Just the name, "Joni" evokes admiration for a woman who has dedicated her life to championing the disabled worldwide, and using her many gifts to encourage men and women regardless of life situation.
Founder and President of Joni and Friends® Ministries, she's also host of the 4:30 radio program "Joni and Friends®" as well as the one-minute feature, "Diamonds in the Dust." Both programs bring daily inspiration to listeners, whether the challenge they face is physical, emotional or spiritual.
A diving accident in 1967 left Joni a quadriplegic, unable to use her hands. She wrote of her experiences in her best-selling biography, Joni.
In 1979, she founded Joni and Friends® (JAF) to accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community throughout the world. The organization grew into the establishment in 2006 of the Joni and Friends® International Disability Center, with a global focus on impacting the lives of countless numbers of families affected by disability.
The ministry serves through a variety of programs that have been designed to bring help to the disabled. "Family Retreats" are held annually as a respite for families weary with the demands of caring for a disabled family member. "Wheels for the World" has made it possible for the refurbishing of over 34,00 wheelchairs to date, donated and delivered to needy children and adults in developing nations.
A recipient of numerous prestigious awards over the years, Joni has been awarded the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award, The Courage Award from the Courage Rehabilitation Center, The Award of Excellence from the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center and the William Ayer Award for excellence from the National Religious Broadcasters' Association. Also, Joni and Friends® received the 2002 NRB Radio Program of the Year award.
Joni has written over 50 books. She has received the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. Joni's latest book is Beside Bethesda published by Tyndale.
Her expertise and gift at articulating the needs of the disabled community have afforded a vast array of speaking opportunities as diverse as The Larry King Show to testimony on Capitol Hill.
The most recent addition to Joni's outreach is a new television program, also titled Joni and Friends®. Aired on multiple outlets nationwide, it has quickly become noted for outstanding production as well as content values.
On April 1, 2009, Tada was inducted into the Indiana Wesleyan University Society of World Changers and was presented with an honorary doctorate while speaking at the university.
In February 2012 Joni was inducted into the National Religious Broadcasters' Hall of Fame, and in March 2012 was awarded the William Wilberforce Award by The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.