What Coda is to me, it’s not a label.

I thought I would begin with posting items that can be the foundation of this blog. A clear perspective of what Coda means to me. I don’t feel it is a label to who I am. Frankly, it’s just easier to type, read, sign or say. Don’t you agree? Coda or Children of Deaf Adults? Coda is only 1 of the many things I relate to. Some say being a Coda, we are made up of 3 parts; hearing, Deaf and the in-between which is Coda. While I agree, I also like to express there is so much more to each and every one of us. I don’t quite know how many parts I am, but it includes being a wife, mother, friend, actress, business owner, and much more.  Ok off point, now…

What is CODA? Children of Deaf Adults means that a child was born hearing to one or both parents being Deaf.  Seems simple enough, but there are factors that can cause some confusion. 

 I was born hearing, but became deaf later in life. Still a Coda. This will entirely depend on the individual. If someone became deaf at age 3, I would think they may feel very comfortable in the Deaf world. However, going deaf at age 16, this person may feel more comfortable understanding the bond of a Coda.

My parents are Deaf but they didn’t sign to me in the home. Still a Coda. Or, I have Deaf parents but my signing is not that great. Still a Coda. If you were brought up in an oral or fluent ASL household, shouldn’t discourage you. There are plenty of fluent signers and also those that do not sign at all. Some wish they could sign better, even myself when I see professional interpreters. It’s natural I think to compare.

I also believe that everyone should learn about Coda. What is there to learn?  In my experience, being in a Deaf household shaped me differently than other hearing households, and possibly even other bi-cultural households. My needs were not always clear. Being hearing didn’t just make things ok. I like to explain it in a way that, when a Deaf child is born to hearing parents, the hearing parents are trying to learn something new. They may have never even seen or interacted with a Deaf person. They do the best that they know how with a unique situation for them at the time. When that Deaf child goes on to have a family, the majority of the time, the child is hearing. Again a very new and unique situation for the parent. When grandma and grandpa look at the grandchild and say “oh, she is hearing, normal” they are missing the most important element. The Deaf parents are now living in a unique enviroment as once their parents did. Some Deaf parents also may think, “my child hearing, normal”.  As a hearing child of Deaf parents, whose grandparents were not active in clear communication, we are have such different needs.

 I hope that this helps you to understand why Coda is important to me. I don’t want to exclude anyone. This blog is for Codas, Deaf people or hearing individuals to share, learn and educate others. 


  1. Great Blog. I will visit often to see what’s new with you.

  2. codadiva

    Thanks Vinnince! I’m really excited about this project.

  3. Ken Rose

    As a Hearing person interested in Deaf Culture, I think the best people to ask is the CODAs, because they have a lifetime experience of being Hearing in a Deaf World. You are the real AMBASSADORS between both worlds.

  4. susan

    Hi I am glad to find this one, as I had some friends who were Codas, and a few of them were very bitter towards their deaf parents.
    I have always been puzzled about this, and I am deaf myself. I grew up in a *hearing world* as I was not allowed to talk like a deaf person. I had to sign in straight English.
    Therefore I met some deaf parents with hearing kids. And some kids flat out told me that they wished their parents were more like me. It bothered me as I felt like the parents should be considered some people that the kids should think the world of.
    Maybe some of you can give me some insights as to why they felt that way.
    Thank you.

  5. codadiva

    Ken and Susan – I can’t thank you enough for sharing your thoughts.

    Hmm. Ken, adding Ambassador to my list of roles would be great.

    Susan, I feel sad for those Codas that are bitter. I’m sad for anyone that lets life get interupted by bitterness. It’s hard work to remain bitter.

  6. tap

    Blog? I prefer message board like http://www.ezboard.com.

    anyway i am born deaf with bit of speech – my two sons refuse to accept sign language.

    society can make it awkward for my son.

    i readily accept anyone born to deaf parents
    because they are often very easy to understand
    and are more patient than other people. They dont mind repeating.

  7. codadiva

    Yes message boards are nice, but on a Blog it’s more personal to me. I am a member of about 5 message boards.

    As for your sons, how old are they?
    Yes, CODAs don’t mind repeating, lol.

  8. Shirley Galvin

    It was great to see you and meet your friend who was so easy to talk to and so comfortable around US. Thanks for your show comments and posting the photos. It was a really nice night. Arlene is so wonderful at expressing what we all know and share in our Coda hearts.

  9. Adri

    “they are often very easy to understand
    and are more patient than other people. They dont mind repeating.”

    I regret not being more patient with my parents as a young Coda. I often tend to be vague when i answer them, even now, because it’s just so much effort to explain, sign, repeat, sign… I only realized recently what it must be like for them not to know what’s going on.

    What’s scary is that if i look at all my (hearing) friends, i am probably more patient compared to them. By far. And yet not patient enough… *sigh

    I probably sound confused (i am 🙂 ) but I’m just glad i realized this now and not when it’s too late- as an adult. (I’m 16)

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