I'm happy that people are considering and discussing my
I came up with it because so much wanted a simple way for people
to understand the relationships between hearing and Deaf in the
I originally only used three "characters in the analogy: fish,
frogs, and landwalkers."
At first I lumped codas and sodas in with the frogs. But then
later realized that there needed to be more distinctions due to
the differences in levels of commitment to the water (visual
environment/ASL). Frogs are physically different from either
landwalkers or fish. They are not as skilled at breathing air
as landwalkers and they are not as fast at swimming as the
fish. Thus I decided that only hard of hearing people are
Hearing people who know ASL are still landwalkers but they now
have a tool with which to function in a water environment. Some
landwalkers simply take a deep breath and dive in for a few
minutes. They thrash around, scare the fish, and then climb out
after a few minutes and tell their friends what a great time it
Others buy a snorkle (take lots of classes, attend deaf
Others grow up around water, (codas/sodas) buy boats, snorkels,
scuba gear, could stay down a very long time and understand how
to get along with the fish without scaring them.
Interpreters could fit into either category, snorkeler or scuba
diver, depending on whether they grew up around the fish and or
how much they currently immerse themselves in the water.
Fish and some species of frogs must be in the water or they will
They have no choice. They can't climb out of the water at the
end of the day, dry off and go home. The water is their home.
I've added yet another "creature" to the pond: Dolphins
(and porpoises). It seems to me that some Codas are
Dolphins are born in the water and swim like a fish. Their
mannerisms are like those of fish, but technically dolphins
are not fish -- they are mammals, they breathe air.
That is like some Codas. They are born into the Deaf
community and ASL is their first language. Their mannerisms
are similar to those of Deaf people, but Codas can hear.