Radio Show Brings Disability Issues To The Forefront

Coast residents can now listen to a nationally syndicated talk show that deals with issues facing people with disabilities.

Wheelchair bound Greg Smith started the radio show as a platform for the disabled 10 years ago. He brought the show with him when he recently moved to the coast. Smith, 37, says he's never felt that being in a wheelchair would keep his from having a successful a career in radio, but other people did.

He says his disability made others doubt his ability to do the job. So he turned his obstacle into an opportunity.

"One of the things I can't stand is for people to tell me what I cannot do, so that drives me," Smith said. "People have told me well, it's virtually impossible for you to create a show about an issue such as disability that's going to be successful, and I think that's part of it, is that stubbornness within me."

Smith started his talk show "On A Roll" nearly 10 years ago in Phoenix, Ariz. He takes current news and issues that affect the disabled and brings them to the forefront. Currently more than 30 stations across the country broadcast his show live each week.

"The challenge became convincing radio stations to pick up the program, but we've been able to prove that our show is interesting, that it attracts an audience and it attracts advertisers," Smith said.

"On a Roll" has had several well known guests like Christopher Reeve and Jesse Jackson, but the host says his real aim is to spotlight the everyday people like himself. Smith plans to continue to his work to end discrimination and have a positive impact the lives of the disabled.

"On a Roll" is broadcast is now broadcast on the Coast every Sunday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on WVMI.

By Danielle Thomas