Where are they now? RadioDownSound.com
Concrete High School grad Dave Ramsey’s Web site is music to the ears of people with—and without—disabilities.
By Jason Miller
When Dave Ramsey was a kindergarten kid in Renton, Wash., he’d play and nap with the other kids at school. Sometimes he’d play with kids who were disabled. He recognized their differences, but realized they were, in most ways, the same.
“These days, I look at everyone the same way,” he said from Afghanistan during a recent phone interview. “We’re here for a greater purpose, not just to serve the almighty dollar. If there’s a need, fill that need. There’s more to life than materialistic things, showing up your neighbor, how much money you have in the bank.”
That philosophy is what drives RadioDownSound.com (www.radiodownsound.com), a Web site Ramsey manages with his friend, Archie Smith, who lives in Germany. Like Smith, Ramsey is an aircraft mechanic. He’s stationed at Bagram Air Force Base, supporting the U.S. military, even though he’s a civilian now, having served the Air Force as a Forward Air Controller from 1980–89.
Ramsey launched the Web site in 2007, after doing a similar job for a different Internet radio station that he felt was giving too much priority to “the almighty dollar.”
“I’m trying to create public awareness with the Web site for people with and without disabilities,” said Ramsey. “We all need to realize that something could happen to us. These people didn’t ask to have Down Syndrome or MS.”
The Web site caters to both audiences with stories and information that address a wide range of disabilities and how to live with them. The content is communicated in layman’s terms, not technical. New products are discussed for people with virtually any common impairment. The comments section is popular. Music is available too—the site has its own DJ.
The site is designed to be accessible for anyone, because Ramsey intends to cross boundaries. It’s surprising how little many people with disabilities know about other disabilities, he said.
“I’m just trying to create a positive awareness for all of us,” he said. “A lot of times, people need a little more compassion or a little more understanding. It would make the world a lot better.”