Coda is an acronym/term used for hearing Child(ren) of Deaf Adults. Our parents are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or DeafBlind. We have seen our parents struggle to be understood by the outside world and often by their own families. Many of us are lucky to have learned sign language, to facilitate communication within the household and community. We have also navigated the world outside the household as hearing children separate from our parents, hence the double meaning of Coda. We are the same as our parents, yet different.
You've all heard of the movie, “CODA,” in which a Coda shows what it may have been like to grow up in homes with Deaf family members. The film reflects a varying degree of accuracy for each of us. Our community is as diverse as the general population - no two families have the same experience. In that movie, although the title of the movie is CODA, the title character was not portrayed by a Coda (Child of Deaf Adults). Historically, Codas have been unrepresented, underrepresented, or misrepresented in cultural projects portraying their identities. In the interest of authenticity, we request that Codas are meaningfully involved in the planning and implementation of such projects.
This petition is to Apple Inc. also, specifically regarding the film “CODA.” It has come to the International Coda community's attention (www.coda-international.org) that the Deaf community was well represented, by using exclusively Deaf actors, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur and Daniel Durant, and is a step in the right direction for minority groups on the big screen. However, many in the Coda community were disappointed in the decision to hire a hearing actress/singer that was not a Coda. The specific minority group named in the title of the film was not represented authentically. This film reached millions of viewers and profited millions of dollars directly from streaming on AppleTV+. The Coda community as a whole are collectively disappointed that there was no credit given to those of us who often feel unseen in both the Deaf & hearing world. It is no secret that most of us have witnessed and relate to the oppressive tactics in the hearing world as shown in the film. The film highlights the complicated layers of identity that come with belonging to the Coda community, via Ruby’s plight.
In this petition, the Coda community requests two things. First, we request that Codas are sought out for meaningful engagement in the planning and implementation of such undertakings to provide authenticity to the project. Second, we request when a movie includes hearing Child(ren) of Deaf Adults, that the www.coda-international.org web address is cited as a resource. Moreso, specifically to Apple Inc., we request that the name of the organization (CODA International) and website (www.coda-international.org) are added to and included in the end acknowledgements for those in the community seeking resources and additional information.