CODA was officially founded in 1983 as a result of 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.
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,
Welcome to the CODA International website!
As CODA International approaches its fortieth birthday in 2023, I am amazed at how our organization has helped Codas create pathways to find our true identities and make connections to the Coda community at large. Our identities come from our Deaf parents, but also our experiences in the hearing world. Codas often say we have our feet in two worlds - the hearing and the Deaf. To this end, we have found many ways to celebrate and recognize those who have paved the way; including conferences, retreats, Distinguished Service Award (DSA), the Memorial Fund, and celebrating Mother Father Deaf Day (MFDD/DPD) annually. We also celebrate those up-and-coming Codas by supporting their educational efforts to further the organization as a whole.
We have had the pleasure of enjoying an annual conference since the birth of our organization in 1986 until 2019, when Covid-19 stopped us all in our tracks, halting large gatherings and international travel. The annual conference contributes to the mission of Connecting CODAs Around the World. As the organization continued to grow, 7 regions were created across the globe. Over time, these regions hosted weekend-long retreats to continue the CODA mission between conferences.
In 1996, a day to honor our Deaf parents and caregivers was created. Affectionately called MFDD, Mother Father Deaf Day is a time for Codas to celebrate those who raised us. Often, celebrations include sharing stories and pictures to cherish, honor and remember our parents and caregivers, while passing on their culture and language (bicultural; bilingual/bimodal). MFDD’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2021 marked the change of this special day to Deaf Parents Day (DPD), to be more inclusive of all families. We are excited to celebrate the first anniversary of DPD in April 2022.
The live auction held at the annual conference allows the organization to provide scholarships for Codas seeking post-secondary educational opportunities around the world. Over the past few years we have awarded approximately $9,000 USD to students pursuing education in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, England, New Zealand, Zambia, and the United States. The top scholarship winner is also invited to attend a CODA conference within 5 years of their award. The scholarship awards cycle typically takes place in March and April of each year. If you know a Coda who is attending or planning to attend post-secondary education, please have them apply here.
In 1994, the Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was created to honor those Coda individuals who have provided service to the Coda organization locally, nationally and internationally. Any current dues-paying member can be nominated, but current Board members are excluded. If you know of a Coda who is deserving of this recognition, please nominate them here. Nominations are accepted through March 31 annually.
The Memorial Fund was created to honor those Codas who have passed, as well as those within our Coda family who have supported and nurtured our development as Codas. We encourage all who visit our page to view the In Memoriam page here.
As an organization, we have grown into an international community of Codas in our first forty years, and we still have more room to grow! The upcoming restructure vote will determine the future growth and direction of the organization. I encourage you to review the information regarding restructure here.
I am so appreciative of CODA International’s history and those people who have played instrumental roles in the development of our beloved organization along the way. All of the growth throughout the first forty years allows for comfort in knowing that CODA International will be around for another forty years!
GA to SK