Open Water Scuba Diver
Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA)
HSA (Handicapped Scuba Association) is the Association of Disabled Divers founded in the USA in 1981. Currently, it is the world’s largest diving organization training disabled people. The recreational diving training programs developed by HSA are recognized throughout the world. Also in Poland, diving instructors train people with disabilities in accordance with HSA programs. Therefore, the diving certificates obtained on these courses are respected in dive centers.
Basic training in the HSA system is very similar to analogues in other diving organizations, such as PADI. By awarding the HSA core degree, the instructor determines the so-called level (A, B or C), which speaks of the diver’s degree of independence and the ability to come to a partner with help. This is a very important tip for people planning and supervising diving. Depending on the level given, a person may go under water in a group with one or two fit persons, who also must have strictly defined diving licenses. A diver at level A successfully demonstrated skills in solving basic problems and is able to help another diver in need. A level A person dives with one person to help. A diver on level B can deal with problems but is not able to help another diver. A diver at level B needs two diving partners. A diver on level C is unable to operate his own equipment or swim on his own. Such a person must dive with two diving partners. HSA programs are safe thanks to the design of the training and requirements. HSA also provided training for healthy divers who want to dive with people with disabilities (Dive Buddy).
In HSA dive programs, people with different degrees of disability can participate. People with spinal cord injuries with cerebral palsy, blind, deaf, with amputation and other physical dysfunctions can enjoy diving. Disability does not diminish the pleasure of a person doing this sport. Starting a diving adventure often changes the life of a disabled person, helps you believe in your own strength and forget about your own limitations. Diving becomes a passion for a lifetime. The basic requirement for a person who wants to dive is the lack of fear of water. The ability to swim is a very big advantage. Another important element is overall fitness and independence in life. From the medical side, contraindications to diving are similar to those of healthy people. Heart and respiratory diseases and mental disorders unfortunately disqualify candidate for a diver. A person who wants to dive should carry out diagnostic tests ordered by a sports or diving doctor and a positive opinion about the lack of contraindications.
The program of the HSA diving course includes practical classes at the pool. They include at least 7 practical classes including both swimming exercises and diving equipment.
After completing the swimming lessons, the students are ready for diving in open waters. The training provides for at least 5 dives, where the students demonstrate the previously acquired knowledge. This part of the training can be carried out at the diving sites in Poland, but also on an out-of-town stay in, for example, Croatia or Egypt.
– theory sessions
– Swimming pool sessions
– Education materials
– Swimming pool fee
– Open water dives
– Diving equipment
– Certification fee
– Travel to diving sites
– Transport to swimming pool