SSI Classified Diving program

specialized training for individuals with physical & sensory disorders

What is SSI Classified Diving?

The SSI Classified Diving program refers to specialist diver training that assists individuals with physical disabilities and/or sensory disorders, to become functional in the underwater environment, as well as training the divers who will act as certified buddies.

The SSI Classified Diving program provides adaptive training for students with limited mobility and/or sensory disorders, allowing them to dive with one or more SSI Classified Dive Buddies, or an SSI Classified Diving Professional. Through this program, individuals with disabilities or limited mobility who are medically cleared by a physician can experience the thrill of scuba diving. First in a pool/confined water environment, then potentially in an open water enviroment.

About 16% of the world’s population has some form of physical disability, whether it is present from birth, or as a result of an accident. Despite these injuries, the SSI Classified Diving program can offer a world of possibility and freedom to less-abled students. 

Click the links below to find out how to become an SSI Classified Diver, SSI Classified Dive Buddy or an SSI Classified Diving Instructor.

Are there any health benefits for SSI Classified divers?

Scuba diving is a powerful tool for facilitating good health and wellbeing. The hydrostatic pressure of water can help in providing relief from aches, pain, soreness, muscle spasms and edema. SCUBA diving is also a form of rehabilitation that can greatly benefit individuals recovering from traumatic injuries.

For SSI Classified divers this unique form of Aquatic therapy can also help reduce stress while increasing relaxation. Scuba diving can prevent muscle wastage while also increasing flexibility. SCUBA diving provides freedom of movement in an almost weightless environment that cannot be found on dry land. For individuals whom may be wheel chair bound, the SSI Classified Diver program can offer a life changing experience that is not attainable by any other means.

Divers benefit from socializing with other divers while building a strong support network. They will become more excited about future adventures, build confidence, and gain self-esteem. The physical, psychological, and emotional benefits cannot be overstated.

Who is the SSI Classified Diving program for?

The SSI Classified diving program is available to anyone with medically clearance by a physician and is not limited to:

  • Paraplegics

  • Quadriplegics 

  • Spinal cord injuries

  • Visual impaired or Blind

  • Hearing Loss

  • Amputees

  • Brain injuries

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Poliomyelitis

  • Transverse myelitis

  • Parkinson's disease

  • PTSD

  • Developmental disorders

  • Autism

  • Asperger’s Syndrome

  • Rett’s Syndrome

  • Downs syndrome

At Aotearoa Dive we like to say the "Classified Diving program is for people with infinite possibilities".

SSI Classified Diving program

The SSI Classified Diving program is more than just teaching adaptive diving techniques. This program creates a network of SSI Classified Divers, SSI Classified Dive Buddies, and professionals so everyone can safely experience the thrill of scuba diving.
At Aotearoa Dive we strive to make scuba diving accessible for everyone regardless of what physical challenges individuals may have.

Aotearoa Dive proudly became the very first SSI Classified Diving Training Center within New Zealand in 2023. We utilise specialist equipment and training techniques to create this powerful healing experience - we like to call it "limitless diver training".

Please contact us for any further information and to discuss your personal requirements - we would love to help!


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