Lisa Derencinovic – WOMAN of ACTION™


A Celebration of Women

The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care


… is elated to Celebrate the Life of yet another trail blazing woman that rose above her circumstance, found her calling and is now here to help the Women of our World.





Lisa Derencinovic

I have had to deal with many challenges in my life. The biggest one has been the challenge of living my life as a woman with a visual impairment. I was diagnosed with a ‘genetic eye disease‘ at the age of 4. At 4 years old I couldn’t pronounce the long complicated name of my eye disease never mind understand what was happening. I was in denial for a good 15 years.

Which types of eye disease are inherited?

Genetic factors play a role in many kinds of eye disease, including those diseases that are the leading cause of blindness among infants, children and adults.

More than 60 percent of cases of blindness among infants are caused by inherited eye diseases such as congenital (present at birth) cataracts, congenital glaucoma, retinal degeneration, optic atrophy and eye malformations. Up to 40% of patients with certain types of strabismus (ocular misalignment) have a family history of the disease and efforts are currently under way to identify the responsible genes.

In adults, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are two of the leading causes of blindness, and both appear to be inherited in a large portion of cases. Researchers have mapped several genes for glaucoma and are starting to identify genes involved in macular degeneration. They also are making very significant progress in identifying the genes that cause retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease of the retina that causes night blindness and gradual vision loss.

Can common vision problems be inherited?

Genetics also play a role in vision problems that occur in otherwise healthy eyes. Genetic ophthalmologic researchers now have evidence that the most common vision problems among children and adults are genetically determined. The list includes strabismus (cross-eyes), amblyopia (lazy eye) and refraction errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.

Can inherited eye diseases be corrected if an early diagnosis is made?

Your ophthalmologist, pediatrician, geneticist or family doctor may refer you or your child to a center for specialized evaluation, testing and diagnosis if a genetic eye disease is suspected. For patients with systemic genetic diseases, specialists will work closely with experts in other areas to integrate ophthalmologic treatment into the patient’s total care plan. Ask your family doctor for referrals.

Genetic diseases are those that are passed on from parent to child through genes that carry the codes for each specific trait. Many of the diseases and disorders that affect the eyes have genetic factors. Some diseases are linked to a single gene and is either dominant, meaning it only requires one gene copy to express the trait, or recessive, which requires two copies of the gene. Other diseases are known to run in families but are affected by a number of genetic factors.

My vision got to the point where denial was no longer an option. I was going to attend university and needed to travel on my own and get around a busy downtown campus. I learned how to use a white cane and started using JAWS, a computer program that makes the computer accessible. I also got involved with my local CNIB office and attended FFB conferences.

Getting to know other visually impaired people my own age really helped me to find my way towards acceptance. After my first FFB conference I talked on the phone for 5 hours with a friend I had met at the conference.

To say it was smooth sailing ever since I went to university and started identifying as a woman with a visual disability would be a big fat lie. There were moments when I wanted to scream with frustration or just give up and hide under the covers.

Yet, the bumps in the road taught me to keep focusing on achieving my goals. The support of my family and friends really helped me stay positive. Being able to laugh at myself and laugh at some of the funny situations that come up from having low vision kept me from getting stuck in negativity.



I am more than a woman with a visual impairment.

I am a woman who loves to read, have dabbled with creative writing, took up belly dancing for 6 years and makes a mean eggplant lasagna.


Your Healing Journey

I bring all of myself and my experiences into my role as a counsellor.

Here are a few of my Healing Journey Tips:

Tip 1: Laugh more often
There is a reason why they say laughter is the best medicine. A good deep belly laugh also gives you a little exercise, puts fresh air into your lungs and a smile on your face.

Tip 2: Take a deep breath
It takes less than 30 seconds. Take a long inhale through your nose, hold it for 2 counts and exhale through your mouth. You should feel more relaxed. If it doesn’t work, repeat as many times as you need.

Tip 3: Listen more, talk less
So often listening becomes waiting for our turn to talk rather than really listening to what the other person is saying. Try listening without thinking about what you’re going to say next. Listening can help bring perspective to your life and improve the quality of your relationships

Tip 4: Be your own best salesperson
Believe in yourself as much as you wish other people would believe in you. If you project confidence then everyone will believe that you are confident. Start by building a “little engine that could” mentality; “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” You might also fulfill healing journey tip 1 of laughing more while you’re at it!

Your healing journey starts with a free trial session. It will last 30 minutes and allow you to try out my counseling style and approach.

I will ask you some questions to get to know you and the reason that brings you to counseling. Some questions will relate to your issue and some questions will help me to get the big picture.

Part of the first session will be to decide how often you will come to see me. Most people see a counsellor once a week.

If you would like to work together more often or you are really busy and want to spread out the sessions more, either is possible. This is your journey; it should fit your life.

After the first session, each counselling session lasts 60 minutes.

Anything you say in the session is kept confidential. This means I will not share your information or talk about you without your permission. If there is a serious threat of suicide or homicide I will report this to the proper authorities. This is out of concern for your safety. By law I must report to the children’s aid society any information you share with me about a child under 16 who is being abused or neglected. I discuss cases with my clinical supervisor, however you are kept anonymous and I don’t use any identifying information.

Appointments are available during the day evening or weekend. To make an Appointment call Skype actions 416 821 7315

I found it helped me immediately, even after the first session I felt a difference. I found Lisa’s teaching very descriptive clear and easy to follow even for me as a beginner. I found Lisa to be a good listener and very positive. I would highly recommend Lisa to others. ” Raadei K., Scarborough, Canada.


Counselling Services

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Body image and Emotional Eating
  • Coping with stress and Burn out prevention
  • Emotional affects of infertility
  • Post-partum depression
  • Grief loss and bereavement
  • Adjustment to Illness and Disability
  • Care giver support
  • Trauma
  • Self Esteem
  • Growth transition and identity issues
  • Staying motivated



I provide gentle yoga classes that are great for beginners and those wanting to find more relaxation in their lives. The classes include breathing exercises, basic yoga poses and guided visualization. I also provide workshops on a range of topics.


These topics can be delivered as a short workshop, half day or full day workshop.

  • Staying Motivated
  • Professional Burn-Out Prevention
  • Stress Busters, An Introduction to Self Care
  • Understanding Body Image through Dance
  • Finding More Relaxation in Your Life
  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Building Greater Self Esteem

Home – Counselling with Lisa

I have presented at several conferences

Striving Towards Universal Design National Structural Social Work Conference
How Can Schools of Social Work Become Cultures of Accessibility?
National CASSW Conference (2006)
The Impacts of Intersecting Oppressions on the Perceptions of the Single Parent Family 2004 National CASSW Conference (2004)

I have a Bachelors of Social Work and a Masters of Social Work from Ryerson University. Ryerson’s School of Social Work focuses on anti-oppression social work. I also have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto specializing in English studies.

I am a registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

A Celebration of Women

… is elated to Celebrate the Life and welcomes her into our Alumni to help the Women of our World.



Brava Lisa!


Speak Your Mind


Copyright 2014 @ A Celebration of Women™ The World Hub for Women Leaders That Care