Lisa Ryan

Reporter & Morning Edition Host

Lisa joined WBOI in June 2015. She's the local host of Morning Edition and a reporter, covering a variety of topics in Northeast Indiana. 

She graduated from Ball State with degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. She has her master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Most recently, she reported for Illinois Public Radio from the Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

Lisa enjoys traveling, reading and coaching Girls on the Run in her free time. 

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News

As part of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, WBOI has been looking at how accessible Fort Wayne is for people with disabilities.

About one in five people have disabilities in the U.S. That number includes people who are hearing impaired, but not everyone in the deaf community sees it as a disability.

Technology can break down communication barriers for people who are hearing impaired and help provide more equality for everyone.

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News

The Fort Wayne Fire Department announced Monday it will hire new firefighters with a $1.4 million grant. The firefighters will fill positions that have been vacant.

At a minimum, there needs to be four firefighters per truck when responding to an emergency.

But when some firefighters retired in recent years, their positions remained empty, meaning others had to work extra hours.

Captain Tom Helmkamp says this overtime means long hours spent away from his family.

Lisa Ryan / WBOI News

Governor Mike Pence hosted a community conversation at Ivy Tech in Fort Wayne on Tuesday. But many attendees didn’t think their questions were answered.

Questions at the forum included topics like education, criminal justice and gay marriage.

Brian Weck of Fort Wayne asked about North Side High School’s mascot. He’s had six kids graduate from North Side, and says the Redskins mascot is about honoring Native Americans, not offending them.

Courtesy / Goodwill

Not even the doctor knew how Lee Arnold was still alive.

In 1993, he was in a work accident that almost killed him. But Arnold survived, and he visited the WBOI studios to talk about life in a wheelchair.

In this extended interview, WBOI’s Lisa Ryan speaks with Arnold about the changes he’s had to make in his life since he was paralyzed. She starts the conversation by asking about the accident that caused it to happen. 

This story is part of WBOI's series, "One in Five," examining what's changed - and what hasn't - 25 years after the ADA became law.

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News

Saturday is the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Northeast Indiana cities are still working to make the area accessible for everyone. But a disability advocacy group says things have improved since the law passed more than two decades ago.

The Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition released a survey showing how residents feel about Allen County’s compliance with the ADA.

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News

Getting a job can be difficult. It can be even harder if a person has a disability. In fact, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is about double the rate of people without them.

In the back room of Goodwill, there’s one aisle that’s a little wider than the rest. It’s a modification for Lee Arnold, a Goodwill employee who is in a wheelchair. His desk is also higher, and he has tools to help him grab items that are out of his reach. 

Lisa Ryan / WBOI News

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo will renovate a 21-year-old classroom called the Jungle Lab.

It's deep in the Indonesian rain forest exhibit, past the monkeys and tigers, and now, the lab is set for a facelift. The Jungle Lab brings in students during field trips and summer camp to learn about animals in an interactive environment.

The $75,000 renovation gift comes from the American Electric Power Foundation.

Erica Putt, a spokeswoman for AEP and Indiana Michigan Power, says the foundation donates money for programs that help build students’ science and math skills.

Lisa Ryan, WBOI News

WBOI’s Lisa Ryan attended a birthday party Wednesday. Not just any birthday party though. This one was for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, which is turning 50 today.

The guest list was huge: zoo employees, volunteers, parents and kids... And of course, Bill the Lion. About 600 people gathered to sing “Happy Birthday” to the zoo—except Bill the Lion, who can’t sing.

The zoo started in 1965 as a five-and-a half-acre park, and is now a 40-acre zoo with about 1,000 animals.

Helene Stjernlöf, Creative Commons

Fort Wayne is giving a $20,000 sports development grant to the city’s tourism agency. The grant will go toward four sports tournaments, which the city estimates will bring in nearly $800,000.

One of those tournaments is the Blind Athletes National Goalball Championship. It’s the first time a Paralympic championship will be held in Fort Wayne.