Child of deaf adult

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A child of deaf adult, often known by the acronym "CODA", is a person who was raised by one or more deaf parents or guardians. Millie Brother coined the term and founded the organization CODA,[1] which serves as a resource and a center of community for children of deaf adults. Many CODAs are bilingual, speaking both an oral and a sign language, and bicultural, identifying with both deaf and hearing cultures. CODAs must navigate the border between the deaf and hearing worlds, serving as liaisons between their deaf parents and the hearing world in which they reside.[2] Ninety percent of children born to deaf adults can hear normally,[3] leading to the occurrence of a significant and widespread community of CODAs around the world. The acronym KODA (Kid of Deaf Adult) is sometimes used to refer to CODAs under the age of 18.

CODA communicating with parents using video technology

Potential challenges facing hearing CODAs[edit]

Support organizations[edit]

Millie Brother established the organization CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) in 1983 as a non-profit organization for the hearing sons and daughters of deaf parents.[4] CODA’s first annual conference took place in 1986 in Fremont, California.[5] The conferences have grown, taking on an international status with attendees hailing from around the world. CODA aims to raise awareness about the unique experiences and issues of growing up between these two cultures and provide a forum for CODAs to discuss these shared problems and experiences with other CODAs.[6] Regardless of the spoken and sign languages used, CODA believes that these feelings and experiences that derive from the binary relationship of the two divergent cultures are universal amongst CODAs. CODA provides educational opportunities, promotes self-help, organizes advocacy efforts, and serves as a resource for CODAs raised in both signing and nonsigning environments . Since its founding, CODA, which is currently based in Santa Barbara, CA, has attracted between five to six hundred members and has five chapters around the country.[7]

There are support groups for deaf parents who may be concerned about raising their hearing children, as well as support groups for adult CODAs. One organization, KODAheart [8] provides educational and recreational resources for Deaf parents and hearing children through an educational website and pop-up camps. There are also several camps established for KODAs.

  • Camp Mark Seven, which was established as the first KODA camp in 1998. Currently, they have two two-week programs for campers from 9 to 16 years old.
  • Camp Grizzly,[9] which hosts a 1-week program for preteen and teen CODAs
  • KODAWest, which is a week-long camp in Southern California held annually in the summer for campers from ages eight to fifteen, Counselors-in-training (CIT) from ages sixteen to seventeen, and Counselors from ages eighteen and up.

There is a UK organisation, namely CODA UK & Ireland.

Notable CODAs[edit]

Fictional CODAs[edit]

Related Deaf Culture acronyms for identifying family members[edit]

  • OHCODA - Only Hearing Child of Deaf Adults (deaf parents and deaf siblings)
  • OCODA - Only Child of Deaf Adult(s) (no siblings)
  • COCA-CODA - Child of CODA Adult and Child of Deaf Adult
  • KODA - Kid of Deaf Adult(s)
  • GODA - Grandchild of Deaf Adult(s)
  • SODA - Sibling of a Deaf Adult(s)
  • SpODA - Spouse of Deaf Adult



  1. ^ Robert Hoffmeister, Open Your Eyes: Border Crossings by Hearing Children of Deaf Parents: The Lost History of Codas (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), 207.
  2. ^ Kerri Clark, Communication & Parenting Issues in Families with Deaf Parents and Hearing Children,, (April 2003)
  3. ^ Glenn Collins, The Family; Children of Deaf Share Their Lives,, (December 1986).
  4. ^ About CODA, (2012).
  5. ^ CODA events
  6. ^ About CODA, (2012).
  7. ^ Glenn Collins, The Family; Children of Deaf Share Their Lives,, (December 1986).
  8. ^
  9. ^ NorCal | Services for Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Inc
  10. ^ Gannon, Jack. 1981. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, p. 413 (PDF)
  11. ^ Gannon, Jack. 1981. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, p. 414 (PDF)

External links[edit]