Cindy Chan, Founder & President
CODA HK was established in 2013. Our goal is to serve hearing children of Deaf parents and their families. As widely known, hearing children of Deaf parents enjoy the privilege of knowing both spoken and signed languages, as well as Deaf and hearing cultures. This advantage is to be nurtured and celebrated. Growing up in a Hong Kong Deaf family, however, is not always easy. Oppression of Deaf people is an unfortunate norm and has been witnessed and even experienced by many of their children. How these children go through their own identity development and learn how to handle multiple roles in their families is hard to imagine. We feel the urgency to listen, understand and support these children so that they can become independent and healthy adults who are productive members of the larger society.
I am very much privileged to be able to work with a group of passionate CODAs since three years ago. We have provided a wide range of service based on their actual needs. As CODAs ourselves, we understand each other and are able to nurture a positive environment where we can grow and contribute with our strengths. Each Deaf family is unique is someway, but their aspiration to love and care for each other is universal. Recognizing family is the basis of our service, we organize home visits and provide their children with school tutoring for free. By doing that, we have had the opportunity to talk to each and every CODA family and understand their immediate concerns and needs. We have organized activities like the CODA Day, leadership and interpreting training for CODAs. These activities help CODAs understand their unique situation and develop their potentials. I am hopeful that these CODAs can one day take on the mission of mediating between the Deaf and hearing world.
We are glad to be able to spread our public education message through the mainstream media over the past few years. Our stories have been adopted by 'A Wall-less World' by Radio Television Hong Kong, a special TV series dedicated to people with disabilities. We have been on a television programme called 'Hong Kong Sign Language Five-minuters'. University students were impressed by CODA stories and have turned them into documentaries. The public is now aware of 'Children of Deaf Adults', who have the advantage of knowing both signed and spoken languages. Knowing that we have a unique upbringing and experience is an important part of our identity. On the top of being grateful for the public attention and support, I am truly amazed by how much the Deaf community themselves are now more acceptive and supportive to CODAs. Currently, we maintain mutually beneficial relationship with many Deaf organizations. And we are thrilled to see that these organizations are now more inspired than before to provide specific services for Deaf families and their children.
CODA HK is committed to provide ever better services for hearing children of Deaf parents and their families. We have recently successfully obtained a funding to produce multimedia family education materials. In the future, we plan to establish Deaf parents' working group with specific focus on empowering them to design and administer their own independent family programmes. We hope to run a support group for sign language interpreters and provide appropriate training for those who are interetsed in learning more about professional interpreting. CODA Day and related teenager trainings will continue through the support of our consolidated team. And we strive to educate and make sure that CODAs become healthy, diligent and virtuous individuals. Our goal is to secure permanent and reliable source of funding to keep our projects running, and hire staff members to share the load from our volunteers. We are always looking for professionals to help us strengthen our training, education, counselling, and public relation programmes.
CODA HK's ultimate vision is creating a path for every CODA to learn about themselves, develop positive outlook and values. We are thankful to the public who have attended to us and support us as we grow. I am in debt to the Deaf community in Hong Kong who offer their empathy and selfless acceptance. Most of all, I would like to thank our committee members, whom I have worked together. Without you, CODA HK will never be in this place. Let's persevere and strive for a better future for all CODAs.