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Board Members

DEAFinitely, Inc. is governed by a growing Board of Directors, all of whom reflect its mission and community served. The DEAFinitely Board represents a multi-lingual and racial group of African-American, Asian-American and Caucasian individuals between the ages of 22 and 62 years of age. It includes members who are Deaf, hard of hearing, hearing individuals fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) and part of the Deaf community, a nationally certified sign language interpreter, artists in visual and performing arts, disability advocates and individuals with disabilities, community-organizers, entrepreneurs and professionals,

all residing in the Greater Boston Area. 

Laura Gleneck


Cecilia Y. James

Board Member

Jason Robinson

Board Member

Melinni Taylor

Board Member

Marisa Howard-Karp

Board Member

Jamie Robinson

Founder and Artistic Director

Advisory Council

In addition to a Board of Directors that focus on governance and fiduciary oversight, DEAFinitely also has a diverse Advisory Council that offers advice and recommendations on programming and overall impact of the organization.  The Advisory Council's thought leadership has a powerful impact on all aspects of DEAFinitely programs. Members help shape outreach strategy and bring critical expertise and experience in a range of areas that relate to the organization's mission. 


Jody Steiner

Jody Steiner is DEAFinitely’s Advisory Council Chair. She brings a 30+ career of working within the Deaf community as a teacher of the Deaf with Newton Public Schools and a nationally certified  sign language interpreter. Jody is also a former Director of a nationally-award winning theater company for Deaf youth in Boston at Wheelock Family Theater and an access advocate for people with disabilities in the cultural arts.

Melissa Brown is the Program Director for the Elementary School Program at The Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  Horace Mann is the first public school to have district and state approval as a Dual Language program, qualifying students for the Seal of Biliteracy. Horace Mann School empowers students as Deaf individuals to be lifelong learners and innovative thinkers with diverse linguistic, ethnic, and cultural identities who are fluent in both American Sign Language and English. Melissa has been a part of the Horace Mann school and Deaf community for 25 years and has dedicated her life's work to empowering Deaf youth in education. She is an integral part of DEAFinitely programming and family coordination for Deaf youth.

Melissa Brown

Jessica Doonan is the Assistant Director of Accessibility at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). Under the direction of the Senior Director of Community Engagement, Jessica is responsible for ensuring accessibility across all areas of the museum to create a sense of belonging and connection for visitors with disabilities. Prior to working at the MFA, Jessica served as the Chief of Staff for the City of Boston Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Jessica holds a Bachelors in Theater and American Sign Language from Northeastern University and a Masters in Global Inclusion and Social Development with a concentration on International Disability Policy from University of Massachusetts, Boston. In her free time Jessica serves in a volunteer capacity as the Co-Director of Integrity at Arts Connect International, a non-profit building equity in and through the arts.

Jessica Doonan

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