Hannah writes: "I have to ask: are SODAS spouses of Deaf adults or
siblings of Deaf adults? I'm going to volunteer with an organization
in Nashville, and I saw the SODA acronym on it. So I'm curious."
"For many years in the Deaf Community the term "SODA" has typically
been used to mean "sibling of Deaf." For example, on this page:
http://nad.org/louisville/2012-silent-auction Pam Mingua advertises
as having a "SODA-owned" business and that her sister "Pat Lush" is
On this page:
there is a post from someone wishing there were more Deaf/CODA/SODA
troops. The context makes it obvious that they are hoping for
more scout troops comprised of the siblings of Deaf youth
(not of "spouses").
Even though the "A" in "SODA" is a carry over from the "A" in CODA
(Child of Deaf Adult), it doesn't mean that a SODA is an adult --
nor does it mean that the sibling is actually an adult. In typical
usage a SODA can be either a child or an adult who has a Deaf
brother or sister of any age.
I'm not saying that you won't see SODA used to mean "spouse of Deaf
adult," I'm just saying that for many years the term generally and
prevailingly referred to "siblings."
It seems over time the term SODA has started to take on the meaning
of "Sibling or Spouse of a Deaf person."
If needed, a more specific acronym for "spouse of Deaf adult" is "SpODA"
(or SPODA) but that term is not as "common" and requires expansion
upon first usage in a conversation or an article. I would only
use it if the discussion involved both "siblings" and "spouses" and
it were important to distinguish between the two in that particular
discussion or article.