IAHD: International Association for Handicapped Divers
- What is IAHD?
The IAHD is a non profit association whose aim is to promote, develop and conduct programs for training of the disabled in scuba diving. Since its introduction in 1993, the IAHD has conducted numerous professional and non-professional programs at locations all around the world.
- Why become involved with IAHD pro-training program?
The Scuba Gamma team was very eager to attend this course in order to become IAHD certified professionals, and offer the best training and service to handicapped divers.
Our background led us to get involved in such a specialised training. The local rehabilitation center is as well very interested to develop and apply aquatic techniques for the benefit of the disabled people they have in charge.
- What kind of disabilities are you able to handle?
Potentially, we can handle any kind of disability, providing we follow the thorough procedures of IAHD. It does not mean anybody can dive at any cost as long and as deep as a non disabled person.
Every people is a particular case who deserves a special program, centered on what he/she is able to do, not the disability itself. For some handicapped persons, to get into a warm swimming pool is fantastic discovery, without being bothered with earth gravity any longer.
It is then possible for them to try scuba diving in very shallow waters (no more than 2 meters/6 feet) in a confined water environment. With the green light of a physician, some may get involved in open water diving.
All these activities have to be monitored and guided with 1, 2 or 3 certifed IAHD intructors, guides and diving buddies.
- Are there certifications or levels?
The IAHD programs includes several levels and possibilities, all leading to certification except the first one:
- Scuba diving experience (introduction dive).
- Confined Water Diver (3 levels of CWD).
- Sport Diver Course (3 levels of SDC).
- Open Water Diver (3 levels of OWD).
- Advanced Open Water Diver (with specialities).
- other Experienced Diver programs . . .
Each of these levels have their own prerequisites, requirements, program, course, training skills and limitations.
- What kind of particular skills and knowledge did you developped?
Academic knowledge of the disabilities (spinal injuries, sight or hearing impairements, down syndrome, amputation, asthma, cerebral paralysy, diabetis, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, ...), and their consequences about diving.
Specific skills: entry and exit techniques, boarding, weight balance and buoyancy, swimming, buddy contact and survey, descents and ascents, hand signs and tactile communication under water.
(above: blinded, the instructors have to prepare their equipment).
Other considerations: accessibility (wheeling chair, ...), precautions before and after diving, specific equipments needed (if any), swimming aids, ...
- You want to know more about IAHD and diving with a handicap ?