Marty Ball

Member of the United Spinal Association’s board of directors

Marty Ball has played a huge role in the creation and evolution of rehabilitation equipment starting in the latter half of the 20th century. From the advent of wheelchair sports to ultralight wheelchairs, Marty has been a major witness to—and pioneer of—changes for wheelchair users.

The importance of self-confidence

A life in an institution? No. His father was convinced that Marty would live a normal life.

Paraplegic since age 8 due to the ravages of polio, Marty saw the dawn of the rehabilitation field at a time when disabled people were often sent to live in an institution. While Marty thought he was condemned to the same fate, his father was convinced that his son would be able to live a normal life.

Introduced first to basketball, then to track and field, Marty found pleasure in endurance racing and did several marathons over the course of his career. Motivated by the desire to improve wheelchairs and give disabled people greater mobility, Marty worked in the wheelchair industry for 40 years. Now retired, he continues to serve on the United Spinal Association’s board of directors.

“My chair is my competitive tool.” —Marty Ball