CDHS statement on ‘CODA’ winning three Academy Awards

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DENVER (March 28, 2022) — Michelle Barnes, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), and Cliff Moers, director of the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind (CCDHHDB), released the following statement on the film “CODA,” which brought home Academy Awards for best picture, best supporting actor, and best adapted screenplay on Sunday.

“Beyond its cinematic accomplishments, the awards and recognition for ‘CODA’ are a significant accomplishment for the deaf communities and for people with disabilities,” said Barnes. “When a film not only showcases deaf people but includes them in the production process, it raises awareness and provides education to audiences worldwide. Our department supports communities of all abilities, and offers an array of services for people with disabilities.”

“Congratulations to ‘CODA’! As films continue to be more inclusive and diverse, we see the benefits from increased awareness of these communities to more opportunities," said Moers. "CCDHHDB is dedicated to cultural and linguistic equality so that all Coloradans have access to entertainment, work and interests anytime they want or need. Our community is diverse, eclectic and an honor to represent.”

The 2022 Academy Awards were historic for more than just the nominations and awards for "CODA"; it was also the first time they had an American Sign Language livestream (a separate stream featuring interpreters that accompanies a live event), and they featured the first deaf-centric film to win an award for best picture.

The CCDHHDB was established on July 1, 2000, as a Type II state agency to address the needs and concerns of Colorado’s deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind populations by Senate Bill 00-194. 

The commission offers a variety of programs such as auxiliary services, outreach and consultative services, system advocacy, communications technology, grants, and services for the deafblind. More information on the commission and its programs is available at

Media contact:
Madlynn Ruble, Deputy Director of Communications