Lisa Bentz

Lisa Bentz is the creator of Accessability.ca She developed this resource for people living with disabilities, their friends and families who want to know more. Lisa believes knowledge is power. She worked for 27 years in acute and rehabilitation hospitals as a medical social worker. During her professional career, she helped thousands of families see possibilities after a medical event which changed their lives. Lisa leads by example. At nine years old she was diagnosed with an incurable eye disease with the prognosis of gradual blindness.

Lisa loved her career and saw patients at their bedside, counselled individuals, couples and families in her office and facilitated groups in hospital for patients and in the community.  Her group work included family support/education, caregiver support/education, managing life transitions, discharge planning, self-care, community resource education, medication management and dealing with side-effects. Her favorite areas to work included psychiatry, emergency, quick response team, palliative care, critical incident stress debriefing and the discharge planning unit.  Throughout her career she actively attended continuing education courses and participated in professional journal clubs. She was a busy member of the inter-disciplinary medical team and spoke at conferences and  to groups in the community. She sat on several Boards including the CNIB Client Services, Mental health and Housing, Canadian Association for Rehabilitation Personnel, B.C. Adaptive Snow Sports and most recently was the B.C. representative on the National Canadian Association for Disabled Skiers.

When she wasn’t working in her busy career she was raising two children with her husband. She smiles as she recounts listening to rugby matches, the splash of swimming lessons, the quick footsteps at volleyball tournaments and the crack of the bat at baseball games. Lisa is a passionate sports advocate and earned the title “Disabled Games Golden Girl”, Best Blind Athlete of the year and was the recipient of a National sports and academic Scholarship for graduate school. Lisa was a double-gold medalist at the North American Ski Championships and was a member of Canada’s inaugural national Disabled woman’s downhill ski team. Last year, she received her Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers (CADS) Level 1 Instructors certification-the first blind person in Canada to do so. Lisa had to take early retirement at the age of 48 due to complications from end stage vision loss. She currently lives in a ski resort, enjoys mentoring other visually impaired skiers and teaching guiding techniques for advanced skiing. When not in public, Lisa enjoys reading, cooking, yoga practice, gym workouts, writing, knitting and spending down-time with friends and family. Last year she took up snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, stand-up paddleboarding and golf. She believes where there is a will there is a way.

”We all need someone. I could not do what I do on my own.   The people I surround myself with are amazing.  Living with the privilege of these relationships sustains and inspires me every day”  — Lisa Bentz

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