The Orthodox Christian Deaf Association (OCDA) was formed with the blessing of Archbishop Alexander ((Golitzin) of the Diocese of the South (OCA) in April 2020. It is under the 501(c)(3) umbrella of Holy Nativity of the Lord Orthodox Church (OCA) in Shreveport, LA. The purpose of this pan-Orthodox organization is to connect Orthodox deaf Christians of all jurisdictions together in order to foster fellowship, create useful resources, both educational and liturgical, plan special events, and to introduce the greater deaf community to the Orthodox faith. For this to happen, we also need hearing Orthodox Christians who are versed in ASL to join and assist us in developing the OCDA.
Why form the OCDA? Estimates from the SIPP (The Survey of Income and Program Participation) indicate that 1 in 20 Americans are currently deaf or hard of hearing. In round numbers, nearly 10,000,000 persons are hard of hearing and close to 1,000,000 are functionally deaf. How many of these are Orthodox Christians? We do not know. Currently, there is no organization in North America that focuses on uniting and serving the Orthodox deaf community. Moreover, how is the Orthodox Church in North America reaching out to the deaf and hard of hearing with the Gospel? The OCDA was formed to assist the Church in uniting, serving, and reaching out to the Orthodox deaf and others in the Name of Christ.
How can you help? If you know anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing that is either Orthodox, interested in Orthodoxy, inquiring about Christianity, or other hearing Orthodox individuals that know ASL, please encourage them to join the OCDA today or contact us for more information. Eventually, we hope to connect with Orthodox deaf around the world!
What are our plans? Once we identify and connect Orthodox deaf Christians and those that sign with each other through the OCDA, we will continue to develop resources based on the needs of the community and the local churches who serve or seek to serve the Orthodox deaf. Also, our hope is to work with each jurisdiction to plan events in conjunction with their annual regional and national gatherings.
What does it cost to be a member? There is no cost to join the OCDA. Membership is free!
Who can join the OCDA? Membership in the OCDA is open to Orthodox deaf, hearing Orthodox who are certified in or have a working knowledge of ASL or anyone who desires to learn more about the deaf community and help develop the association.
How can I support the OCDA? First and foremost, please keep the OCDA and our Orthodox deaf in your prayers. In the near future, there will be items for sale (T-shirts, decals, stickers, etc.) to help cover the various cost of the association. If you desire to make a financial contribution, please contact our Administrator, Priest Jason Foster, at email@example.com or 318-455-4219 to discuss the best way to process your donation.
How can you learn more? Please feel free to contact our Executive Director, Savannah Foster, with any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to visit the OCDA website. May God continue to bless you and yours in the days ahead!