The British Sub-Aqua Club has launched Diving for All, a new instructor course designed to provide qualified Instructors with the skills and mindset to teach people with disabilities within their branches and centres.
Following a series of pilots the first disabled diving instruction course is set for 18 October.
The course is for a minimum of OWI (Open Water Instructor) with proven experience, familiar with teaching BSAC core diving skills. Candidates should be active instructors, regularly teaching students Ocean or Sports Diver courses from start to qualification, both practical and theory. It is a one day course comprising interactive classroom and practical disabled diving pool sessions.
Instructors who complete the course become Assistant DfA Instructors. They then need to teach a person with a disability on an Ocean Diver course, or an existing diver with a disability on their next grade supervised by a DfA mentor and they will then be awarded DfA Instructor.
The disabled diving instructor course costs £90.00 and the entry requirement is BSAC Open Water Instructor.
Making diving more inclusive, and increasing awareness amongst instructors of the capabilities of disabled people, is very welcome. Disabled people have faced difficulties in getting training.
“I visited Sharm El-Sheikh for the first time in September this year. As a disabled person (tetraplegia a full time wheelchair user) who had not dived before I decided to take a couple of introductory lessons with Cybaqua – Mike’s Dive Shop in Warrington. After a very successful introduction here in the UK I was bitterly disappointed when I arrived in Egypt that several dive centres weren’t interested in taking my custom as they saw my disability as a huge problem, I’m convinced that one very well known centre actually saw it as an open cheque book, demanding nearly £500 for one day class work and two introductory dives.”
As the BSAC and other training agencies are becoming more aware of disabled diving we hope this will become a thing of the past.
BSAC are the UK’s leading dive club and the sport’s National Governing Body. They are a not-for-profit organisation established in 1953 which is run by members.