cerebral palsy

Credit Kristina Ortiz

Kristina Ortiz and Tim Himes aren’t brother and sister by blood, but they might as well be. They’ve never known life apart. Ortiz was six months old when her foster mother brought Himes home from the hospital.  

“I’m always there for you,” Himes said on a video call with Ortiz. 

Only 17.5 percent of Americans with disabilities over age 16 are employed, compared with 64.7 percent of the population without disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. But according to John Dickerson, executive director of the service and advocacy organization Arc of Indiana, there are more opportunities now than ever for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities to find meaningful employment outside of the traditional "sheltered workshop" model.  Sound Medicine host Barbara Lewis recently spoke with Dickerson and Michelle Fischer, a young woman who lives with cerebral palsy and hosts a podcast on disability issues for the Arc of Indiana.


A good night's sleep is rare for Judy and James Lee. They are on parenting duty 24/7 for their son, Justin.

Justin, who has cerebral palsy and was born missing parts of his brain, also has a seizure disorder, which has gotten worse lately. He's often silent during his seizures, which means he has to sleep with his parents so they can tell when he needs help. Judy says caring for Justin is a lot like taking care of a newborn.