Handicapped Scuba Association Wants YOU! (To Get Involved)

Handicapped Scuba Association at DEMA Show 2016

Scuba divers are trained to help people. We identify problems and create solutions under pressure (sometimes atmospheres of it), so why don’t we use this training for a greater good?

I sat down with Jim Gatarce, founder of the Handicapped Scuba Association and a DEMA Reaching Out Award recipient to learn more about the dive community his organization encompasses.

“To gain a sense of accomplishment, inclusiveness and adventure” was Jim‘s answer when I asked him about a subject that always intrigued me, the blind diver. Our discussion made me think back to how much fun I have when I incorporate a blacked-out diving mask during my Wreck Diving course. The blacked-out mask is supposed to simulate a silt-out while in a wreck where one would have to find their way out with no sight.

Is it scary? Yeah. Is it fun? It’s amazing and a complete confidence builder! While this scenario was a nice parallel to draw from, Jim says we should relate to the diver’s personality and not disability.

Want to learn adaptive methods of diving? Improve your problem-solving skills? Gain experience? Whether you’re the handicapped diver or the buddy, you can learn valuable skills through any of HSA’s programs.

Final thought: The real magic behind HSA isn’t the scuba cert. It’s the backing that HSA gets from the people who want to better not only themselves but others.

I’m so jazzed up right now! I’m going to find a local HSA training course and you can too by visiting the HSA website at hsascuba.com.

by Mike Sasso