Diving and disabilities: together we overcome the barriers

Scuba diving is also possible for disabled people, thanks to the support of highly qualified instructors and the use of special precautions, studied to this. Thanks to scuba diving, therefore, we can overcome barriers and allow people with disabilities to live beautiful experiences.

The barriers to overcome are also those relating to dressing, to the assembly of the equipment, on the descent and on the ascent.

The dressing for a disabled person can be long, so it is good to take this into account if you dive together with able-bodied, which are faster instead.

Scuba diving allows disabled people to overcome barriers: changes to the suit

Some disabled people need changes to their wetsuits, such as the application of hinges on the inside and outside of the legs; this is also possible on the sleeves of the suit, depending on the type of disability and the degree of difficulty in dressing.

The installation of these hinges involves, But, increased water infiltration, if this should be very cold you could run into hypothermia problems during diving.

Others, instead, they prefer to attend a dry suit course and use the latter which guarantees the total absence of water and greater heat, and being large enough it facilitates dressing.

Dressing usually takes place at the dive site or on the boat just before the dive to avoid overheating of the body; the ideal position is lying down or sitting. Any incontinence bags must be emptied before dressing.

Slide your feet into the leggings with the help of talcum powder, this will facilitate the operation, and immediately put on the shoes to avoid abrasions to the feet.

For people with little or no sensitivity, extreme caution must be used with footwear, toes can bend to fracture and no one would notice.

Weight belt: customizations for the disabled

The weight belt can also be customized for a disabled person, thus overcoming any barriers. There are several solutions:

  • Belts with weight bags;
  • Weights braces with quick release;
  • BCD with lead pockets.

Whatever the solution, the weights must always be positioned in the front central part of the body to counterbalance the weight of the cylinder, improving the attitude and lateral imbalance.

There are also ring-shaped weights and should be worn on the ankles to adjust the position of the legs.

The weight belt should always be worn lying down, because when we are seated the waistline is more swollen. The belt would then be fastened incorrectly, and would lead to the sliding of the same with consequent loss of weight, when entering the water.

A.R.A. Group

To wear the A.R.A. (cylinder, dispenser and G.A.V.) you have to sit at the entry point, the expert companions will take care of helping the disabled person in this delicate operation.

Entry into the water: assess the barriers and overcome them with the disabled

Different methods will be used depending on the circumstances and the level of disability. Those with vision problems will use a giant step entrance, one flipped backwards or forwards.

Those with mobility problems will generally use a forward semi circular flip, being careful not to hit the water with your face.

Always choose an easy dive site both from shore and from a boat, also suitable for ascent.

Surface checks for a disabled person

Surface balance can be difficult, because the tank unbalances the diver backwards and the position that will tend to be assumed will be belly-up or, in any case, a 45 degrees with respect to the surface of the water.

Instructors and guides will need to be well trained, to put the disabled person in the correct position for the start of the descent. Before starting the dive, all equipment must be checked, ballast weights and regulators, only after verifying that the disabled diver is not troubled by fatigue can the descent begin.

Underwater attitude of a disabled diver

It will be up to the instructor and the guide to set up the Sub and make him feel that fantastic sensation of flying underwater.

The return to the boat after the dive

The return to the boat takes place with the same recommendations as for the descent, bearing in mind that the first thing to do is get rid of the accessory equipment, then in order the ballast, he G.A.V. with the cylinder e, finally, you can proceed to the ascent.

Thanks to diving, we overcome the barriers and we also bring disabled people into the water, to share incredible experiences. Look who.

Discover our Project Diving For All!


Atis Diving Club

"Underwater training is not just a physical and motor activity. When we dive with our mates, we trust them. [...]

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