Handicap SCUBA Association (HSA)


Instructor Training Course (ITC)


(Also applies to Dive Masters and Assistant Instructors)


ITC description:


The goal of the ITC is not to teach dive masters and instructors how to teach SCUBA diving, it is to educate them about disability and the special considerations for diving, and teaching diving to people with disabilities. A large portion of this course would be beneficial to everyone, including those not involved in diving. It covers a multitude of disability types and disability issues, including: accessibility, traveling for people with disabilities and special considerations for diving with a disability.


Pre-requisites and certifications:


  • SCUBA Instructors from recognized certification agencies, who have teaching status and carry insurance, will become HSA instructors on successful course completion.
  • Assistant Instructors from recognized certification agencies, who carry insurance, will become HSA Assistant Instructors on successful course completion. If they become instructors later, they can become HSA instructors by notifying HSA of their new teaching status.
  • Dive Masters from recognized certification agencies, who carry insurance, will become HSA Dive Masters on successful course completion. If they become instructors later, they can become HSA instructors by notifying HSA of their new teaching status.


Schedule:


The course is separated into 2 parts, the first part is academics and confined water, the second part is open water training.


Three days 9 AM to 9 PM are required for the academics and confined water. This will include registration paperwork, academics Material, written examination and 7 hours of confined water exercises.


One afternoon “5 Hours” is required for the open water portion of the Course. There frequently is several months between the first part of the course in the open water exercises, because reasonable water temperatures are required. This is usually done at a sight suitable for entries and exits with mobility impaired divers.


Equipment Requirements:


For the classroom session all you will need is some paper, a pen and a highlighter.


For the confine water portion of the course you need all of your pool equipment including a good wetsuit, this is important because even though the pool is warm you will spend a lot of time in it. You will need 2 aluminum 80 cylinders. Back inflate or wing BCDs are not adequate for this type of training, you should have a traditional recreational diving BCD, integrated weights are preferred.


For the open water training session, you will need all of your open why water gear including one aluminum 80, and a good open water wetsuit. It is highly recommended that you do not use a dry suit, it is very difficult to control three air spaces and when you will be ascending for a quadriplegic you will have to control your BC and his BC at the same time.


Apprenticeship:


In order to motivate new HSA dive masters, Assistant instructors and Instructors to work with people with disabilities, Freedom at Depth will provide the following incentives:


Any HSA dive masters, AIs or Instructors who wants hands on experience can assist Hubert Chrétien in the pool or in open water when training disabled divers.


New HSA Instructors who have disabled diver prospects but do not feel confident to teach them, can receive as little or as much free help as they request from Hubert Chrétien. Mr. Chrétien could co-teach both confined and open water portions of your student's course. For the confined water portion Freedom at Depth's pool would be available and accommodations could be provided. For introductions Mr. Chrétien may travel to assist you.


Dive Buddy Program:


This program offers able-bodied divers the opportunity to expand their underwater world to include divers with disabilities.


The course covers a multitude of disability types and disability issues, including:


  • accessibility,
  • traveling for people with disabilities and
  • special considerations for diving with a disability


This knowledge is valuable in and out of a scuba diving setting.


By the end of this program you should be able to act as a primary buddy for a HSA C level diver (a diver with a disability who cannot act as an adequate buddy and requires some level of assistance: these divers must have two buddies, one of them must be HSA dive buddy or higher). A large portion of this course is designed to improve your skills as a diver; you will be a much more competent diver by the end of this program.


In order to take this course you will need an open water certification and proof of twenty dives in the last two years.


Freedom at Depth Canada does not regularly schedule stand-alone HSA buddy courses but offers them as a subset of the HSA Instructor Training Course (ITC). The student will attend the ITC but be given the Buddy Course materials and exam that are a subset of the ITC, the student will also receive additional one on one coaching and help. FADC may teach a private buddy course to someone in an immediate position of helping an HSA C level diver.


Like the ITC, the Dive Buddy Program combines classroom instruction with confined and open water exercises.


Please contact us for more information on how you can become a dive buddy for people with disabilities.