Jen Lyman’s passion lies in ensuring that individuals with complex cerebral palsy have the opportunities to actively participate in meaningful experiences that promote self-expression, optimal health, lead to lasting friendships, and that are challenging, fun, inclusive and demonstrate to others that those with disabilities should not be excluded.
She is the parent of Bower, who is 16 years old and has complex, quadriplegic cerebral palsy, including visual and communication impairments. He is a healthy, happy New Orleanean who loves festivals, working out, eating sushi, swimming, school, and so much more.
Prior to the birth of her son, Jen’s academic training and career path were focused on breaking down barriers to participation for those with disabilities. With a career as a therapeutic recreation specialist serving adults and children with developmental and psychiatric disabilities, she has worked in the group home, inpatient psychiatric, inpatient rehabilitation, and specialized summer camp settings to promote social, recreational and leisure activity participation. She also has experience as a case manager for children and adolescents with significant disabilities in therapeutic foster care.
Jen serves as volunteer coordinator of the Cerebral Palsy Collaborative which brings together US cerebral palsy related professional and non-profit organizations to help provide a unified voice from this community for research, advocacy, education and awareness. She is currently the past Chair of the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine Community Council and she has served on the boards of the CP Now and Camp Dream Street.
Jen holds an M.S. from University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance in Therapeutic Recreation, has a post-graduate certification in Conductive Education for CP from Governors State University, and is a certified yoga instructor. She is currently enrolled in University of Florida’s Health Education and Behavior graduate program. She lives in New Orleans with her husband Chris and Bower.