The movie is a tender, coming-of-age tale about the only hearing member in a deaf family. It stars a trio of actors who are deaf, while offering an authentic depiction of Deaf life.
For many in that community, the best picture Oscar win provides an unprecedented feeling of affirmation, while offering a measure of Hollywood’s recent progress.RELATED: Gallaudet University alum Troy Kotsur wins best supporting actor at OscarsBefore being a CODA, children of deaf parents who are under 18 years old are sometimes referred to as KODA — kids of deaf adults.
That was the case with Linnea Chahayed of Los Angeles. She and her sister have the ability to hear but both of their parents are deaf. "It was challenging, but also made me unique," the 26-year-old told FOX Television Stations. "I remember being embarrassed about it at school, but as I got older I found that friends were more interested in hearing my stories and wanted to learn ASL (American Sign Language)."Chahayed said her first language was ASL, and it was the family’s main form of communication. "Being a CODA came with a lot of responsibilities, which not many have at a young age," she continued. "Being misunderstood at times and living in two worlds where all the kids in school didn’t understand what it was like to live as a CODA."Linnea Chahayed and her sister, Monessa.
They both have the ability to hear despite growing up with deaf parents. (Credit: Lisa Hermatz) Other CODAs have shared similar experiences.