10 Road Trip Destinations for kodas and their families

[Image Description: A thumb, outlined in black, signs “10” with accompanying text that reads: “KODAheart’s [10] Road Trip Destinations for KODAs and their families. In the background, an open highway trailing off into the distance with a cloud filled blue sky overhead.]


Summer break provides a great opportunity to pile the family into the car and hit the open road. As you organize your road trip, add these Deaf community destinations to your travel itinerary!

1.Summer is the time when many state and national Deaf organizations host their annual and biennial conferences and events. With educational workshops, performances, community outings, and other fun activities, these events are a great way to make the Deaf community your destination! Visit the National Association of the Deaf Conference in Phoenix, Arizona; the Deaf expo in Las Vegas, Nevada; The Black Deaf Advocates regional conferences in Washington, DC, Columbus, Ohio, Jacksonville, Florida, and Little Rock, Arkansas; the International Deaf Blind Expo; or the Deaf Geographies Conference at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

2. Gallaudet University has been referred to as a the Mecca of Deaf Culture. Plan a visit that includes a tour of Gallaudet campus! This summer the World Deaf Volleyball Championships take place 7/6-7/16! While you are on campus, be sure to check out prominent Coda influences too- make a stop at the Edward Miner Gallaudet statue, Peet Hall, Benson Hall and the EMG building, on your way to the Gallaudet Museum!

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.28.45 AM (1)


3. For many families, KODA camps are a common part of the summer roadtrip! The first and last day of these programs often include time for parents and kids to meet and mingle, as well as meals and performances with campers and staff. Contact other families to organize these trips- but be sure to check with the camp director for rules on arranging these visits.

4. Why not include a pitstop at a deaf owned business? In recent years a number of deaf-owned eateries have opened, including; Mozzeria, in San Francisco, California; Crepe Crazy, in Austin, Texas; and Signs, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.32.00 AM (1)

5. The first permanent school for the deaf, the American School (ASD), was founded in 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut. Add this landmark to your travel plans and be sure to stop in the museum for a look at the rare and historical items!

6. Take a trip to your state deaf schools! Deaf parents can include their entire family as they make visits to their Alma Mater. These trips provide a great chance to share stories about life as a student at a residential deaf school!

 [Image description: A grouping of several photos, three on the left and two on the right. The bottom left shows a blue street sign attached to a large brick wall that reads "Rue De L'Abbe De L'Epee". The center left, has four smiling people standing in front of an ornate metal gate. On the right, a white woman shows the "I-Love-You" sign, and in the background a large building with many windows. The top left a clear plastic sign is attached to a wall. In black print on the right are handshapes, on the right text reads "C.P.S.A.S Centre de Promotion Sociale des Adultes Sourds, C.I.S. Centre d'Information sur la Surdite". The top right, a statue, made of dark stone, stands atop a white base. In the background a building with many windows. The bottom right, in the background a clear plastic sign attached to a building, in black print, with handshapes reads "Institut National de Jeunes Sourds". In the foreground a hand is holding an oval KODAheart sticker with the organization’s logo and website in white text with a black background.]

7. As we’ve noted in the past one of the benefits of being a koda is that the Deaf community is everywhere! Use your summer break to visit out of state friends and family, exposing yourself to new communities and sign language variation!

8. Travel to visit another Deaf community and plan a trip to the St. Louis Deaf Festival! This event will include events and activities that will be fun for parents and kids!

9. Break out those sleeping bags and tents and take part in the National Campvention of the Deaf! Organized every four years by the National Campers of the Deaf, the Campvention is a great chance to meet other deaf and hearing families and engage in some outdoor recreation!

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.05.40 AM

10. Follow the KODAheart team! This summer the KODAheart team will be driving making our way through six states, hosting family events, visiting major conferences and deaf centers in the American four-corners! Come see us as we make our way through your communities and take part in our epic adventure!!