Each year ABILITY360 produces an annual report. The report explains what ABILITY360 has accomplished in the past year and highlights programs and people that have excelled. Each year the report has a theme that takes you through the pages. For 2013, the theme was “Equal to the Task.” Regina Mitzel, ABILITY360 V. P. & Chief Administrative Officer explains, “All too often people with disabilities are viewed as a worthy cause, or someone to be inspired by. We wanted to make the point that so many people who have a disability get up every morning and do what everyone else does in life. They are, ‘Equal to the Task’.”

Dave Martin is the owner of Martin’s Auto Repair in Phoenix. When the ABILITY360 team was determining who would bring “Equal to the Task” to life, David’s name came up again and again. And without a doubt, when you spend a few hours with Dave, it is easy to see the many ways he exemplifies this year’s theme.

Dave was born with spina bifida; the life-long disability doesn’t stop this 49-year-old from pursuing his dreams of becoming a successful small-business owner, marrying the love of his life, and raising a family. David has owned and operated Martin’s Auto Repair, a business started in Phoenix, Arizona, by David’s father in 1971, for the past ten years. A devout husband of 21 years and a loving father to one daughter, David is also the Chairman of the Board for the Arizona Spina Bifida Association. David shares his attitude that has made him the successful man he is today, “As far as being in a chair, there are things to overcome, but with the right mind-set you can overcome anything. It really takes a strong will and a strong mind… but I always find a way to get over the challenges.”

For the last few years, ABILITY360 has worked with Rick Richardson at R-Squared Design to design its annual reports. As it turns out, Rick has had his cars served with Martin’s Auto Repair for many years, and was also quick to suggest Dave for our cover photo and story. On the Saturday morning we arrived to take Dave’s photo, he was already working. The shop isn’t open, but he’s busy with paperwork. In between each of the photo setups, David wanders back to his office to get more work completed. He’s busy working so he can spend time later with his daughter.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Dave.

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