Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Getting amped up for deaf education


Founders of CampedUP, (l-r) Dana Selznick, Brittany Prell and Arielle Ditkowich.

Dana Selznick has been listening to the needs of deaf and hearing impaired children since she was just a kid herself at Lake Mary High School (LMHS class of '05). Selznick befriended a deaf teen during her freshman year, and advocating on her behalf became second nature throughout her high school years. Selznick studied sign language at LMHS, and decided to pursue a career in deaf education. She received an undergraduate degree in deaf and hard of hearing education from the University of North Florida, then moved to New York City and attended Columbia University where she received her M.A. and M.E d in deaf and hard of hearing education and elementary education. She currently works on the Upper West Side of Manhattan as a hearing education service provider.

Last summer Selznick "amped up" her involvement as a deaf and hard of hearing educator. She fulfilled a lifelong dream, and combined her love of summer camp with the joys of teaching. Selznick joined with two friends and fellow hearing service professionals, Brittany Prell and Arielle Ditkowich, to co-found CampedUP, a summer camp for children with hearing aids and cochlear implants. "While campers enjoyed all of the typical highlights of summer camp, they were also able to socialize with other hearing aid and cochlear implant users," she stated. "Additionally, they continued to expand their spoken language and gain self-advocacy skills. We had four action packed weeks this summer that were filled with new experiences and memories which we know campers will hold with them throughout the entire school year."

Selznick credits her parents, Karen and Steve Selznick of Longwood, for teaching her from an early age to give back to the community. She noted, "My parents were great role models for volunteerism. They were always volunteering or helping out in the community. I tagged along while my mom delivered food to the needy with JFS and befriend lonely seniors with the Jewish Pavilion. Throughout the years I have been happy to support their causes, including the Pavilion Walk, from my home in New York City." She added, "My dad taught me how to run a business while maintaining a sense of empathy and compassion." Selznick learned the value of tikun olam (repairing the world) as a student at the Hebrew Day School (now the Jewish Academy of Orlando) in Maitland, and honed her leadership skills from youth and teen groups, Kadima and USY.

Selznick's next challenge is preparing for the Walk4Hearing, which raises funds for the Walk4 Hearing Foundation, with a portion going to scholarships at CampedUP.

"Last year, through generous donations, CampedUP raised $25,000 for the Walk4Hearing Foundation, allowing CampedUP to give $10,000 in scholarships to children throughout NYC. These campers became a part of our CampedUP family, reminding all of us that every child should have the opportunity to experience the excitement of a summer camp," she said.

For more information, visit CampedUp.com or CampedUp on Facebook. To make a donation to the Walk4Hearing, type the following link http://hlaa.convio.net/site/Page Server?pagename=walk_home_page, then click DONATE at the top, followed by "Find a Walker" and search Dana Selznick. Dana Selznick will appear as a participant. Click the name and follow the steps to donate.


Reader Comments

Janiceslintz writes:

Read my latest article, “Why Medicare Should Cover Hearing Aids.” http://lnkd.in/d8tpTnV Please sign our petition to have hearing aids covered under Medicare. http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/to-pass-hr-3150.fb73?source=c.fb&r_by=6379786 Janice Schacter Lintz Chair, Hearing Access Program


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