Tanea was born and raised in Wilson, North Carolina before moving to Maryland. Tanea recently graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with A.A.S. in Administrative Support Technology. She holds a Cum Laude within the field. While at RIT, she served several roles such as working as a Resident Advisor (RA) for two years, overseeing Ebony Club as its vice president, and being a member of some organizations. In addition, she worked in many different departments such as Dining Services, NTID Pre-College Outreach department, NTID Professional Development department, Hale-Andrew Student Life Center, and Student Life Team. Under the Department of Access Services at RIT/NTID, Tanea was an ASL consultant. As a consultant, she found her spark regarding conversations on interpreters. It was when she realized her passion in promoting an increased number of POC interpreters nation-wide. Tanea strives to create a support system between POC interpreters and the Deaf community. In her spare time, Tanea enjoys spending time with her friends doing yoga, meditation, and different kind of workouts. Currently, she resides in Rochester, N.Y.
Jeffrey Spinale, Jr.
Jeffrey is a proud native of Indiana. He graduated from Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) in 2014 with honors. During his high school years, as a staunch advocate for deaf LGBTQ rights, he founded the Gay-Straight Alliance organization, recognizing the need of establishing a safe place for deaf queer students. At that point and on, he immersed himself in LGBTQ studies. During his journey of self-discovery, he felt that there are insufficient resources for deaf LGBTQ individuals and it is an issue that the deaf queer community needs to come together and work on creating solutions. After graduating from ISD, he enrolled at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and majored in Criminal Justice, then switched to International Business in hopes of becoming a civil rights lawyer. During his two years as a RIT student, he was actively involved in the community as the President of Suits organization (a business organization that serves students who want to establish a start-up) and the President of Spectrum (a LGBTQ club). Jeffrey also was the chairperson of ColorFEST – a LGBTQ collegiate conference for the deaf – conference. While he served in a wide variety of groups in the deaf community, he faced struggles and discrimination as a deaf gay male individual. One day, he was introduced to NAD YAP (Youth Ambassador Program). He saw that as an opportunity to collaborate with the NAD and, finally, to be able to provide resources for deaf LGBTQ by establishing a national queer resource center for the deaf. For the next two years, Jeffrey plans on collecting data and creating dialogue with the deaf queer community. With that information collected, he plans on working with the NAD and establish an online national queer resource center for the deaf. While he devotes his time on that project, he will travel across the nation and present at various conferences, workshops, deaf schools, associations of the deaf, and such.