Diverse Abilities

Gina Martin

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Blog posts : "Assistive Technology"

Audible pedestrian crossings in Canada

A man using a white cane is crossing a road using the crosswalkDo you know what the synthesized sound of chirping birds are for at some intersections? Currently, at some intersections, they are still in use to tell those of us who have low vision or who are blind to know when it is safe to cross the road. Did you know that there are 2 different sounds?  One sou…

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Embracing Differences Assisting Those Who Stutter

Two Quotes from the Institute for stuttering treatment and research 1st Quote Stuttering has a genetic and hereditary component, It can begin gradually or suddenly.
2nd Quote stuttering me come and go and is variable, it may also change unpredictably in frequency and severity.

Supporting someone who stutters is important for emotional well-being and self-confidence. Stuttering can be challenging for each person experiencing it and your support can make a significant difference in our life.

Here are some tips on how to support someone who stutters:
Patience. One of…

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Different canes for different terrains

Gina standing on a trail with her cane. The sun is shining through the trees. A couple of years ago, my husband and I travelled to Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. Our goal was to see the tide pools during low tide at Botanical Beach. I was told the trail/path down was inaccessible to me due to tree roots, rocks, low hanging branches, steps, and many small plank walkways.  M…

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What is legally blind?

There are nine photos of the same two boys one holding a basketball, one holding a soccer ball.  Each picture depicts a different eye condition to give representation of what someone would see.

1) When a fully sighted person is looking at something that is 200 feet away and sees it clearly, that is 20/20 vision.  When someone is diagnosed legally blind, that means that the person with the diagnosis needs to be 20 feet or closer to it to see it or to kind of see it.

2) Never assume …

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Learning Disabilities

A teenage boy (looking discouraged) sits at a desk with his elbows on the desk and his hands holding his head as it hangs. There is a notepad with a pen on the desk.

According to Easter Seals of Canada, approximately 22% of our population in Canada live with a learning disability. Dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyspraxia are some examples. Learning disabilities have nothing to do with intelligence or psychiatric conditions. Many people with learning …

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What is Disability?

Text reads Disability is just another way for a mind and or body to be.

A disability is something that prevents someone from participating fully in life. Anyone at any time could develop a disability.

You can be born with a disability, or acquire one later in life through accident, illness, stress, genetics, the natural process of aging, or for no known reason.

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Gina’s Sight Loss Experience over three decades

Gina in thoughtful poseMy vision loss journey. It is a journey that is mine, one that only I can experience from the inside. It is a journey that is unique to me, just as everyone else is on journeys that are unique to them. I am blessed to have the love, support, and encouragement of my husband, family, and many close fr…

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Guide dogs and service animals etiquette in Canada

A black lab guide dog wearing its harness, is sitting at an intersection. He is looking at the cameraGuide dogs and service animals are more readily acknowledged today and are often seen with their handlers in every setting around town or in daily life activities.

These highly trained animals are essential to their owner’s quality of life, safety, and ability to live independently. They have und…

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Senior Safety for Phones and Internet

A man with grey, thinning hair  is wearing a blue button up shirt and eye glasses. He is looking at his cell phone

Hello, my name is Gina Martin. I own and operate Diverse Abilities Programs and Training on lower Vancouver Island. Through interactions with attendees of my presentations on low vision, blindness, and disability at retirement and senior communities, I have come to realize how trusting our senio…

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Coping with PTSD / CPTSD


Coping with PTSD / CPTSD: Understanding and living with Post-Traumatic Stress

The information in this post is not meant to be comprehensive, only to give basic information on this disabling illness and to provide resources to seek more information or help.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (P…

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Rolling Towards Inclusion: Universal Design

Unveiling the hidden barriers that people who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices encounter

Imagine a world designed for everyone. A world where mobility isn't determined by physical ability. This vision is at the heart of the concept of universal design.  “Universal design is design th…

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Saying “Hello” to someone who is blind or partially sighted,

a few AWESOME and helpful things happen!

1. When you know our name, it is helpful when you use it to greet or address us.  Saying “Hi Gina” lets me know for sure that you are talking to me. Often, many of us who have low to no vision don’t always know it is us that you are talking too.

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