Teaching the Disabled to SCUBA Dive - Another SMDI Class Experience

The International Association for Handicapped Divers (IAHD) held their sixth annual Try Scuba event on Saturday, December 2nd and Sunday, December 3rd in Key Largo, Florida. This event allows people with varying degrees of physical disabilities to dive in a controlled setting under the supervision of IAHD certified instructors. Barry professor Sharon Kegeles, an IAHD instructor, took six SMDI student-majors to work with these new divers in the pool. Most of these Barry students are certified IAHD Dive Partners, which means that they have received training in the care and guidance of handicapped divers. The responsibilities of the students included assisting divers in and out of the water, helping with scuba gear, and accompanying them underwater to make sure they were safe, comfortable and having a fun experience.

The turnout for the event was excellent, with five divers showing up for both days for pool training. All of the dive operations went smoothly, and the Barry divers were able to get valuable hands-on experience. Because the event has been so successful, it will now be occurring bi-annually, with the next event planned for sometime in April, 2008.

For more information on the International Association for Handicapped Divers, visit their website: www.iahd.org

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