“You brought the deaf world and the hearing world together,” he said. “You are our bridge, and your name will forever be on that bridge.”

Stressing the importance of communication, Kotsur went on to explain how his father had been “the best signer in our family” before a car accident rendered him paralyzed from the waist down and he was no longer able to sign. He said, “Dad! I learned so many things from you.” You will be my hero forever. Your hero is me.

Kotsur added, “I just wanted to say that this is dedicated to the deaf community, the C.O.D.A. community and the disabled community. “This is our time.”

Starring also Daniel Durant, Emilia Jones and Amy ForsythCODA follows a young girl who wants to pursue her love of singing at the Berklee College of Music but is afraid of leaving her deaf parentsAnd brother alone to tend to their fishing business.