Mother Father Deaf Day is a day for celebrating deaf parents and codas (hearing children of deaf parents), observed annually on the last Sunday in April. This year, it falls on April 28. Having hearing children born to deaf parents is a lot more common than you might think. In fact, 90% of deaf parents have perfectly normal hearing children. This means that the community of children of deaf adults (codas) is a lot larger than we assume. This holiday was set aside to recognize that community and acknowledge both parents and children living in such situations.
History of Mother Father Deaf Day
We tend to see being deaf as a disability or some might even say a disease, however, this couldn’t be farther from how deaf people see themselves. Members of the deaf community mostly see deafness as a different way of life, and we think this is a more spot-on description of the condition. If you agree, imagine just how different life may look for hearing children that are born to deaf parents.
You may be shocked to hear that this phenomenon (deaf parents with hearing children) even exists, and it’s safe to say you wouldn’t be the only one. With approximately 90% of deaf parents having hearing children, we can assume that it is not necessarily a hereditary trait seeing as there are so many exceptions.
The first record of sign language traces back to around the fifth century B.C. from conversations between Socrates and his pupils. Fast forward to the 17th century when manual alphabets were created and deaf education came to be. Since then, several schools and higher institutions have been established solely for the deaf.
Children of deaf adults (coda), or kids of deaf adults (koda) is a term that was coined by Millie Brother to represent children under 18 born to one or more deaf parents. He also formed the CODA organization which was established to create a community for those in similar conditions.
The parent-child relationship is unique as these kids are often stuck between the hearing world and the deaf world. There are several support groups and organizations dedicated to codas. Mother Father Deaf Day was created as a holiday for codas to celebrate their deaf parents, and to raise awareness about the community.
Mother Father Deaf Day timeline
Charles-Michel de l'Épée, a French philanthropist and educator, founds the world’s first free school for the deaf.
American Sign Language (A.S.L.) is created as a language in the American School for the Deaf.
The Children of Deaf Adults (CODA) Organization is founded by Millie Brother.
Mother Father Deaf Day is created to celebrate deaf parents and codas.
Mother Father Deaf Day FAQs
Is there a KODA Organization?
The KODA organization in itself was dissolved shortly after its establishment, however, the CODA Organization has a section dedicated to kodas. Asides from that, there are several KODA camps and organizations like KODAHeart that are dedicated to making life easier for kids of the Koda community.
Are there deaf codas?
Codas is an acronym for children of deaf adults. This is all-inclusive for hearing and deaf children, however, up to 90% of children born to deaf parents have perfect hearing.
Is it possible for deaf parents to have only one hearing child?
Just because there is a higher possibility of deaf parents having deaf children does not mean all the children they have will either all be hearing or all deaf. It is very possible to have some children who can hear and some who are deaf, or just one of each. The acronym OHCODA stands for Only Hearing Child Of Deaf Adults, which implies that the child possibly has other deaf siblings.
How to Observe Mother Father Deaf Day
Attend an event
On this day, local Coda and Koda groups organize different types of events ranging from simple get-togethers to picnics. The CODA organization also organizes events and conferences around this holiday. Find a local event happening near you, and invite your friends and family to attend with you.
Organize a party
Are you a child of a deaf parent? Take pride in your family and upbringing by hosting your very own Mother Father Deaf Day party or event. You can also take pride in your parents by putting up your family pictures online using the hashtag #MotherFatherDeafDay. Don’t forget to invite loved ones and other coda community members to celebrate with you.
There are several organizations dedicated to supporting members of the deaf and the coda community. These organizations are often non-profit and are sustained through donations. Make an impact in the community today by donating to an organization of your choice.
5 Interesting Facts About Hearing Loss
More sign languages than you think
There are over 300 distinct sign languages, systems, and dialects in the world.
More common than you think
According to the WHO, over 5% of the world’s population is affected by hearing loss.
Older people are more affected
One out of three people over 65 experience hearing loss.
It can lead to dementia
Studies show that untreated hearing loss conditions can lead to dementia with age.
It is really expensive
Treating hearing conditions of all hearing individuals will take an estimated $750 billion.
Why Mother Father Deaf Day is Important
It raises awareness
A lot of people do not even know there are deaf parents that birth hearing children, not to mention knowing the codas community. This day raises awareness of the codas community, allowing others to learn about the existence of this community and the need for support.
It celebrates deaf parents and codas
We love that this holiday is not just for the general deaf community, but is targeted toward deaf parents, specifically those with hearing children. Mother Father Deaf Day is a super-inclusive holiday and one that should be celebrated proudly.
It celebrates a unique relationship
We have established just how unique the relationship between hearing children of deaf parents is, and how easy it is for codas to feel stuck in between two worlds. This day not only sheds light on a very unique parent-child relationship but also celebrates it.
Mother Father Deaf Day dates