American/Veteran Owned

Handicapped Scuba Association Courses

Early registration required (minimum 2 weeks) for all classes due to a required pre-student interview and an on-line portion that needs to be completed prior to 1st class session.

Learning to scuba dive is rewarding for anyone, but people with disabilities can benefit in some very unique ways. This Sport offers a lifetime of learning and challenges, as well as built-in camaraderie. Meeting those challenges can offer those with disabilities the kind of challenge that, in meeting it, helps them achieve full rehabilitation.

Similarly, while we teach the same skills, we have to make sure to do so in a way that is safe and comfortable for divers who may require adaptation.

Courses Offered: Adaptive (Handicapped) Discover Scuba course, Adaptive Open Water Scuba Diver, Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver, Adaptive Dive Buddy course

Open Water Dive Buddy

This course is the HSA Open Water Dive Buddy Certification Course.
It is designed to prepare certified Open Water Scuba Divers, and above, to be effective and safe dive buddies for certified Scuba divers with wide variety of disabilities.


This Course is a complete Certification Course in buddy diving with divers with disabilities.


When successfully completed, course graduates will be considered competent to dive with and assist in open water Skin and Scuba diving activities with certified divers with disabilities, providing that:

  • Diving activities approximate those in which the diver was trained.
  • Dive site environment and conditions resemble those encountered during training.
  • Diver complies with all HSA recommended diving procedures.
  • Dive buddy is an HSA member in good standing.


Based on the student's ability to successfully challenge the HSA Physical Performance Standards, the HSA developed the Multilevel Certification. This is a PERFORMANCE-BASED method of assessing and accommodating the disabled diver's specialized needs. It is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that ONLY the Buddy System is affected by this certification procedure. All other sport diving requirements and activities are the same as for any diver. This system is for the protection and safety of ALL members of the dive team. That is, the THIRD DIVE BUDDY in the dive team is NOT there to help the B or C Level diver they are there for the other A Level or above dive buddy in case they have an emergency.


The student has successfully challenged all of the HSA Physical Performance Requirements, demonstrating that they can safely scuba dive, solve basic personal emergencies, help another diver in distress, and perform basic rescues. By successfully challenging these standards, they have performed the skills required to be an effective Buddy and are certified to dive with one other certified SCUBA diver.


The student has successfully challenged those HSA Physical Performance Standards that demonstrate their ability to safely scuba dive, and to solve basic emergencies. However, they have not successfully challenged those Performance Standards that demonstrate their ability to help another diver in distress. Therefore, the LEVEL B diver is certified to scuba dive with TWO DIVE BUDDIES who are certified Open Water Level A or above. In the case of an emergency, this system will provide an effective dive buddy for all members of the dive team. Note: The THIRD MEMBER of the buddy team is NOT for the diver with the disability, they are there for the A Level, or above, dive buddy that cannot be assisted by the B Level diver.


The student has successfully challenged those HSA Physical Performance Standards that demonstrate their ability to safely scuba dive. However, they are unable to successfully challenge those performance standards that demonstrate their ability to independently solve basic personal emergencies, or to execute basic scuba skills, such as descending, swimming underwater, and operating their own Buoyancy Control Device. The TYPE OF SKILLS that must be performed for them, such as operating their Buoyancy Control Device, require the Assisting Buddy to have specialized skills. Therefore, they are certified to dive with TWO DIVE BUDDIES, one certified Level A or above, and an Assisting Buddy, certified at the minimum as a RESCUE DIVER. It is recommended that the Assisting Buddy be an HSA Certified DIVE BUDDY or above.


It is required that the Assisting Buddy is an adult of the parents’ or legal guardians’ choice, who knows them well and can predict their reaction.