HSA Orlando
HSA Orlando

A Brief History

The Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1981 by Jim Gatacre. Jim has spent his entire diving career assisting, teaching, and sport diving with handicapped students and divers.

Specialized Physical Performance Standards were developed as a result of workshops conducted by Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics (CNCA), Undersea Medical Society (UMS), and Our World Underwater in 1982. Key individuals from NAUI and PADI worked closely with HSA in developing these standards. The HSA Instructor Manual and Physical Performance Standards have been revised each year since 1986 utilizing input from HSA Instructors in over 45 countries worldwide.

The HSA Diver Certification Program includes the Dive Buddy Program, Instructor Training Course, and Course Director Program. (Click on "Courses" to view descriptions of each of these courses.) In addition to training, the HSA offers an Accessible Travel Program, conducting three or four accessible dive vacation trips per year. A Resort Evaluation Program was also created as a consistent means for determining dive destinations and operators that are handicapped accessible.

Mission Statement

Founded in 1981, the Handicapped Scuba Association has dedicated itself to improving the physical and social well being of people with disabilities through the sport of SCUBA diving, and in doing so has become the worldwide leading authority in this field.

Made up of over 3000 underwater educators, SCUBA divers with disabilities, and supporting members located in over 45 countries, the Handicapped Scuba Association is dedicated to assuring that people with disabilities are given the same opportunity to receive quality training, certification, and dive adventures as the able-bodied population.


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