“CODA” :: Providing Perspective and Good Feels

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“CODA” is the 2022 Academy-Award Winning film for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay. While many households have been talking about “Encanto,” “CODA” is another film that needs to be discussed. C.O.D.A. stands for Child of Deaf Adults. The film represents the perspective of a hearing-abled teen raised along with her deaf brother by their deaf parents.

As with any film, I advise that you preview it and complete your own independent research on standards. We watched the movie as a family and muted or skipped scenes that weren’t appropriate for our school-aged children. We paused the movie occasionally to talk with our children about how they or their dad have experienced similar situations. If anything, I implore parents to watch this film and then have conversations with their children. Although I have known my husband for 17 years, I learned new things about him and the deaf community from watching the film.

My husband was born with bilateral, profound hearing loss. Throughout his entire life, he has experienced discrimination, mockery, frustration, and misunderstanding. Although he currently relates to the hearing community through a cochlear implant, “CODA” resonated with him. Our three children are not defined as C.O.D.A.; however, they related to a lot of issues discussed in the film, as well.

My husband has experienced it all, including restaurant workers mocking him as he attempted to place an order, children and adults dismissing their own mockery and making the excuse that they thought he was foreign (so, it’s okay to laugh at foreign accents?), and being completely lost at church because he was too far away from the altar to read lips and he couldn’t understand what was being said. These are things that I would never have thought about had I not been close to someone with a hearing impairment. I wouldn’t expect others to be aware of or think about it, either.

One of the most-touching scenes was when the father gently placed his hands on his daughter’s neck to feel the vibrations when she sang. When I first met my husband, he did this when I said, “I love you.” When we married, we would place our hands over each other’s hearts and say, “Good night. I love you!” since my husband couldn’t hear me without his device or read my lips in the dark.

“CODA” opens the conversation. It allows the viewer to see things from a different perspective. I hope that it provides the opportunity to become more aware and more sensitive to the deaf community.

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A product of Daleville, Alabama, Briana has been proud to call Birmingham her home for almost 20 years! A high school graduate of The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, Briana is a perpetual learner. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Auburn University, Briana went on to receive two master's degrees {both from University of Montevallo} and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Samford University. After 12 years as a middle school teacher and administrator, Briana now serves as the Executive Director of College Admissions Made Possible. She's been married for 14 years to Matthew, a CPA, and they have three children- Harrison {12}, Easby {8}, and Josephine {3}. They completed their family with a rambunctious rescue pup, Daisy Mae, and a frisky cat, Elliot. Briana and her family live in Hoover, and while she enjoys working full-time, Briana enjoys volunteering, spending time at the family's home on Lake Martin, and binging on Netflix!

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