The International Association for Handicapped Divers (IAHD) was formed in 1993 in Sweden by Maurice Parry, with a primary goal: to teach dive instructors how to train and supervise physically disabled divers. Certified instructors from any renowned dive organization can follow IAHD courses and this was one of the main reasons why interest in IAHD courses soon spread beyond the borders of Sweden.
Since the 1st of January 2010, the IAHD has become an independently operated, non-profit subsidiary of the World Organisation of Scuba Diving (WOSD). In addition to expanding and modernizing the existing material, courses were updated to allow training of people with mental disabilities. The organisation is comprised of both able-bodied and disabled people who all strive to achieve the goals set by IAHD. Experience has shown that the most effective approach is to encourage those with a disability to try diving, so that they can experience how accessible diving is for them. There are very few disabilities which actually prevent one from diving!
IAHD’s main goals are promoting, developing and executing scuba diving courses for the physically and mentally disabled and for instructors who intend to train such people. Additional goals include the organisation of diving holidays and the inspection of dive sites and facilities for suitability for physically and mentally disabled divers. IAHD continues to strive to improve facilities at dive locations in order to facilitate access for disabled divers.
The ultimate aim of the IAHD is to enable disabled people to enjoy the same level of quality (dive) training programs, certifications and diving adventures as able-bodied people.
(If this of interest, keep scrolling to find more information on a course that will suit you!)
Viking Diving Center is pleased to be a IAHD diving facilitator, with most of our staff being qualified to conduct courses for people with disability. These include:
Scuba Diving IntroductionIf you have always wondered what it would be like to breathe underwater, but you do not want to follow a full course, then the Scuba Diving Introduction course is the perfect solution for you… see more
Pirate Fish DiverDeveloped for both children and adults who want to experience the freedom of movement underwater in a swimming pool. The various dive skills are learnt in a playful manner using challenging, but fun, exercises. Upon completion of the course, the certified ‘Pirate Fish Diver’ is not a fully-fledged diver. For this the ‘Open Water Diver’ course must be completed… see more
Confined Water DiverDeveloped for people with physical or (minor) mental disabilities, who want to learn to dive but cannot, or do not want to, dive in open water. The theory and swimming pool dive skills are identical to those of the Open Water Course, but dives are only made in a swimming pool or confined water… see more
Open Water DiverDesigned to teach people with physical or mental disabilities, the theory and dive skills needed to dive safely in an open water environment. All exercises focus on correct and safe execution of the skills required to meet the learning objectives. Because all divers have varying levels of ability, each course is tailored to meet the needs of individual participants… see more
Surface Support SpecialistDeveloped for both divers and non-divers who intend to assist divers with a physical or mental disability, at the waters edge. After this program, non-divers may actively participate in dive planning and help other divers, performing useful and enjoyable tasks… see more
Dive PartnerAn advanced course specifically developed to train certified (Rescue) divers to supervise divers with physical or mental disabilities… see more
InstructorDeveloped to give the Trainee Instructor the knowledge and experience that is needed to teach all IAHD Primary and IAHD Partner courses in a safe and enjoyable manner and to be able to certify successful participants in those courses… see more
For disabled accessible accommodation, please check our disabled accessible hotel rooms.