What is the SDI Scubility Diver Program?
The goal of the SDI Scubility Dive programs is to offer divers with disabilities the opportunity to participate in open water scuba diving as independently as possible. Divers who complete the training will be able to dive without the direct supervision of a SDI Scubility Instructor. Depending on their level of disability, some scubility divers may require the accompaniment of a specially trained and certified SDI Scubility Dive Buddy.
SDI Scubility Divers undergo the same thorough training that able-bodied divers must complete to become SDI certified open water divers. They learn everything from the history of diving, dive physics and physiology, to the use and care of dive equipment, and how to safely plan and execute their dives.Scubility Divers must attempt and demonstrate the same dive skills as their any other student before they are certified to dive. What sets Scubility dive training apart is the pacing and adaptations that are made to meet the needs of each divers’ specific disability. Scubility Divers are also certified differently from their able-bodied counterparts. Depending on the Scubility Divers’ individual capabilities, they are certified at one of three levels.
SDI Scubility Dive Buddies are specially trained to meet the needs of divers with a variety of disabilities. In order to train as a Scubility Dive Buddy, a candidate must be a certified diver, age 18 (16 with parental permission), with proof of current CPR and first aid certifications, and rescue diver certification; or, they must be have an advanced diver certification with a minimum of 40 logged open water dives.The practical skills that SDI Scubility Dive Buddies are taught are identical to those that SDI Scubility Instructors learn. Classroom lessons include instruction on topics around disability awareness and social integration, to specifics about how to assist divers with disabilities including everything from asthma to spinal cord injuries. In the confined and open water portions of their training, SDI Scubility Dive Buddies put their classroom knowledge to work and assist divers with disabilities through all dive tasks from assembling and adjusting dive equipment, providing any assistance during the dive, all the way through to getting out of the water after the dive is over.
SDI Scubility Divers are certified according to the SDI Dive-Buddy System. This system was devised to allow flexibility within the training process. Essentially Scubility Divers certify at whichever level allows them the optimal balance of independence and safety.
The Dive-Buddy System levels are:
- DB1 - All of the performance requirements have been met; the diver has demonstrated the ability to perform self rescue and can provide equal assistance to his/her buddy should it become necessary. This diver can dive with any other certified diver
- DB2 - All of the performance requirements have been met; the diver has demonstrated the ability to perform self rescue but is not able to provide assistance to his buddy should it become necessary. This diver must dive with 2 adult certified divers, one of which must be a qualified SDI Scubility Dive Buddy
- DB3 - The physical performance requirements have been met; the diver has demonstrated the ability to safely use scuba in an open water environment. But the diver does not have the ability to perform self rescue or provide assistance to his buddy should it become necessary. This diver must dive with 3 adult certified divers, one of which must be a qualified SDI Scubility Dive Buddy