Sunday, July 27, 2008

Singapore program teaches disabled people to scuba dive

Tam Ah Hock

The Electric New Paper reports that a disabled dive program in Singapore is working to get people with disabilities there certified to dive. For example, Tam Ah Hock, who was born with a genetic disorder and uses a wheelchair, learned scuba diving more than 10 years ago.

Tam, an operations support executive, said: "On land, I feel very disabled. My movements are limited. Once in the water, I'm just like any other person, free to move everywhere. I can see the fishes, the underwater scene, it's a totally different environment."

Dive Atlantis, charges $680 for a disabled diver course - the same amount as its open water course for regular divers, though the former requires more instructors.

"I don't think disabled diving is well-known in Singapore," said dive instructor Eugene Sim from Dive Atlantis, who took a course on teaching diving to disabled people. "If the disabled can enjoy one more sport, it's more meaningful to them."