Get Involved, Spread the Excitement. Do you know someone, a friend or family member with disabilities you would like to involve in scuba diving? Do you welcome the challenge of learning about disabilities, accessibility issues and how to dive with people who have disabilities? The HSA "Dive Buddy Program" offers Open Water Scuba Divers this opportunity to expand their underwater world by sharing it with divers with disabilities.

The course combines classroom instruction followed by confined water and open water exercises, designed to simulate disabilities. In "acting out" the disabilities, Dive Buddies actually experience what it is like to be a mobility or sight-impaired diver, and the special considerations needed when planning and diving with them. A sensitizing and often surprising revelation for even the most experienced diver!

During 8 hours of interactive lectures you will be:

• Introduced to several disability types and acquired specialized knowledge usually found only in medical environments

• Accessibility issues and travelling for people with disabilities

• Special considerations for diving with a disability

During 5 hours of Confined Water training you will simulate paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputee and blind divers, performing skills that are technically problematic for these disability types. (Don't worry, we do give breaks!!!) Through these training scenarios you will learn to dive and solve problems differently, developing new skills that are needed to safely Scuba dive with divers with disabilities.

During 4 hours of Open Water training you will be in a team of three, role playing as a Primary Dive Buddy with two buddies, one paraplegic and the other blind. You will rotate through all three roles. This training will provide you with specialized knowledge necessary for safely planning and diving with divers with disabilities.

As a Dive Buddy Candidate you will receive Dive Buddy Course materials that are a subset of the Instructor Training Course materials. What this means for you is, as an HSA certified Dive Buddy you will receive nearly as much information and skill training as an instructor, except the training focuses on recreation, not instruction!

Dive Buddy Course Prerequisites

Certified Open Water Scuba Diver with 20 or more Logged Scuba Dives

Dive Buddy Leadership Course

This course is for HSA Dive Buddies who have continued their underwater education and received Instructor, Assistant Instructor or Dive Master Certification by a recognized diver training agency such as PADI or NAUI. Dive Buddy Leadership training will include topics related to teaching and certifying HSA Divers. You will receive credit for the training you received in your HSA Dive Buddy Course.