SCUBA DIVING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Training programs for people with disabilities have a high margin of safety and patience. We use teaching techniques developed from more than 30 years of continuous research and feedback. Disabled students are trained and certified according to HSA Physical Performance Requirements and Multilevel Certification system.
Physical Performance Requirements
Physical Performance Requirements are the required skills that must be performed for certification. This is the way Diver Training Agencies such as PADI & NAUI ensure consistent training that produce safe comfortable divers. The HSA is a Diver Training Agency and our Performance Requirements are specific for divers with disabilities.
They are not easier requirements, they are in fact among the top Performance Requirements in the Diving Industry and include 'additional' requirements to ensure HSA divers are completely trained and ready to safely join the diving world as fully qualified Scuba divers.
Based on the student's ability to successfully challenge the HSA Physical Performance Requirements, the HSA developed the Multilevel Certification. This is a performance-based method of assessing and accommodating the disabled diver's specialized needs.
It is important to note that only the Buddy System is affected by this certification procedure. All other sport diving requirements and activities are the same for any diver.
The Multilevel certification system is for the protection and safety of ALL members of the dive team. That is, the third dive Buddy in the dive team is NOT for the B or C Level diver, they are there for the other A Level or above dive buddy.
The student has successfully challenged those HSA Physical Performance Requirements that demonstrate their ability to safely SCUBA dive, and to solve basic emergencies. However, they are unable to successfully challenge those Performance Requirements that demonstrate their ability to help another diver in distress.
Therefore, the LEVEL B diver is certified to SCUBA dive with two dive buddies who are certified Open Water Level A or above. In the case of an emergency, this system will provide an effective dive buddy for all members of the dive team.
The student has successfully challenged those HSA Physical Performance Requirements that demonstrate their ability to safely SCUBA dive. However, they are unable to successfully challenge those Performance Requirements that demonstrate their ability to independently solve basic personal emergencies, or to execute basic scuba skills, such as swimming underwater, and operating their Buoyancy Control Device to descend.
The skills that must be performed for them, such as operating their BCD to descend, require the Assisting Buddy to have professional skills. They are certified to dive with two dive buddies, one certified Level A or above, and an HSA Dive Buddy or, at a minimum, certified Rescue Diver.
This certification is for those students who are immature, intellectually or emotionally impaired, such as Brain Injuries and Cerebral Palsy, or for some reason are unable to demonstrate understanding of ‘required academic materials’ currently used in industry accepted academic programs. The student has successfully challenged those HSA Physical Performance Standards that demonstrate their ability to safely scuba dive. Due to their disability they require the Assisting Buddy to have specialized skills.
Therefore, they are certified to dive with TWO DIVE BUDDIES, one certified Level A or above, and an Assisting Buddy, certified at the minimum as an HSA DIVE BUDDY or RESCUE DIVER, is an Adult of the parents’ or legal guardians’ choice, who knows them well and can predict their reaction.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to breath underwater? The HSA Introduction to Scuba Course is a great way to find out before you take the full certification course. Participation in this activity does not put any obligation on you and it is a very good way to determine if you love scuba as much as we do! The course consists of basic academics in a classroom setting and then off to the pool for basic skill development and underwater fun!!.
If you have wondered what lies beneath the surface, now is the time to find out!! In the HSA Open Water Scuba Diver course, your HSA Instructor takes you through the basics of learning how to scuba dive. You start in a pool and progress to open water in the sea, lake or quarry (or all three!!).Our open water training programs for people with disabilities are taught with a high margin of safety because we use teaching techniques developed with over 30 years of continuous research and feedback. You are trained and certified according to HSA Physical Performance Requirements and a multilevel Certification system so exacting and sensitive it enables us to train and certify people with a wide range of disabilities, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, visually impaired, PTSD, and those with high-functioning intellectual disabilities. We base our multilevel certification on the ability of the diver to assist another diver using basic rescue skills, or the type of assistance they may need.
The HSA Open Water Course consists of three main components:
- Knowledge Development to understand the basic principles of scuba diving
- Confined Water Lessons, usually in a pool, to learn basic scuba skills
- Open Water Dives to review your skills and explore!!
The HSA Open Water Course consists of three main components:
- Minimum age 15 years old.
- You do not need to swim, but comfort in the water helps.
- Physical Examination for scuba diving. This examination is for medical conditions contrary to safe diving, such as heart disease, lung damage and seizure disorders. Having a physical disability does NOT disqualify you from Scuba diving!
- If you are between the ages of 10 and 14 years old you can earn a Junior Open Water Scuba Diver certification
- Junior Open Water Scuba Diver certification qualifies you to scuba dive with your parents' consent until you are 15 years old
Also unique to our training system is Marine Life Identification. Our Open Water Scuba Course requires that you find, describe, and identify one marine life form on each of your five certifying open water scuba dives!! Not only will you learn to scuba dive, you will also begin to understand the marine environment that surrounds you.
Explore, Adventure & Excitement. Continue your journey with the HSA Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver Course. This course builds on what you have learned and develops your skills as you are introduced to new activities and new ways to have fun and explore the underwater world. During this course you will hone your skills by planning and completing five scuba dives, typical of recreational diving, under the direct supervision of your HSA Instructor. While completing these dives you will identify 9 Marine Life forms, adding to your awareness and appreciation of our marine environment.
- Deep Diving
- Night Diving
- Wall, Drift or Mid-Water Diving
- Navigation Diving using a compass and topographic methods
- Marine Life Identification Diving
Are you as excited about exploring the underwater world as we are? Then, the HSA Skin Diving & Snorkeler Certification is for you! This entry level course is designed for you to explore the underwater world without SCUBA. Don't miss a moment of the underwater action! After a day of Scuba diving it is a great way to spend time with friends and family. If you don't Scuba dive don't worry, this activity is filled with fun, challenges and surprises! Go Skin Diving and Snorkeling with sea turtles, manta rays, pilot whales and dolphins (dolphins don't like scuba!).
This course is designed to accommodate a wide variety of disabilities while maintaining the HSA's high level of safe diving practices. Like the HSA Multilevel Certification for Scuba, the Skin Diving/Snorkeler course offers three levels of certification so everybody can have fun in the Sea!