When the first Scubility program materials were being developed in early 2005 with Rob Read, it was my hope that the program would take off and introduce scuba diving to a group of people who could benefit from zero gravity like no others. Since then the program has seen some success and there have certainly been people who have benefited from this new world without the weight of the world on their shoulders. Also in 2005, the world was a different place and the program’s short term and long term goals were different and as such the materials were developed to fulfill the current and anticipated needs at the time. Today, we have thousands of veterans around the world coming out of active duty every day and trying to figure out how to integrate back into life. Some of them have physical disabilities, while others you can’t see what they are trying to adapt to. Over the past ten years medicine has advanced and helped us understand various conditions, how they may be effected under pressure, and more importantly, how they can been healed by being underwater.
Divers from around the world
Three days before DEMA 2015 was to start, a group of passionate scuba diving professionals got together in Stuart, Florida to share ideas and learn from each other ways to assist divers who do not fit into the “normal” box. This was not your average group of scuba diving professionals. First, it represented six countries: Argentina, Columbia, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. We also had health care professionals, experienced Scubility Instructors and Instructor Trainers, and at least five veterans. The main goal of the program was not show how divers could adapt to scuba – but how the instructors could adapt scuba to the divers.
After a brief introduction and overview of the program, Scubility IT Bob Collins took over and was assisted by an extremely experienced staff. The group spent a few hours in the classroom getting an overview of all the various things they could expect to see from divers and how to adjust their techniques, equipment, and teaching environment to meet the diver’s needs and abilities. Then it was time for the pool and learning what it feels like to do skills while being sight impaired, hearing impaired, paraplegic, and quadriplegic. The following day, after a briefing and pairing up, it was time for team work and more scenario-based training in the water. The teams did great, learned a lot, and now have a much better appreciation for the needs of those divers that don’t, or can’t, do things like other people.
If you are considering getting involved with Scubility training, stop considering it and do it. You will not be disappointed. I only have one piece of advice – have an open mind. Teaching or assisting divers with disabilities requires an alternative view and approach but in the end is extremely rewarding. Take a look at the course SDI Scubility Diver Program page and see which one is of interest to you, then locate an instructor and let the adventure begin. There are some very passionate divers out there waiting to learn from you or dive with you. I think you will find that you will learn more from them than they will from you.
A great big thank you to all who attended and staffed our Scubility program. It is so great to see Scubility taken to all corners of the globe and to know that more divers are going to be given a chance to see our underwater world.