Handicap Scuba Diving

Handicap Scuba Diving – Guinjata is the only dive centre in Mozambique doing it and having a tradition in it.

Handicap Scuba Association SA logo

Handicap Scuba Association SA logo

Handicap Scuba Diving is not on our daily program, but it’s our passion whenever we can do.

Handicap Scuba Divers

Handicap Scuba Divers



The HSA was founded in 1981 by Jim Gatacre and is now the world’s leading authority on recreational diving for people with disabilities.
The HSA had its’ genesis in 1975 at the University of California-Irvine as a research pilot program. Gatacre, ho had sustained an injury in 1972 that left his right arm disabled, was the prime motivation for the program. Learning to Scuba dive had such a powerful rehabilitative effect on Gatacre he wanted to share it with others. In 1981 he realized his dream and founded the Handicapped Scuba Association.


We operate as an independent diver training and certifying agency. Our prestigious diver education programs and Instructor Training Course (ITC) are internationally recognized and unequaled by any other programs in the industry. Additionally we provide a variety of support services, such as Resort Evaluations and Accessible Dive Vacations. Our training materials have been translated into 10 languages, & the HSA has brought the FIRST recreational activity of any kind for people with disabilities to countries such as the Ukraine.

Handicap Scuba Association SA - Helping a paraplegic scuba diver on boat

Handicap Scuba Association SA – Helping a paraplegic scuba diver on boat

Instructor Training Course (ITC)

Since the HSA Instructor Training Course (ITC) was first introduced in 1986 we have trained and certified a network of over 3500 instructors in over 45 countries worldwide. The ITC provides 3 full days of intensive, insightful theory and application for those instructors eager to accept the challenge of sharpening their teaching skills.

Each instructor acquires medical information through 10 hours of interactive lectures on disabilities – what they are and how they relate to diving – followed by a series of confined and open water exercises designed to simulate disabilities. By ‘acting out’ these handicaps, instructors actually experience what it’s like to BE a mobility or sight-impaired diver, a sensitizing, often surprising revelation even for instructors who have been teaching diving for many years.

Our roster of HSA instructors includes experts in Physical Rehabilitation counseling, over 50 Medical Doctors and numerous other health care professionals able to directly assess the profound effect of handicapped diving.

Handicap Scuba Association SA - scuba diver in special chair on boat

Handicap Scuba Association SA – scuba diver in special chair on boat

Course Director Training Course (CDTC)

This is the highest and most trusted position within the HSA. HSA Course Directors are responsible for properly training HSA Instructors to efficiently and safely train and certify divers with disabilities, a very serious level of responsibility affecting both people with disabilities and the success of HSA.

During the CDTC CD candidates receive in depth training and explanations of the materials they will be using to train instructors. This is 6 day intensive courses that includes 3 days of lectures covering the theory behind the ITC lectures, confined and open water training, followed by the candidate teaching an ITC under the CD trainer’s supervision. This class can only be teach by Jim Gateger (President) and Zelda Norden (Course Director Trainer)

Dive Buddy Course (DBC)

The HSA Dive Buddy Course (DBC) offers open water scuba divers with 20 or more logged dives, the opportunity to expand their underwater world to include sharing it with a handicapped dive buddy. An HSA certified Dive Buddy receives nearly as much information and skill training as an instructor, except the training focuses on recreation, not instruction.
The Dive Buddy Course is taught by HSA Course Directors and Instructors, often simultaneously with an ITC.
(Price: R3950)

Handicap Scuba Association SA - Open water Course

Handicap Scuba Association SA – Open water Course

Dive Buddy Leadership Course (DBL)

This course is for those Dive Buddies that have continued their underwater education & are certified by a recognized dive training agency as an Instructor, Assistant Instructor or Dive Master. These Dive Buddies can upgrade to HSA Instructor, Assistant Instructor or Dive Master by successfully passing the Dive Buddy Leadership Course taught by an HSA Course Director. Braam Le Roux and Zelda Norden
(Price: R5500)

Open Water Certification

Either from accident or disease about 15% of the population is statistically classified as ‘handicapped’. In the United States alone this percentage translates into MILLIONS of people, many of whom are fully capable of becoming scuba divers. Our open water training programs for people with disabilities are taught with a high margin of safety because we use teaching techniques developed with over 25 years of continuous research and feedback. Handicapped students are trained & certified according to HSA Physical Performance Requirements & a multilevel Certification system so exacting & sensitive it enables us to train people with a wide range of disabilities, including paraplegia, quadriplegia, blindness & those with high-functioning brain injuries or mild retardation.
(Price: R5500 Inland R7500 coast.)

Handicap Scuba Association SA - Qualifying a quadriplegic scuba diver

Handicap Scuba Association SA – Qualifying a quadriplegic scuba diver

Rehabilitation Hospital Program

Because scuba diving is an active, adventurous sport, it offers meaningful rehabilitation for the mind and spirit as well as for the body. Recognizing this, several leading rehabilitation hospitals worldwide, such as Craig Hospital of Denver Colorado, have pioneered the inclusion of HSA scuba diving classes as part of their patient program. These progressive rehabilitation specialists have bridged the gap between an institutional setting & the outside world, using scuba diving and dive travel to help ease their patients into successful social and community re-integration.

Handicap Scuba Association SA - scuba divers first ocean dive

Handicap Scuba Association SA – scuba divers first ocean dive

Accessible Travel and Resort Evaluation

HSA International Dive Vacations provide excellent opportunities to socialize with new or existing friends. Whether you’re diving with another HSA member, or interacting with guests from elsewhere, we offer you a healthy, happy way to see the world. Each year we plan, coordinate and conduct several dive vacations to exotic locations. All our destinations are researched and evaluated for wheelchair accessibility through our resort evaluation program. Most importantly, an HSA trained and certified instructor will be present on all trips to insure a safe, enjoyable yet independent experience for everyone.

Amaglubglub NPO For Handicap Scuba Association SA logo

Amaglubglub NPO For Handicap Scuba Association SA logo

Contact us

Are you interested? Please contact us directly via phone, or mail or via our contact form: