Orthotics pioneer recognized with alumni award
Don Weber graduated with his BSc in Kinesiology in 1979. Before completing his Kinesiology degree, Don took a detour to the Orthotics and Prosthetics program at George Brown College. A co-op work term at the Chedoke Prosthetics and Orthotics Department cemented his career path, and for the past 26 years, Don has been a Certified Orthotist at the Chedoke site of Hamilton Health Sciences.
Don was the first clinical instructor for the current George Brown College Orthotics program, a role he developed and continues to fill. A committed co-op employer, Don has been hiring UW co-op students at Chedoke since 1980, and several former co-op students now work for Don full-time.
Don was instrumental in the formation of the Ontario Kinesiology Association (originally the Ontario Association of Applied Kinesiology), which is now 1,500 members strong and represents working Kinesiologists across the province and country.
Don's professional interests led him to move to Hanoi, Vietnam in 2001. For one and a half years, he worked at the National Institute of Pediatrics for the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. As a consultant for the Rehabilitation Department of 27 orthotists, doctors, and physiotherapists, Don shared his expertise, frequently marching into the hinterlands for a week at a time. On those trips, they saw 100-120 patients and casted, fabricated, and fit 40-50 patients, three-quarters of them on site. The remaining individuals who had more complex cases were bused back to the facility for treatment.
Over the years, Don has collaborated with the Department of Kinesiology's gait laboratory on various projects. He continues to advance the field through active professional membership, publications, instruction, mentorship, and developmental research.