Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 15. Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians
5/11/2021

Article 1. General Provisions.

§ 54.1-1500. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Audiologist" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2600.

"Board" means the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.

"Hearing aid" means any wearable instrument or device designed or offered to aid or compensate for impaired human hearing and any parts, attachments, or accessories, including earmolds, but excluding batteries and cords.

"Licensed hearing aid specialist" means any person who is the holder of a hearing aid specialist license issued by the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.

"Licensed optician" means any person who is the holder of an optician license issued by the Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians.

"Licensed optometrist" means any person authorized by Virginia law to practice optometry.

"Licensed physician" means any person licensed by the Board of Medicine to practice medicine and surgery.

"Optician" means any person not exempted by § 54.1-1506 who prepares or dispenses eyeglasses, spectacles, lenses, or related appurtenances, for the intended wearers or users, on prescriptions from licensed physicians or licensed optometrists, or as duplications or reproductions of previously prepared eyeglasses, spectacles, lenses, or related appurtenances; or who, in accordance with such prescriptions, duplications or reproductions, measures, adapts, fits, and adjusts eyeglasses, spectacles, lenses, or appurtenances, to the human face.

"Practice of audiology" means the same as that term is defined in § 54.1-2600.

"Practice of fitting or dealing in hearing aids" means (i) the measurement of human hearing by means of an audiometer or by any other means solely for the purpose of making selections, adaptations or sale of hearing aids, (ii) the sale of hearing aids, or (iii) the making of impressions for earmolds. A practitioner, at the request of a physician or a member of a related profession, may make audiograms for the professional's use in consultation with the hard-of-hearing.

"Sell" or "sale" means any transfer of title or of the right to use by lease, bailment, or any other contract, excluding wholesale transactions with distributors or practitioners.

"Temporary permit" means a permit issued while an applicant is in training to become a licensed hearing aid specialist.

1970, c. 571, § 54-524.110; 1988, c. 765; 2005, c. 599; 2012, cc. 803, 835; 2018, c. 458.

§ 54.1-1500.1. Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians; qualifications and terms of members; officers.

A. The Board for Hearing Aid Specialists and Opticians shall consist of 15 members, as follows: four licensed hearing aid specialists, of which at least one shall be licensed as an audiologist by the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, six licensed opticians, one otolaryngologist, one ophthalmologist, and three citizen members.

B. One of the citizen members shall be a hearing aid user or a person who has a family member who is or has been a hearing aid user. Each hearing aid specialist and the otolaryngologist shall have at least five years of experience in their respective fields immediately prior to appointment. Each of the opticians shall have at least five years of experience prior to appointment and the ophthalmologist shall have practiced ophthalmology for at least five years prior to appointment.

C. The terms of Board members shall be four years.

D. The Board shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman from its membership.

2012, cc. 803, 835.

§ 54.1-1500.2. Nominations for Board appointments.

A. The appointment of the otolaryngologist member may be made from a list of at least three names submitted to the Governor by the Medical Society of Virginia. The appointment of one of the hearing aid specialist members may be made from a list of at least three names submitted to the Governor by the Speech-Language Hearing Association of Virginia. The appointment of the remaining hearing aid specialist members may be made from a list of at least three names for each vacancy submitted to the Governor by the Virginia Society of Hearing Aid Specialists. Nominations for appointments to regular terms shall be submitted to the Governor on or before June 1 of each year. The Governor may notify the Society or Association, respectively, of any vacancy other than by expiration, and like nominations may be made for the filling of the vacancy. In no case shall the Governor be bound to make any appointment from among the nominees.

B. The appointment of the licensed optician members may be made from a list of at least three names for each vacancy submitted to the Governor by the Opticians Association of Virginia for each appointee who is an optician, and by the Medical Society of Virginia for each appointee who is a physician. Nominations for appointments to regular terms shall be submitted to the Governor on or before June 1 of each year. The Governor may notify the Society or Association, respectively, of any vacancy other than by expiration and like nominations may be made for the filling of the vacancy. In no case shall the Governor be bound to make any appointment from among the nominees.

2012, cc. 803, 835.