A diving accident in 1967 left Mrs. Tada a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, unable to use her hands. During two years of rehabilitation, she 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.
Due to her best-selling books, beginning with her autobiography, Joni, as well as having visited 35 countries, Joni's first name is recognized around the world. World Wide Pictures' full-length feature film, JONI, in which Mrs. Tada recreated her own life, has been translated into 15 languages and shown in scores of countries around the world.
Mrs. Tada's role as a disability advocate led to a presidential appointment to the National Council on Disability for three and a half years, during which time the Americans with Disabilities Act became law.