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– Lobbyists are essential to gaining access and steering you through the political landscape of your state legislature. A lobbyist will guide you safely through the process and then become your eyes and ears after the bill is passed and regulations are in place, or
– Lobbyists are a waste of money and will simply tell you what you already know, i.e., that an effective grassroots campaign is the only way to go and profession volunteer leaders will be the driving force behind the effort anyway.
You need to make an informed decision on this issue based on your specific needs and abilities.
– Most legislation goes through the committee system. Try to pick the chairman or ranking member of the committee with jurisdiction over the department or agency that you have chosen to regulate the profession.
– Convince the legislator by stressing the consumer aspects of the issue. Since qualified O&P providers have specialized education and training, the consumer has every right to expect a competent and honest practitioner who has been scrutinized by his/her government.
– Explain that unqualified providers who are not educated or trained in the provision of care are providing custom O&P devices and that licensure is an appropriate step toward control of the problem.
Use other state O&P licensing laws and regulations in addition to the ABC model licensure act for guidance. They will provide material for code and regulation drafts. You can find an interactive Licensure Map on ABC’s website that shows all states that currently have some form of licensure.