Diving for people who have disabilities

Diving for everyone!

Diving with people who have disabilities? Contrary to what some people may think, scuba diving is adapted to most disabilities. 

Diving for people who have disabilities

Scuba diving activities with people who have disabilities

Scuba diving for disables has become a fashionable, prestigious and very interesting spare time activity. Scuba diving can be seen be as a multidimensional therapy in water, which allows people with and without disabilities to share common activities.


Classes taking place in water and diving help to break the barriers resulting from being in a new environment, i.e., water, to regain the awareness of one’s own body and movements that one can make, feel the position of one’s own body, feel the possibility to give directions to movements and benefit from being able to increase independence in water.

Aquatic environment

The aquatic environment enables the relaxation of muscles, which may have a positive effect on spasticity and increase the joint range of motion often significantly limited in the natural environment. 

Dive with Deaf


In short, it enables improve movement and coordination in a way that is much easier than in a terrestrial environment. Such exercises have a positive effect on the respiratory system and blood circulation as a result of learning how to breathe correctly. An individual who takes up diving has got an opportunity to learn and demonstrate independence by taking care of her/his own safety, as well as the safety of her/his companions. Diving encourages you to spend time with other people and, thus, gives an opportunity to be in a group whose members are people without disabilities, as well as people with disabilities, giving the sense of affiliation with a group and responsibility for its members.

Everybody can dive?

A person, who likes to start a course, needs a medical clearance of a doctor. The medical has to tell the scuba diving instructor that the person is fit for diving. 

During a course everybody, disabled and abled students, have to meet the same performance requirements. A PADI Scuba Instructor can only certify students as all performance requirements are met for that course.

Some disabled divers will never met the performance requirements for a PADI Scuba Diver Course and/or PADI Open Water Diver Course. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t dive. For the persons who cant meet the performance requirements of a Scuba Diver or Open Water Course, there are other options to dive. Under direct supervision of a PADI/DDI Instructor the disabled person can participate in a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program, or a DDI Try Dive Program. The difference is that the programs, PADI Discover Scuba Diving and the DDI Try Dive, are not certification levels.

It’s a first time scuba diving experience in a safe environment with a scuba dive instructor. First there will be a theory session, followed up by a pool session. There is an optional dive in the ocean till 12 meters for the divers who are confident enough and the instructor agrees to it.

Oceans 5

Dive centre Oceans 5 Gili Air became in 2014 a Disabled Divers International Instructor Training center. They offers DDI courses for disabled recreational scuba diver as DDI professional courses.

Diving for everyone

Disabled Divers International

Disabled Divers International (DDI) is a non-profit organization, with the aim to promote, develop and conduct disabled scuba diving training programs for professional and non-professional students. All board members are volunteers, dedicated to promoting and developing disabled scuba diving internationally.

Since its introduction in 2010, DDI has gathered extensive support and recognition within the diving industry and conducted both professional and non-professional programs all around the world. DDI professionals and DDI Dive Centers can now be found in 58 countries with more on the way, enabling disabled diving worldwide.

DDI programs are designed to work in cooperation with existing scuba diving training organizations and their training programs. DDI programs adds a new layer on top of the existing diver training, allowing individuals who would have difficulties fulfilling all requirements and standards to experience diving safely with modifications and enhancements to their training and or equipment.

DDI professional training adds to the diving professional a new set of tools and knowledge to train disabled divers safely and certify their students as a scuba diver, with varied levels of limitations depending on the student’s ability to perform program requirements and standards.

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