About CODA International

Vision Statement

Connecting Codas around the world.

Mission

CODA celebrates the unique heritage and multicultural identities of adult hearing individuals with deaf parent(s).

Statement of Purpose

CODA (Children of Deaf Adults, Inc.) strives to achieve this mission via conferences, retreats, publications, scholarships, resource development, and fundraising to enrich the experience of Codas.

A Message from Our Founder

I established the organization, CODA- Children of Deaf Adults, International, in 1983 as a result of informal research I did as a graduate student at Gallaudet University. I sent out the first CODA introductory newsletter and coined the term “CODA- Children of Deaf Adults” referring to hearing offspring of Deaf parent(s). Research has shown that approximately 90% of the children born to Deaf parents are hearing. I was one of them and set out to organize our widely dispersed group. My life was full of constant movement between Deaf and hearing worlds. I felt comfortable in both but not fully immersed in either. The CODA world would become my third option where I felt balance between my Deaf and hearing cultural experiences.

CODA has moved from a small, grassroots organization to a worldwide entity with strong familial bonds reaching overseas. Our shared family experience has transcended global boundaries, languages and cross-cultural divides.The annual conferences, retreats and meetings allow for self-exploration of our bilingual-bicultural heritage. As a result, we have supported and/or implemented activities such as Mother/Father Deaf Day or Deaf Parents Day to honor our parents and rich heritage, and promoted resource development along with post-secondary scholarship opportunities for deserving codas.

I welcome you and encourage perusal of our website in order to become familiar with our identity and activities as Codas. We appreciate your interest and hope you will learn more about our CODA community.

Warm CODA Regards,
Millie Brother, CODA Founder

A Message from Our President

Since 1983, when our founder Millie Brother started CODA with a small group of people who all shared a need to come together and develop their understanding of being hearing in deaf families, I am sure that they could have had little idea of how that original mission – of connecting Codas around the world – would have developed into what we see today.

Our organisation now has hundreds of dedicated members across the United States and worldwide, with new and independent Coda-led organisations working in every continent on the planet. More and more Codas are finding places where they can explore their identities on their own terms, with people who understand parts of their experiences and perspectives that others simply cannot. Younger codas – who we term kodas – kids of deaf adults – are now able to attend camps, and participate in a range of activities. Their parents build strong networks through these events, too.

I was a 1 year old baby when CODA was founded. Now, as President of CODA International, it is a great honour for me to lead this organisation, in service of that original purpose – to connect Codas around the world. The world we live in now has become infinitely more connected, through technology, through the mass availability and affordability of travel for more people than ever before, and in a more abstract sense – through a growing awareness of the interdependence and interrelatedness of communities in society.

With our Deaf heritage, we inherit and possess our own lived experiences of many of the structural barriers that inhibit societies around the world from benefiting from Deaf expertise. Those of us who are heritage signers also experience the richness of multilingualism in differing language modalities. For many of us, as for many people in the world today, there is not always the same positive perception of these gifts that we share. Some Codas define themselves as situated between two worlds, or between two cultures. Some see themselves as hearing people, some describe a closer affinity to the Deaf world, some both – some neither, while others identify themselves through other frameworks completely.

Our annual conferences, since the first in Fremont, California in 1986, provide the longest running series of events where Codas can come together in a shared space – which, during conference sessions is exclusively for hearing Codas – to explore aspects of our identities that cannot honestly be done in other contexts. The result of this is that the language of Coda is evolving. There is greater sophistication to our shared perception of identity, and some parts of this transcend even national borders.

As President, I see it as my responsibility to ensure that our members are heard and that our organisation fulfils its obligations to them. I also see it as my duty to represent the membership in building relationships with other organisations where there are common interests, particularly with regard to reducing inequalities and promoting the fullness of human diversity as the only way societies as a whole can progress. It is my hope and my expectation that there will be greater and wider community understanding of Codas; of what makes us unique, but also of what we contribute to our communities.

I hope that your time on this website provides you with what you are looking for. Please feel free to email me – I am happy to make time where possible to speak with you.

Adrian Bailey, President
2020-Present

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    MEMBERSHIP DISCLAIMER:

    CODA International is a private organization maintained and governed by CODA International members. Codas being persons who have one or more parent with a demonstrable and verifiable hearing loss. Non-Codas interested in becoming Supporting Members are encouraged and highly welcomed. Persons joining as a voting member or registering for CODA International conference or specified events, found to be non-Coda will automatically have their status changed to Supporting Member and any dues or fees paid to CODA will be forfeited. The privacy and security of all registered members is a top priority for the purpose of admittance, denials, and revocations.

    SOCIAL MEDIA DISCLAIMER:
    CODA International is not responsible for non-affiliated social media accounts which may not be a direct representation or share the beliefs of CODA International.