CHILDREN OF DEAF ADULTS (CODA) INTERNATIONAL BACKGROUND
CODA - Children of Deaf Adults, is a non-profit organization for adult, hearing sons and daughters of deaf parent(s). Since 1983, CODA has grown to include people from many different countries and varied world experiences. We have found that the CODA experience is strikingly similar around the world. Regardless if you come from a family with one deaf parent, both deaf parents, additional deaf family members, families who sign, families who didn’t. etc .
CODA was officially founded in 1983 as a result of research conducted by a hearing graduate student at Gallaudet University, who was herself the child of Deaf adults. She sent out the first CODA introductory newsletter and coined the term “CODA – Children of Deaf Adults” to refer to the hearing offspring of Deaf parent(s). Research has shown that approximately 90% of children born to Deaf parents are hearing. What sets CODA's apart from the hearing and a Deaf world is their level of comfort oscillating between both worlds, without being fully immersed in, or fully part of either. The CODA world is the true home where CODAs finally felt balance between their Deaf parental and hearing cultural experiences.
Our mission is to support deserving CODAs in continuing education endeavors through the medium of our annual conferences, retreats and meetings which allow for self-exploration of our multilingual and multicultural heritage – because within the South African context CODAs understand at least 3 languages.
We are planning to support and/or implement activities such as Mother/Father Deaf Day to honour our parents, KODA (Kids of Deaf Adults) camps for young CODAs under the age of 18, resource development and scholarship opportunities.
We are raising funds for 10 Codas from South Africa to attend a retreat International Conference in Canada from 11-17 July 2017. The objective of attending the Conference will increase local awareness of the Children of the Deaf Adults (Codas) existence and to mobilize fellow Codas in South Africa and the African Continent in responses to their multilingual identity through providing educational opportunities, promoting self-help, organizing advocacy efforts, and acting as a resource to their immediate family members and the community at large. This experience will assist in CODAs having the courage to embark on the healing journey of boundaries, languages and cross-cultural divides and discrimination. This project is very close to my heart because I was full of rage and discontent because of what my parents were going through in our community. Attending a Conference will empower CODAs with tools of leadership, starting a journey of healing and forgiving and establish a buddy relationship with fellow CODAs from other countries.