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Academics for Black Survival and Wellness

Academics for Black Survival and Wellness aims to make all of our content accessible. Below, meet the amazing ASL interpreters who helped make this initiative a success.

Kaylee Teixeira (She/her)

American Sign Language Interpreter

Kaylee Teixeira (Te-sher-ra) is a native of Massachusetts. She moved to Washington D.C. in January 2019 upon graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a dual BA degree in ASL-English Interpreting and International Global Studies. She is the recent recipient of the apprentice of the year award from the National Alliance of Black Interpreters- DC Chapter where she was elected to serve on the board of directors. As an early career interpreter, she has a passion for supporting and uplifting both the Black Deaf and Black interpreting community. 

(Candidate for certification) Interpreter

Elijah Ayers is a native of California. He moved to Washington DC shortly after completing his AAS to complete his BA in interpreting. Elijah Is relatively new to the field of interpreting, but much is to be anticipated of this up and coming interpreter. With personal experience as a foster child, a veteran of multiple tours, and various struggles as a person of color, Elijah hopes to use his experiences to enhance the skills needed to be an effective interpreter. Elijah is currently in the hunt for his nationally recognized certification and continuing his education in the forseeable future.

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Vladimir Janvier

About: Team
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Rodney LeBon, NIC

Nationally Certified ASL/English Interpreter

Rodney LeBon is a Haitian-American ASL/English Interpreter currently based in Washington, DC but travels frequently across the US for work and more recently onto your computer screens due to COVID-19. Rodney has a passion communication access for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing communities specifically in spaces related to social justice, cultural representation, and music/performing arts. He is actively involved in boards related to the ASL interpreting field promoting the increase of BIPOC ASL interpreters all over the country. 

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Carllee James (She/her)

ASL/English Interpreter

Carllee is an American Sign Language/English Interpreter, born and raised in New York City.

Elijah Ayers

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Chiquita Lewis, M.A. (She/her)

Sign Language Interpreter 

Chiquia Lewis is a sign language Interpreter in the South Florida area. She has provided services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals for more than 15 years in various settings such as K12 and collegiate education, medical, legal, corporate, community, and video relay. With a background in education and a masters degree in Communications, Chiquia feels that her experience in the classrooms coupled with her passion for connecting people has been the perfect combination to share knowledge and love through service. Her motto is #BeIntentional.

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Elaine Lenon, MA, NAD, NIC (She/her)

Nationally Certified ASL/ English Interpreter

Elaine Lenon, MA, NAD, NIC is a leading advocate for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community and has dedicated over 20 years of service to the South Florida community.
A public servant by nature, her passion for the Deaf community was cultivated during her time as a Denver resident. Diving into the fabric of the Deaf community, she witnessed the acts of discrimination and maltreatment imposed upon the Deaf.

Passionate on decreasing the multiple barriers and lack of resources for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, she founded the Community Outreach for the Deaf, Inc., a not for profit organization.

She successfully achieved certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, earning two National Certifications that include the National Association for the Deaf (NAD), and the National Interpreter Certification for the Deaf (NIC). She is also a member of the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID). She is also certified with the Registry of Professional Evaluators (RPVE).


Jenese Portee

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