Think SCUBA diving is only for excellent swimmers and/or skilled athletes? Jeff Davis, owner of Aqua Hut, emphatically denies that notion as he invites those with physical limitations to give his introductory class a try “for free”! Except for those who experience seizures or have lung issues, anyone can learn to dive. We’ve taught quadriplegics, and those with autism and cerebral palsy. We even have a 70-year-old blind man who has learned to dive.”
Davis provides all the equipment for the introductory lessons, from the wetsuit to the mask to the buoyancy compensator, and a one-on-one lesson with a certified instructor. Classes are open to those as young as 10, and swimming know-how is not required. A bonus: the water temperature in the pool is 88 degrees!
“Diving is a wonderful sport,” Davis said. “Someone who is disabled on land gets a real feeling of freedom when he is under the water. He can continue after that initial class if he has a certified swimming buddy to accompany him, and then can dive at places besides our pool. Our blind diver, Marvin, recently did a dive at a quarry!”
Aqua Hut is affiliated with the Handicap Scuba Association, and works with the Toledo Fire Department to offer classes to new divers from the Ability Center.