e d g e - education for disability and gender equity

CULTURE
CONTENTS

1
Introduction
2
Stereotyping
3
Disability in Media
4
Disability & Art
5
Charity Images
6
Telethons
7
News Media
8
Disability Culture
 
9
ACTIVITY
10
RESOURCES
   

DISABILITY CULTURE PROFILE: Greg Smith

Greg Smith in studio with headphones
Greg Smith in his radio production studio

"On A Roll – Talk Radio on Life & Disability" is America's only syndicated commercial radio talk show on disability lifestyle issues.

Greg Smith started "On A Roll" in 1992 as a local radio program in Phoenix, Arizona. On A Roll now airs on 18 radio stations across the country and on the Internet live worldwide. This growth has given On A Roll "household name" status within much of the disability community. Smith is also a recognized speaker on self definition, motivation and on disability issues.

Greg Smith was born in rural Mississippi in 1964. He was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in the "colored" waiting room at the New Orleans hospital for "crippled children" in 1967. His parents were teachers.

"On A Roll" is a *syndicated* radio show. That means that it is not broadcast nationwide over a single network, but rather, it is purchased through independent agreements by individual radio stations in various cities around the country. As stations have chosen, one by one, to broadcast "On A Roll" in their particular localities, the audience has gradually grown.

"Most people are surprised by the content of the show," says Smith. "It's far from being a boring weekly disability community meeting on the air. It's very upbeat and positive, with lots of laughs, and it is targeted for a general audience by design," he says.

Smith and his guests discuss a wide variety of issues relevant to the disability community. Recent topics have included the following:

  • Election 2000 -- A Disability Perspective
  • Interviews with celebrities like Teddy Pendergrass and Christopher Reeve
  • Medical marijuana
  • Disability humor -- Smith issued his listeners the challenge to "Make Greg laugh!"
  • Dating tips for people with disabilities
  • Disabilities resulting from gun violence
  • Kids' Accessibility Group
  • Athletes with disabilities

"My two primary goals are to make people with disabilities feel good about themselves, and to bring non-disabled talk radio listeners into awareness of the fact that there's nothing ‘wrong' with us," he says. "We're simply a part of the natural diversity that makes up our society."

Questions for Discussion:

  • The show reaches both disabled and nondisabled audiences. How do you think those two different groups of people might think differently about each of the topics listed above?
  • Would you listen to a talk show about disability lifestyle issues? What additional topics, besides the ones listed above, would you suggest programming on "On A Roll"?

Greg Smith's On A Roll Radio web site

(Next - Disability Culture Profile: Dan Keplinger)


BACK arrow BACK
NEXT arrow

PhysicsGovernmentResearchHelp