What is CODA, KODA and MinneCODA?
Who am I ?? Am I a CODA, Coda, or coda??
Written by Amy Amundsen
It is often asked, who exactly is a "child of deaf adults"?? Can
deaf-of-deaf be a Coda? What about if only one parent is Deaf? What if you
grew up hearing with Deaf parents, but are now deaf yourself.can you still
be a Coda?
Here is a description of who is considered a "child of deaf adults", as
defined by the CODA organization.
1. A hearing person who was raised by deaf parent(s). One who had to
straddle both hearing and deaf worlds, often acting as interpreter for their
2. Deaf-of-deaf individuals are generally not considered codas, as they
likely did not experience straddling both worlds in the way that hearing
children do, navigating the hearing world for their deaf parents.
3. A person who grew up hearing (or even hard-of-hearing) who is now
late-deafened, would still be considered a coda if their experience was that
of #1 above.
4. A person who has one deaf parent is still considered a coda, again,
if their experience is that of #1 above.
5. A person who was raised alongside their deaf grandparents, or other
family member, would not be considered a coda. It is the experience of
having deaf parents as your primary caregivers that lends to the coda
As founder of the CODA organization, Millie Brother chose the word "coda"
not just for the acronym that is created by "children of deaf adults", but
also for its musical definition..given its striking parallel with the
experience of growing up with deaf parents: a concluding musical section
that is formally distinct from the main structure. Codas have the
experience of being different from their parents.
How do I write it?? When do I use all-caps CODA, Coda, or coda??
Here is how the organization sanctions the use of the term CODA:
CODA (all caps) - refers to the acronym for the international organization,
Children of Deaf Adults.
Coda/coda - refers to the now accepted, commonly used term to describe a
person who has deaf parents, age 18+. Capital 'C' is used refer to one who
identifies culturally with the "CODA" experience. Lowercase 'c' would
indicate a person who has deaf parents, but does not necessarily identify
culturally. (Similar to cultural identification of Deaf/deaf.)
Koda/koda - refers to the young children of deaf parents, below age 18.
(e.g. Kids of Deaf Adults)
Who decides if one is a C/coda or not??
We leave it up to each individual to decide for themselves, whether or not
they identify with the cultural experience of growing up with deaf parents.