A little over a year ago, I started the OpenOptix initiative. Taking some inspiration from projects such as MIT OpenCourseware, I wanted to see if we could take the concept of open source and apply it to optical knowledge projects. The intent was to encourage people in the optical community to work together in creative ways to improve the industry and ultimately optical care around the world.

More specifically, the initial goals I spelled out (meant only as a starting point) were as follows:

By providing free and open access to optical education [and information] the goals of the OpenOptix initiative are to:

• Improve optical care worldwide by providing free and open access to optical training materials, particularly for parts of the world where training materials and trained professionals may be limited.

• Provide opportunities for optical professionals of all skill levels to review and improve their knowledge, allowing them to better serve their customers and patients

• Provide staff training material for managers and practitioners

• Encourage ABO certification and advanced education for opticians in the U.S.

• Inspire innovation, creativity, and collaboration in the optical professions.

Pretty lofty, I know. But hey, shoot for stars, maybe you’ll hit the moon.

So, today, with your help, we’ve published the first version of the OpenOptix ABO Study Guide. While not 100% complete, hopefully it will still provide some value and, with your continued help, only improve over time. The guide is free for anyone to use, print, publish, modify, or whatever as you see fit. All we ask is that you maintain credit for the contributors of the document, share the document with your friends and colleagues, and consider making a knowledge contribution (additions, corrections, clarifications, images, diagrams, etc. as long as they are original non-copyrighted works) to help improve the guide.

In addition to the ABO Study Guide, we have launched two other OpenOptix related projects over the past year:

The OpenOptix Wiki

The Free Lens Availability Database

I sincerely hope that you will benefit from the OpenOptix project in some way, tell your friends about it, and together we nudge the optical world in a positive direction.