Interpreting Consolidated: The View from IC Newsletter


Codas' Contributions
to the Interpreting Profession

January 2022 - Issue #15
What's in this issue                      View this email in your browser
1. Sign Language Brokering Experiences in the Deaf Community (ISL and English) Dr. Jemina Napier
2. From our catalogue: Codas Instrumental in Establishing the Interpreter Profession - Virginia Lee Hughes  Excerpt from Legacies and Legends: History of Interpreter Education from 1800 to the 21st Century by Dr. Carolyn Ball (ASL and English)
3. "Thursday Nights" Virginia Lee Hughes interview excerpt - video (English)
4. "Mother" Poem performed by coda Edward Maloney (ASL and English)
5. CODA International Conference 2023 (English)

6. The Cost of Invisibility: Codas and the Sign Language Interpreter Profession (ASL and English) Amy Williamson
7. CODA - the movie- (ASL and English)
8. Out There:  CODA International (ASL, French, English)
9. The IC Book Club: Memoirs by Coda Authors  - (English)
10. FUN FACTS with Mary Harman (ASL and English)

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Did you know the spelling of "CODA" in capital letters refers to the organization, Children of Deaf Adults International?

The spelling of "Coda" or "coda" refers to the person, a Child of Deaf Adult(s).

Sign Language Brokering Experiences in the Deaf Community

Post by Prof. Jemina Napier in Life in LINCS, December 20, 2013
Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, Heriot-Watt University
Dr. Napier summaries her article in International Sign Language. 

Posted by Jemina Napier on Youtube. 20 Dec, 2013. 
Below is a summary of the post.

Who are Codas/Kodas?
Hearing children whose parents are deaf are referred to as Codas (Children of Deaf Adults). Sometimes the term Kodas (Kids of Deaf Adults) is used to differentiate between adult and child Codas.

What is Language Brokering?
"Brokering" as opposed to "interpreting" refers to the practice of young bilingual children, whether using signed or spoken language, assisting their parents with communication. In the Deaf community, with the advent of professional interpreter services, many people assume that Codas no longer broker for their parents, but this is not the case in everyday experience. It is natural for young children to want to help their parents understand what is being communicated to them.

The Research
Historically most sign language interpreters were Codas, but this is no longer the case. Worldwide there is a great need for professional interpreters; demand far exceeds supply.

Prof. Napier's research in language brokering in Deaf families from 2014 onwards was vital to gain a clearer picture of the interpreter needs of the Deaf community, with some of this need possibly being "masked" by children brokering rather than using professional interpreters.

It was also important to find out how the Coda brokering experience could be developed into positive linguistic and social competence, and how Codas could best be mentored to become professional interpreters.

Based on the research conducted by Prof. Napier and her team at Heriot-Watt University, Prof. Napier has published a book, Sign Language Brokering in Deaf-Hearing Families (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). Click on the image for details.

To read the full post on the Life in LINCS blog, click here.

- From our catalogue -

Did you know that codas were instrumental
in establishing interpreters as a profession?

Virginia Lee Hughes, a child of Deaf parents, was born in Fulton, Missouri. In California, she was a pioneer in interpreting, coordinator of interpreters, and as an interpreter educator.

Professional in all she did.  Extraordinary woman, mentor, and friend to many.

Following is an excerpt from Legacies and Legends.

Virginia Lee Hughes

Growing up in a Deaf family, I was not aware that my environment was different. I was the youngest of four children, and mom and dad used their voices and signed to each other. My father taught at the School for the Deaf for many years. During World War II, mom became an instructor because instructors were hard to come by.

The town of Fulton, MO had a tremendous Deaf population, both adults and younger people, so it was a little more sensitive than the average locale. Deaf students wore school uniforms, and the population was aware of Deafness. The average clerk in the store was aware of Deafness, and maybe even used signs to a degree. The town itself did not do anything about instructing sign language interpreting for many years, even though it had the right population and the openness.

My awareness of Deafness as different did not occur until I worked in St. Louis in the telephone business. We had a friend there who was a Deaf Episcopal minister, and when the family would visit, we would stay at Reverend Steinman's home. Being Deaf himself, he did not use his voice. His wife was a beautiful signer, so I saw Deaf people outside my area, and I went to his church once or twice.

When my mother learned that I was going to Los Angeles to become an interpreter, she did not understand it. She felt the world of Deafness was not the same as the world of hearing: "Why would you ever cross the barrier? It is not your culture."

Excerpt from Legacies and Legends, p. 18 
For more about Legacies and Legends, or to order
Clip from a Personal Interview with Virginia Lee Hughes.

"Thursday Nights."  29 July, 2012.

Edward Maloney

Coda Edward Maloney performing the poem "Mother."

An excerpt from American Innocents: An Evening with the Dance and Literary Media & Communication Departments, performed at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.

Published by Edward Maloney. 7 March, 2015. 

CODA International Conference
2023 June 29 - July 2
Incheon, South Korea

CODA Korea will host the 2023 CODA International Conference in the summer of 2023. Colorful CODA will showcase the uniqueness and diversity of Codas from all over the world!

There is much to celebrate!

2023 is the 40th Anniversary of CODA International, and...

It’s the first time that a CODA International Conference is being hosted outside of the Americas, Europe, and Oceania, and...

World Association of Sign Language Interpreters
(4-9 July) and the World Federation of the Deaf (11-15 July) are also holding their conferences in South Korea in July 2023!

You must be a member to attend the conference. Join here!

Not a Coda? You can become a Supporting Member at no charge.

The Cost of Invisibility:

Codas and the

Sign Language Interpreting Profession

The Cost of Invisibility: Codas and the Sign Language Interpreting Profession.  Published by Street Leverage. 17 Aug, 2021. 

Amy Williamson shares her experience as a coda and sign language interpreter.
Read the article in English here at the Street Leverage website.


-the movie-

CODA - Official Trailer.  Published by Apple TV. 24 June, 2021. 

- Out There -
Connecting Codas Around the World is the Vision Statement of CODA International. Established in 1983, CODA International will celebrate its 40th Anniversary at the Colorful CODA Conference event in Incheon, South Korea from June 29 to July 2, 2023.

Their mission is to celebrate the unique heritage and multicultural identities of adult hearing individuals with deaf parent(s). They host conferences and retreats, offer scholarships, and develop publications and other resources to enrich the Coda experience.
What is CODA International? Find out here! 

Published by CODA International INC. 28 June, 2016. 
For more about CODA International, click here.
Membership information available here.

Not a Coda? You can become a Supporting Member at no charge.
The View from IC is interested in featuring Canadian and American businesses and organizations owned/created/operated by Deaf or hard of hearing persons. Recommendations? Let us know.

Or, if you are involved in one of these businesses or organizations and would appreciate some FREE promotion in Out There in a future issue, fill out our form here. Kat will be in touch!
 *** The IC Book Club ***
Memoirs by Coda Authors
Here are two memoirs recommended on the resources page  (links and images from

A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in A Family
From the time she was a toddler, Lou Ann Walker was the ears and voice for her deaf parents. Their family life was warm and loving, but outside the home, they faced a world that misunderstood and often rejected them.

From the cover:
"A deeply moving, often humorous, and beautiful account of what it means to be the hearing child of profoundly deaf parents . . . I have rarely read anything on the subject more powerful or poignant than this extraordinary personal account by Lou Ann Walker." -- Oliver Sacks


Signing in Puerto Rican: A Hearing Son and His Deaf Family
The only child of deaf Puerto Rican immigrants, Andrés Torres grew up in New York City in a large, extended family that included several deaf aunts and uncles. In
Signing in Puerto Rican: A Hearing Son and His Deaf Family, he opens a window into the little known culture of Deaf Latinos chasing the immigrant American dream. Like many codas, Torres loved his parents deeply but also longed to be free from being their interpreter to the hearing world. His family communicated in three languages; gatherings reverberated with “deaf talk,” in sign, Spanish, and English. Torres’s  life experiences were as varied as studying for the priesthood to being deeply involved in the Puerto Rican independence movement, but always at his core were his Deaf Puerto Rican family roots and the passion of arms, hands, and fingers filling the air with simultaneous translation and understanding.

Our February issue:

What do codas want non-codas to know?

Is there something from your experience that you would like to contribute?

Contact Marty or Kat.
Multi-colored dot circle on dark blue background. Inside the circle, in white uppercase letters it reads Fun Facts with Mary Harman.
What do Kevlar, fire escapes, and windshield wipers all have in common?  
Find out from Mary Harman! 

Follow Mary on Instagram @MaryHarman.

More fun facts next month!
View all past English Oddities signed by Angela Petrone Stratiy at The View From IC Blog. 

Interpreting Consolidated (IC) publishes resources for ASL and interpreting students, interpreters, educators and mentors in the US and Canada.
Questions? Have an idea for a resource you'd like to see? Just want to say hello? Get in touch with Kat Vickers, Marketing and Distribution Manager. Or just reply to this email! The address will look weird, but it will get to us.

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