There are many exhibitors at DEMA Show 2015; new equipment, new programs, gear and goodies galore, but one exhibitor is not here to sell anything.
The heroes at Diveheart, led by founder and President Jim Elliot, work with disabled divers to provide them an opportunity to experience all that diving can offer.
Diveheart is nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. The organization’s purpose is:
“To provide and support educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person.”
Through training and developing Adaptive SCUBA Instructors and Dive Buddies, the Diveheart team lives their Mission Statement, which is:
“to build confidence, independence and self-esteem in the lives of children, adults and veterans with disabilities through scuba diving, scuba therapy and related activities.”
Jim left his career in the media industry in 1996 to become a full-time volunteer and teach individuals with disabilities how to scuba dive. He founded Diveheart in 2001 as a volunteer-driven organization focused on building confidence and independence in disabled children, adults and veterans through scuba diving.
According to Diveheart‘s website:
“We’ve discovered the the forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we’re all equal.”
The Diveheart training and Diveheart Scuba Experience (DSE) programs are designed to put a disabled diver with a team of highly-trained Adaptive SCUBA divers who will ensure that the participants are fully immersed in the dive experience.
Diveheart works with the following people:
“Individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more.”
Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.
In order to become an Adaptive Diver Buddy or Instructor, the candidate must complete a series of training modules, starting with the Adaptive Diver course. At only US$139 plus Water Training, this is the foundation for anyone participating in the training.
The next module is the Adaptive Buddy training. At a price of $270 plus Water Training, this further prepares the dive professional to serve as a buddy to disabled divers.
The next module is Advanced Buddy; this course requires additional scuba certification prerequisites while introducing advanced adaptive scuba buddy skills, techniques and protocols as well as knowledge of specialized advanced adaptive equipment. The cost is $320 plus Water Training.
The last module is Adaptive Instructor. This online course introduces the instructor and dive master to innovative Diveheart Adaptive Diving protocols, assessment tools and techniques to prepare him to work with divers with disabilities. The cost to get certified as an Adaptive Instructor is approximately $460 for the online course and manuals. The Water Training price varies based on instructor.
If you are a dive professional, or a diver with a passion to serve and assist disabled divers, the Diveheart programs offer a great program to prepare you for the unique challenges and requirements needed to help the disabled also experience the magic of diving.
For more information, check out their website at http://diveheart.org/about-us/about-diveheart/.