In 1967, Joni Eareckson Tada was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident. She has gone on to paint, write several books and a monthly column for Moody Monthly magazine, record musical albums, and have a daily radio show. She is the founder and president of JAF Ministries, which works with disabled people and their families, and held a presidential appointment to the National Council on Disability. She has earned titles such as "Churchwoman of the Year" (the Religious Heritage Foundation) and "Layperson of the Year" (the National Association of Evangelicals). Her autobiography, Joni, was adapted as a movie.
Steve Bundy is the Vice President of Joni and Friends overseeing the Christian Institute on Disability and International Outreach. He was a contributing author of Life in the Balance: Biblical Answers for the Issues of Our Day, and co-executive producer with Joni Eareckson Tada of the Telly-Award winning television episodes, Making Sense of Autism: Myths That Hide the Truth and Truth for the Church. Steve has served as adjunct professor at Master’s College and has lectured on disability ministry at educational institutions and conferences around the world. He frequently appears on “Joni and Friends” television episodes, national radio and has written articles or been interviewed for Christianity Today, Charisma Magazine, Focus on the Family and others. Steve and his wife Melissa know firsthand the joys and challenges of parenting a child with special needs, as their own son, Caleb, was born with a chromosome deletion which resulted in global delay and a secondary diagnosis of autism. Steve holds a B.A. in Theology and Missions and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership. He is a licensed minister and has served as a pastor and missionary.
Pat Verbal is the Manager of Curriculum Development at the Christian Institute on Disability at Joni and Friends. She is a well-published author of numerous books and articles on Christian education and special needs ministry and has been a featured speaker, sharing from 25 years of experience as an associate pastor and school administrator. She has been interviewed on Pastor to Pastor from Focus on the Family, Trinity Broadcast Network and taught at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. Pat is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University and holds an M.A. in Pastoral Studies from the C. P. Haggard School of Theology.