I know it will be hard for you to believe that what we are trying to accomplish with this manual and training program is not about scuba diving, but rather about helping children, adults and veterans, not just with disabilities, but of all abilities, to Imagine the Possibilities in their lives. I had no idea when I began the process of rethinking how we should present and teach Adaptive Scuba to instructors, dive buddies and individuals with disabilities that it would take the better part of five years to develop the materials and bring them to market.
No doubt, I had the concept and vision of reinventing adaptive training protocols that would represent the industry’s best practices and the latest thinking and techniques in Adaptive Scuba. However, it wasn't until Mike Kaufman came on board as co-author that I really began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Mike is a Diveheart board member, Adaptive Scuba Instructor, accomplished attorney in the medical field and all around awesome diver and good friend. He made the commitment to help and it changed everything. Mike committed hundreds of hours of writing, rewriting and conceptualizing new approaches to teaching Adaptive Scuba to the world. His ability to articulate the benefits, protocols, standards and guidelines in this manual represent concepts that have never been expressed before.
Mike created the Needed Scuba Assistance (NSA) protocols and the Adaptive Diver Profile Slate for Adaptive Diver assessments along with the focus on KEY Scuba Skills that you will read about in this manual. These tools are unprecedented in Adaptive Scuba training and will make the activity much safer and more enjoyable for the Adaptive Diver, instructor and buddy team.
Mike tapped into his wealth of experience as an Adaptive Scuba Instructor, and extensive legal and medical knowledge to pioneer unprecedented ideas in risk management, safety protocols and Adaptive Scuba training techniques. His approach of consistently placing ownership on the Adaptive Diver, regardless of his abilities, helps everyone on the Adaptive Dive Team better understand their roles and responsibilities; before, during and after the dive.
Mike truly gave everything to this project and for that I am eternally grateful, and I could never thank him enough. Our collaboration with Eric Douglas, Ken Berry and Frazier Nivens then brought our concepts and vision to reality. You will witness, as you read these pages, the new standards and best practices in Adaptive Scuba Training that currently exist.
No doubt, it was a process and not an event, but with Mike Kaufman's input, hard work and dedication, the dream became a reality.
Thank you my friend,
Founder & President