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Any SCUBA associations for deaf divers?

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by snowcat, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. snowcat

    snowcat Solo Diver

    I am looking for any SCUBA associations, clubs, or information that focuses on deaf divers. Any information out there would be appreciated. The Handicapped SCUBA Association and Dive Heart are great organizations, but I wonder if there are any others that have an emphasis on divers who are deaf.

    My quick searches through the internet and the threads on Scubaboard turned up only a few local clubs, mostly in other countries. I will continue searching, but thought Scubaboard would be the perfect place to ask, particularly since there are threads from divers who are deaf.

    My reason for asking is I am a hearing SSI Dive Control Specialist (Assistant Instructor/Divemaster) wanting to get involved with teaching or diving with deaf SCUBA students and deaf certified divers. I have several deaf friends who introduced me to the deaf community and ASL (American Sign Language). My interaction with them has been so great that I have pursued becoming fluent with ASL and getting more involved in the deaf community. (Though I am not fluent, yet, and still have much to learn about their culture.) Unfortunately, my deaf friends are not divers, so they could not offer any information.

    SCUBA seems like the perfect sport for divers who are deaf because being deaf is not a handicap underwater. On the contrary, it is now they who can communicate freely and us hearing divers who are handicapped by the regulator stuck in our mouths and the roar of bubbles in our ears.

    Anyway, please help.
  2. WADiverBob

    WADiverBob Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives:
    Location: Marysville,Washington
    I am deaf diver only in Puget Sound, Washington. Another two novice deaf divers came in WA. for summer. I haven't met them yet. We will meet next week. Seattle have some deaf community and club but no scuba.I read a paper about deaf woman diver who is dive instructor in Washington D.C. about three years ago. Sorry, I lost a paper.

    My wife's hearing friend who was NAUI instructor and used ASL. She is no longer after She died in accident diving few years ago.

    Underwater Communicate is very easy and fun. I don't have any info. in USA.I will ask two deaf divers if they know.

    I took a PADI open water class with interperter long time ago. I went Rescue,Oxygen first aid,CPR,AED in class without interperter. It was little hard and difficult for me but somebody helped and use laptop (read). I passed test. WHEW! I perfer interperter or instructor who can good ASL. Good Luck for teaching deaf scuba students in future.

    Someday, We can diving with sign language in water.

  3. yukoneer

    yukoneer Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Hello Snowcat,

    I am the deaf diver that WADiverBob was going to meet. I met him yesterday, indeed, he asked me whether if I knew anything about a deaf scuba club - I know only a handful of other deaf people who dive regularly (I know of few that have certifications, but don't dive due to money and lack of interest). My girlfriend who is also my dive buddy is deaf too. As for the deaf club itself, I do not know of a such thing - I would defintely be interested in it if one exists.

    I agree with Bob that communicaton underwater using sign language is so easy - we just talked like we did on the land, Bob was guiding us around a dive site, and he was telling us "that fish is a lingcod, that is an striped starfish, that's a striped perch, etc" that was so easy to understand since he told us all immediately when we asked, instead of trying to remember what it was and asking people after the dive was done.
  4. rmead

    rmead Angel Fish


    I just discovered this thread. I work with deaf and hard of hearing divers in the Washington DC area. I do not know of any SCUBA associations that cater directly to the deaf. The program I work with is a NAUI program at Galludet University. It was developed by a hearing NAUI instructor about 30 years ago. The current instuctor is a deaf diver certified in this program. I believe she was the first deaf instructor ever. I am learning ASL to be a more active participant in the program. Sadly since the classes are for college students few have the money to continue in this expensive sport. I personally suspect access to the diving comunity at large is also an issue. I have been speaking with some other divers and instructors who agree. The deaf may have a disability on land, but underwater we non asl capable divers have the disasvantage. That is why I think communication with the hearing diving community is to blame for the small number of deaf divers Perhaps an organized community would provide greater support. I have been concidering forming a group of ASL speaking divers(hearing and deaf) who could mentor/buddy with deaf divers to help bridge the gap on dive boats and on organized trips.

    Let me know and I will try to put you in contact with my instructor. She can give you the best information.

    Good luck


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