Championing the Cause of the Hearing Impaired
By Alli Watson
Having first-hand knowledge of the overwhelming challenges faced by the Deaf community, she formed CODA Connections. This is a registered non-profit organization that focuses its efforts on connecting Deaf individuals and families to critical resources to help them reach their full potential. CODA advocates for and helps the Deaf community in the Piedmont Triad areas.
CODA successfully mentors Children of Deaf Adults, provides aid with critical necessities and provides housing and financial assistance for the Deaf community. The organization also aids in connecting the Deaf with job opportunities and organizes events to foster healthy social interactions. “The ability to help the Deaf community lead easier and more successful lives is a mantle I am proud to carry. I will always strive to educate the hearing community on awareness and inclusiveness while arming the Deaf community with the necessary tools to prove they are capable,” states the founder, Tabitha.
The lives of the Deaf are already more challenging because disabled individuals are often marginalized within society. With the onset of the COVID-19 virus, the hardships faced by the Deaf community was only amplified. CODA Connections, however, was not deterred from its mission. They assisted several Deaf families with households ranging from three to nine members who were severely affected by the virus.
They continued by providing prenatal assistance and infant supplies to Deaf mothers, housing and utility support, interpreting services, distributed groceries, and essential products to low-income Deaf families, prevented Deaf families from experiencing homelessness and fully furnished Deaf homes.
Yet still, CODA Connections was not done. They went on to secure permanent jobs for Deaf persons, entered into community partnerships with external organizations, educated large corporations about Deaf employee inclusion, supported Deaf owned small businesses to compensate for revenue loss, provided laptops for virtual learning and gas cards, and car maintenance for families and individuals.
A unique aspect of CODA’s outreach was the distribution of clear masks. Over two hundred of these exceptional essential items were distributed within the Deaf community. For the Deaf community, being able to remain safe while still communicating by reading lips was a true lifesaver.
Most recently, CODA Connections hosted a successful Deaf Awareness Cookout and back to school drive that reached over 180 Deaf individuals and children. A day to celebrate “different abilities” and celebrate the Deaf community!
CODA Connections epitomizes the notion that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Whether it is teaching American Sign Language, hosting events for social good, or just being a safe space for Deaf families and children, CODA strives to ensure all Deaf individuals or Deaf families not merely just survive, but most importantly, that they thrive. Their dedication to elevating the Deaf community is a constant reminder that we do not have to be afflicted by something to understand and fight for it.
For more Information, please visit www.codaconnectionsinc.org.
You may also contact CODA Connections, Inc. by calling
Facebook: CODA Connections, Inc
To send donations by mail:
P.O. Box 1556, Greensboro, NC 27402
Or PayPal: www.paypal.me/codaconnectionsinc