Give Adaptive SCUBA a Try!!

Adaptive diver Amber Rangel giving SCUBA a try. Photo courtesy of Amber Rangel.

Adaptive diver Amber Rangel giving SCUBA a try. Photo courtesy of Amber Rangel.

Have you ever dreamed about taking up SCUBA, but thought that you couldn’t because of that pesky old wheelchair thing? Well, then think again, because adaptive diving techniques and equipment make this sport accessible to everyone. And the great thing is, every wheelchair-user who I’ve talked to about their SCUBA experience has told me that they actually feel freer in the water. Of course you have to have the proper instruction and equipment to give it a try, so here are a few resources for you.

First off, if you happen to be in the Southern California area this weekend, stop on by the 2017 Scuba Show at the Long Beach Convention Center. Billed as the diving event of the year, this event will showcase hundreds of exhibitors from around the world, and offer an impressive lineup of seminars and classes. Even better, you’ll also be able to chat with the folks at Diveheart and The WAVES Project about adaptive diving possibilities.

And speaking of Diveheart, adaptive diver Amber Rangel is hosting a Diveheart Diveapalooza event in Rockford, Illinois this summer. There’s no cost to attend the program, which will be held at Amber’s heated salt water pool on July 15, 2017. This event is open to anybody with a disability who is interested in getting in the water and finding out what diving with Diveheart is all about. Lunch will be served, so bring a dish to share. I’m also told that they need able-bodied volunteers, so don’t let the fact that you’re not disabled stop you from attending. For more information, contact Diveheart at

And last but certainly not least, if you don’t happen to be in either of those geographic areas, then just surf on over to the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) website to find out more about adaptive SCUBA. Established in 1981, the HSA is dedicated to improving the physical and social well-being of people with disabilities through SCUBA diving. And their website includes a bounty of resources, including links to locate classes, instructors and dive buddies near you.

So there you have it – a trio of resources to help you get active this summer. Now you have absolutely no excuse not to join in on the fun!