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Posted November 30, 2011

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Retirement: George Binder, Orientation and Mobility Specialist

George Binder, Orientation & Mobility Specialist

Long time Orientation & Mobility Specialist George Binder will be retiring in a few weeks after spending 22 years with APS in the Department of Visual Impairments.

George started his career as an Independent Living Specialist at a Nebraska agency, where he worked in rehabilitation with older adults. He worked in summer programs with children and enjoyed it so much that he left for Florida State University where he received his master’s degree in Orientation and Mobility.

George has had many interesting experiences working for the district. His job is to teach white cane travel to students who are blind. When a student nears proficiency, George has been seen following behind his students to watch their skills and supervise their safety. Because of this, he has been stopped by concerned citizens who ask, “Why are you following that child?” Luckily, with George’s sense of humor and his APS identification, he has been able to explain his position.

Several years ago, George collaborated with classroom teachers and parents to organize a camping trip. More than 50 visually impaired children and family members participated in a delightful weekend in the Pecos wilderness, fishing and hiking and toasting marshmallows—a true orientation and mobility challenge! This camping trip became an annual tradition.

As an active mentor for up-and-coming orientation and mobility specialists, George has supervised and helped train them and has been an excellent example for his peers throughout the state.

George has been very active with foreign exchange students who come to Albuquerque. He opens up his home to them and helps them learn the ins and outs of living in America. With the connections he has made through this, George has had invitations to various countries, including China and Mexico, to stay in the homes of those students he has helped. He also taught conversational English while in China.

George also participates in an organization called Blind Core where he goes to various countries, including Turkey, to work with people who are blind. He has traveled to many third-world countries and has helped build programs to assist these students.

When George is not working, he enjoys hiking and skiing. He loves to explore new countries on his own either on foot or on bicycle.

His ability to collaborate with other educators has made George a wonderful person to work with. He will be missed by all of his co-workers and all of the students he has helped throughout the years.

Those wishing to express appreciation for his years of service can reach George until the middle of December at Aztec Complex or at Binder@aps.edu.

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