Scuba Diving Lessons for Beginners with Disabilities—Yes, It’s Possible!

Scuba Diving Lessons for Beginners with Disabilities—Yes, It’s Possible!


As scuba diving require prime fitness and demanding physical exercises plus heavy equipments, it’s easy to think that scuba diving is an off-limit sport for people with disabilities. Nevertheless, not many people know the truth behind the misconception. Scuba diving is actually doable for almost everyone. With carefully tailored and adaptive training, the disabled can learn scuba diving lessons for beginners and see a glimpse of life under the water. 

How Disabled Divers Learn Scuba Diving Lessons for Beginners

Scuba Diving Lessons for Disabled Beginners: Tailoring the Training

Disability is so diverse. Due to its nature, there are no fixed scuba diving lessons for beginners with disability. Students with sensory disabilities (hearing, verbal, or other non-physical disability) might be able to take full standard scuba diving certification. On another hand, students with various degree of physical disabilities from limb loss to paraplegic probably cannot take the full certification, but they can still learn to dive with individually specialized training. Disabled divers who cannot take full certification can opt for discover program that’s been tailored to their needs. 

Surprising Fact: Scuba Diving is Actually Good for Disability

Surprising Fact: Scuba Diving is Actually Good for Disability

Diving and disability might feel counterintuitive: it seems like they cannot exist in the same sentence. The truth is, water therapy has long been known to be beneficial for disabilities, and scuba diving is part of the spectrum. Being underwater give a sense of weightlessness—a person that have mobility constraint on the land will have the freedom to move independently and easily underwater, just like abled person do. The exercises help improving tone muscles, strength, and overall fitness of the disabled diver. Even people with limited mobility or complete paralysis can swim easily with assistance. Being underwater also open opportunities for partially paralyzed divers to feel more sensations in their paralyzed areas. 

Often times, disability also comes with prolonged anxiety, stress, and even depression. Diving has certain calming effect for this—which even works for PTSD patients. The sense of gliding down to the underwater, feeling the ultimate peace and serenity of the ocean work like wonder. Coupled with the lively colour of coral reefs and teeming marine life, diving could be be a brilliant therapy for people with disabilities.

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Scuba Diving Lessons for Disabled Beginners: Tailoring the Training

How Disabled Divers Learn Scuba Diving Lessons for Beginners

Today, many scuba diving certification such as HSA, IAHD and PADI offered training course for divers and instructors who wish to be an adaptive partner/ buddy for someone with disability. The learning process revolves on experiencing scuba diving from the perspective scuba diver. Adaptive instructor in training will learn how to adjust buoyancy with one leg or no leg at all. They’ll learn how to assemble dive gears, clearing snorkel mask or recovering regulator with just one hand so they can give better demonstration for amputee students. From here, the instructor can teach scuba diving lessons for disabled beginners according to the needs and the disability of each student.

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