Many people (disabled and non-disabled) don’t realize that scuba diving with disabilities is very possible and can provide an amazing sense of satisfaction, achievement and enjoyment for disabled divers.
Not only does it allow them to experience the amazing undersea creatures, colors, and silent world for themselves, but it also gives them a sense of freedom that they can’t enjoy on the surface.
Some say the weightlessness created by the water acts as an equalizer, allowing divers with disabilities the ability to share in the same activities as non-disabled divers, while freeing them of barriers such as wheelchairs or crutches, and curbs and inaccessible stairways.
Everyone knows the benefits of exercising in water, and the benefits of relaxing and being weightless, since it helps build muscle strength as well as aerobic conditioning without the pain and discomfort caused by gravity and pounding on hard surfaces.
And what a sense of satisfaction when divers with disabilities can boast about being a certified scuba diver and being able to dive in locations throughout the world.
Just like for non-disabled divers, once you are certified in British Columbia water conditions, you are ready to dive anywhere!
But diving in British Columbia with disabilities is not without challenges.
Not every British Columbia dive site is easily accessible, not every British Columbia dive charter boat is disabled-diver friendly, and not every dive instructor is trained to handle the unique challenges of training or guiding divers with disabilities.
In the Vancouver area of British Columbia, there are several dive charter operators that have been properly trained and certified by the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) to provide services for diving with disabilities, including Marc Palay from New World Diving.
Marc has been an HSA instructor for over 15 years, and is also the instructor for the Pacific Northwest Scuba Challenge Association which is a local club that brings able bodied and physically challenged people together with a common goal of being able to share the underwater experience in a fun and social atmosphere.
New World Diving provides dive lessons and certifications, as well as dive boat charters for disabled and non-disabled divers in the Howe Sound and Indian Arm areas.
Contact us for your Diving with Disabilities information request or complete the online form below for more information about diving with disabilities in British Columbia.
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