JONI EARECKSON TADA
Founder, Chief Executive Officer
Joni and Friends International
Joni Eareckson Tada, the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, without the use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.
During her rehabilitation, Joni spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her high-detail fine art paintings and prints are sought-after and collected.
Her best-selling autobiography Joni and the feature film of the same name have been translated into many languages, introducing her to people around the world. Mrs. Tada has also has visited more than 47 countries.
Mrs. Tada has served on the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee to the U.S. State Department. She has helped guide evangelism strategies among people with disabilities worldwide as Senior Associate for Disability Concerns for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.
She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Victory Award from the National Rehabilitation Hospital and the Golden Word Award from the International Bible Society. Joni has been awarded several honorary degrees, including: Doctor of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary; a Doctor of Humanitarian Services from California Baptist University; and a Doctor of Humane Letters by Indiana Wesleyan University where she was inducted into IWU’s Society of World Changers
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 Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story published by Zondervan.
Since 1982, Joni has been hosting the short-feature radio program "Joni and Friends" which is aired on more than 1,000 outlets. In 2012, the National Religious Broadcasters inducted Joni into its Hall of Fame.
In 2012 The Colson Center on Christian Worldview awarded Joni its prestigious “William Wilberforce Award.” She has been interviewed on “Larry King Live,” “ABC World News Tonight,” and in magazines such as Christianity Today and World Magazine.
Joni and her husband, Ken Tada, have been married since 1982.