Lens Guild of America , which shortly thereafter  was changed to The Contact Lens Society of America ,which it remains to this day.  In 1981, the Society was established as a full member , Category B ,by the National Commission of Health Certifying Agencies. 

The first annual convention was held in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago October of 1955. Attendance over a 2 day meeting was 30. It was at this meeting that an Associate membership was established.

The Society voted to publish a newsletter called The Bulletin of The Contact Lens Society of America.  The purpose of this publication was to keep the members informed of activities,  and upcoming events . The Newsletter was changed to the EyeWitness in 1969, later to include education on various  contact lens related topics.

The classification of Fellow membership was instituted in 1966 and was to be attained by successfully passing an examination on contact lens technology. The first written Fellow exam was given in February 1967. Subsequently, oral exams were included. By 1969, 100 members had successfully passed both portions of the Fellow exam. 

In 1961 CLSA held its first independent meeting. The CLSA Foundation was created in 1984, and continues to this day providing quality education to the contact lens fitter.