Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Joni & Friends to launch new website TOMORROW

I received the following press release in my e-mail inbox today and thought it was worthy of sharing ---

Joni and Friends Launches New Website June 3:
Updated Resources Include Information on Disabilities and Issues,

Tools to Provide Support and Encouragement to Disability Community

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., June 2, 2010 – Joni and Friends (JAF), the international disability ministry of Joni Eareckson Tada, launches its re-tooled website at on June 3, providing increased services and encouragement to aid in its mission to accelerate ministry to the disability community.

          Perhaps even more important than the tools and resources are the new website’s accessibility features, helping to eliminate barriers to information for those with disabilities. Every page on the new site will have adjustable text size, giving users the ability to increase or decrease the font size at the click of a button. A “skip to content” button also allows users to bypass content or menu sections, helpful for those who might be using a screen magnifier or speech browser.

          Navigation options have also been developed with the end user in mind, avoiding typical “fly-out” menus, as hovering a mouse-pointer over a navigation item can sometimes be difficult for those with motor-control disabilities. The new Joni and Friends website exclusively employs a larger, drop-down navigation system.

          In addition, the updated website is “screen reader” friendly, meaning that applications can be used which identify the output and re-interpret it for the user as text-to-speech, sound icons, or for delivery to a Braille output device. This assistive technology is especially useful to those who are blind, visually impaired or who may have some other disability that makes reading difficult.

          The website’s warm color palette and eye-friendly lay-out make it welcoming to users and easy to navigate when searching for specific tools and resources. It also provides more ways to interact with Tada through a new feature, “Joni’s Corner.” Here, users can read blog entries from Joni, and she’ll share favorite scriptures, quotes, links, prayer points and photos, as well as invite readers to submit their own stories or prayer requests.

          The large network of JAF Field Offices around the country and the world can now be easily located and contacted locally by the end user looking for assistance or opportunities to volunteer. The variety of ways that Joni and Friends ministers to the disability community is also highlighted and each ministry area is given its own pages with further links and information.

          “We are excited about the launch of our new Joni and Friends website, as we believe it is now a much better tool for those who want to join us in accelerating ministry to the disability community,” JAF President Doug Mazza said. “Our goal is to empower every believer to share the love of Christ with what is in essence the largest unreached people group, around 650 million people worldwide, and this new website helps us to do that in even greater ways.”

          For more than 30 years JAF has worked to accelerate ministry to the disability community, offering a wide array of life-affirming ministries to people with disabilities around the world. JAF does this through the Christian Institute on Disability; the International Disability Center; international radio and television programs filled with inspirational stories; Wheels for the World, which every year sees thousands of individuals receive wheelchairs and the life-giving message of the Gospel; and Family Retreats held in the U.S. and around the world, where families affected by disability learn that they are not alone.

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