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All barriers are in the mind… Deptherapy and RAID to transform scuba diving training for ALL abilities

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Following a presentation at the GO Diving Show in Coventry, UK last weekend, Scuba Diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy has announced that it is working on a series of exciting new programmes with diver training agency partner RAID. These new programmes are destined to transform scuba diving training for all abilities.

Award-winning Deptherapy is the acknowledged world leader in Adaptive Teaching – training those with life changing mental and/or physical challenges through specially designed scuba diving programmes that enable divers to achieve standard agency certifications. Many of Deptherapy’s programme members have suffered limb loss and other significant physical injuries. 80% of members are suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder or other chronic mental illness.

Deptherapy – changing and saving lives through scuba diving. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy

Sadly, people with all kinds of disability are still actively discriminated against inside and outside the scuba diving industry. However, the work of Deptherapy has shown that even those with massive injuries can still meet all the standards required to become main agency qualified divers without the stigma of ‘disability’ being shown on their certification card.

Successful Adaptive Teaching requires considerable additional effort from the instructional team, working very closely with the student, to think ‘out of the box’ so that the individual can achieve the required standard.

Until now, the majority of Deptherapy programme members have been UK Armed Forces veterans but the charity has long been a champion of the cause to make scuba diving accessible to all those with disabilities.

Deptherapy Programme Members undertaking open water training at Roots Red Sea. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy

Moving forwards with RAID, Deptherapy and its training arm Deptherapy Education are now working towards extending their programme to push the boundaries of Adaptive Teaching for a wider cohort, as well as offering an alternative for those with disabilities or medical conditions that mean standard certifications are unachievable.

Richard Cullen, Chair of Deptherapy explains: “The Deptherapy Team is realistic, and we know from experience that some divers will not be able to achieve the standard certifications, even with Adaptive Teaching, due to the nature of their illness or injury. For instance, a quad amputee or a quadriplegic cannot complete all the skills required but they can still dive on a limited certification, providing they do so with the support of a qualified team trained to support a diver with extreme levels of disability.”

“In partnership with RAID we are working on a new model of both Adaptive Teaching, but also we want to provide limited certifications similar to the old D1- D3 levels for those divers who are unable to meet required standards.”

“Under the new model, specially trained dive professionals will carry out an exhaustive assessment of every potential diver to determine their possibility to achieve mainstream certifications before continuing on either programme.”

Deptherapy Programme Members taking part in Rescue Diver training. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy

A new training programme for dive professionals is being finalised to facilitate the new teaching models. The new Deptherapy / RAID course for Instructors and Divemasters will prepare trainers to teach adaptively, to understand disability, to make realistic assessments and, most importantly, to support their student through the challenges of becoming a diver. The diver training programmes will then be available through RAID dive centres worldwide.

Paul Toomer, Director of Diver Training at RAID, says: “Deptherapy is unique in its vast experience of working with divers with all types of challenges. The diving world does discriminate against those with disabilities and the easy way has been to qualify them as ‘disabled divers’. We want to see a new approach, one that firstly looks at how a student could reach mainstream certification by adapting skills. If that is not achievable, then we will work to qualify them under the D1-D3 system. We are bringing together professionals from the RAID community worldwide to work on this major project.”

Richard Cullen adds: “It is humbling that Paul has asked Deptherapy to lead this project and for me, as an individual, to head the team. It is an endorsement of the years of hard work that Team Deptherapy have put in to ensure we can better the lives of Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges.”

“I know that together with RAID, Deptherapy can make that same impact on disabled individuals and communities worldwide. I want to thank Paul and RAID for having the confidence in us, as a team, and me personally to deliver this major programme. This will change views and working practices globally.”

Deptherapy and RAID plan to run a pilot Dive Professionals course in Autumn 2020 with the remainder of the training courses rolling out from January 2021.

For more information about Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch!

This torch delivers 1200 lumens of light powered by an ion rechargeable battery. There are 4 levels of brightness with burn times between 2-20 hours. Battery charge level is indicated via coloured lights around the on/off button. The beam angle is 10°. The anodised aluminium alloy housing sealed by double ‘O’ rings with a max operating depth of 100m. SRP £125.00 which includes torch, charging cradle and battery.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported via the Marine Conservation Society that the UK’s landmark post-Brexit fisheries legislation has now become law. The Fisheries Act is the first legislation of its kind in nearly how many years?

Is it:

  • A) 60
  • B) 50
  • C) 40

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue AL-1200NP Dive Torch November 2020

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 06/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Northern Diver Christmas Sale starts TODAY!

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This year Northern Diver’s Christmas offers are starting on Black Friday and running until midnight on New Year’s Eve! 

There are some great deals to be had across the site – www.ndiver.com – from discounted Drysuits and Coltri compressors to 15% off their entire Lighting Section!

And if you can’t find the perfect present for the diver in your life, they have a choice of Gift Cards on offer. They are even giving you £25 extra when you purchase a £100 voucher!

The offers don’t stop there – there is FREE shipping on all orders over £100 and even a FREE gift with every online purchase.

Every purchase will get you entered into a great prize draw to win one of their new Electracore 3.0mm Rechargeable Heated Vests!

And should you find that you need to return any of your purchases, Northern Diver understand that Christmas may be a little different for everyone this year and you may not get to see every one over Christmas, so they have extended their Returns Period to the end of January 2021. (Valid for purchases made from Black Friday to end of December 2020).

Some unmissable offers to look out for are the Varilux Zoom, part of the Varilux Black & Gold Range, with its variable beam width; and Northern Diver’s 4mm compressed Neoprene Drysuit, the Voyager, which is on offer for an incredible £475!

For more information visit the Northern Diver website by clicking here.

Photo credit: Joe Duffy

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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