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OUR STAFF

Dana Johnson PhD., MS., OTR/L

Dana Johnson is the owner of Interplay Therapy Center and Founder of Invictus Academy Tampa Bay, a non-profit private school for students with sensory motor differences. Dana has a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and a PhD in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Development. Dana has worked with individuals with motor and sensory differences for almost 15 years. She started her career as an occupational therapist supporting children in the public school system. From there she moved to the clinical environment in Raleigh, NC working in a private pediatric clinic supporting children with varying diagnoses. In 2009, Dana moved to Tampa, FL where she gained experience working with children on the autism spectrum. Her private clinic opened in 2010 and has grown to serve children, adolescents and young adults with motor and sensory differences, including autism, apraxia, sensory integration disorders, and other developmental disabilities.

In 2015, Dana was introduced to Spelling to Communicate (S2C), a form of Assistive Technology for individuals with sensory motor differences and it has completely changed her practice! She presumes that every client wants to learn and has the capacity to learn. By presuming competence, supporting purposeful motor skills, and providing a reliable way to communicate, Dana has shifted the perspective of the neurodiverse population to one of acceptance and change.

Dana is now an ACTS (Accessing Community Through Spelling) Practitioner and Trainer for S2C. She works with many families locally, nationally and internationally to educate and provide training on sensory motor differences and purposeful motor skills. Dana is also on the Executive Leadership Cadre for the International Association for Spelling as Communication (I-ASC) a non-profit organization that supports training, education, advocacy, and research for non-speaking and unreliably speaking individuals.

Dana’s passion is to continue to advocate for non-speaking individuals so that they will have access to reliable communication, autonomy and community accessibility.

Melanie Conway, OTD, OTR/L

Melanie is an Occupational Therapist and Interplay Therapy Center and Staff Support Specialist at Invictus Academy Tampa Bay. She has a Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy and a Minor in Psychology. She specializes in supporting purposeful movement with the client and students that she works with. Through integrating everyday functional movements, she creates a stronger sense of brain and body awareness. Melanie also works out at a CrossFit gym with the non-speaking community to help improve overall motor planning and coordination. She believes that all individuals she works with can and want to learn and should therefore be given the opportunity to participate in any athletic or motor activity they choose. She is working towards becoming an S2C (Spelling to Communicate ) Practitioner to hone and enhance her skills as a Communication and Regulation Partner. She is very passionate about what she does and is thrilled to be a part of such an incredible community!