What is a CODA in the deaf community?

Child of Deaf Adults

A CODA is a child of one or more deaf adults. CODAs may be deaf, but they can typically hear, which means they experience both the deaf community through their parent(s) and the hearing world.

Where did CODA come from?

Millie Brother created the acronym and also established a non-profit organization by the same name in 1983. The organization promotes awareness of the CODA experience and provides helpful resources for children living with deaf parents.

CODAs that can hear have a unique experience of living in two different "worlds." Since they know sign language, their parents often use them as interpreters to better communicate with the hearing world. In addition, a CODA may be young or old, while "KODA" is often used to refer to kids (younger than 18 years old) of deaf parents.

The CODA term gained mainstream recognition in 2021 due to the release of a film by the same name. In the movie, the main character, Ruby, navigates her life with deaf parents and her deaf older brother.

Other acronyms that describe deaf relationships

There are various acronyms utilized in the deaf community that describe people's relationships to deaf individuals. Some include "KODA" (Kid of Deaf Adults), "OCODA" (Only Child of Deaf Adults - no siblings), "OHCODA" (Only Hearing Child of Deaf Adults - deaf parents and deaf siblings), "GODA" (Grandchild of Deaf Adults), and "SODA" (Sibling of a Deaf Adult).


Jeff is a CODA and his mom relies on him a lot for help running her business

CODA signed

Related Slang


Updated August 24, 2021

CODA definition by

This page explains what the acronym "CODA" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

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