• Seventeen-year-old Joni took the dive that dramatically changed her life and left her a quadriplegic.


  • Joni's appearance on The Today Show opens a new door to national exposure.
  • The first edition of the Joni book is released. It will eventually be translated into more than 45 languages resulting in over 4 million copies in print.
  • The Joni movie is released. It's shown around the world resulting in over 250,000 decisions for Christ.
  • Joni and Friends is established to address the needs of families affected by disability after the Joni book and movie generate an outpouring of response. Joni and a small but dedicated staff begin the work from a two-room office in California.


  • Joni begins recording her Joni and Friends radio program.
  • President Ronald Reagan appoints Joni to the National Council on Disability. Joni advocates for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


  • Joni attends the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the White House.
  • After attending a "Family Conference" sponsored by the federal government and National Council on Disability, Joni challenged the ministry to do better. The first Family Retreat was held in Cannon Beach, Oregon.
  • Wheels for the World founded with first wheelchair delivered in Ghana.
  • The Joni and Friends International Disability Center opens its doors.