HSA Handicapped Scuba Association diving instruction provided by Midwest School of Diving in White Bear Lake, MN just north of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.HSA Dive Buddy Course

Expanding the Underwater World to Divers with Disabilities

Get Involved, Spread the Excitement. Do you know someone, a friend or family member with disabilities you would like to involve in scuba diving? Do you welcome the challenge of learning about disabilities, accessibility issues and how to dive with people who have disabilities? The HSA "Dive Buddy Program" offers Open Water Scuba Divers this opportunity to expand their underwater world by sharing it with divers with disabilities.

The course combines classroom instruction followed by confined water and open water exercises, designed to simulate disabilities. In "acting out" the disabilities, Dive Buddies actually experience what it is like to be a mobility or sight-impaired diver, and the special considerations needed when planning and diving with them. A sensitizing and often surprising revelation for even the most experienced diver!

During 8 hours of interactive lectures you will be:

  • Introduced to several disability types and acquired specialized knowledge usually found only in medical environments
  • Accessibility issues and travelling for people with disabilities
  • Special considerations for diving with a disability

During 5 hours of Confined Water training you will simulate paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputee and blind divers, performing skills that are technically problematic for these disability types. (Don't worry, we do give breaks!!!) Through these training scenarios you will learn to dive and solve problems differently, developing new skills that are needed to safely Scuba dive with divers with disabilities.

During 4 hours of Open Water training you will be in a team of three, role playing as a Primary Dive Buddy with two buddies, one paraplegic and the other blind. You will rotate through all three roles. This training will provide you with specialized knowledge necessary for safely planning and diving with divers with disabilities.

As a Dive Buddy Candidate you will receive Dive Buddy Course materials that are a subset of the Instructor Training Course materials. What this means for you is, as an HSA certified Dive Buddy you will receive nearly as much information and skill training as an instructor, except the training focuses on recreation, not instruction!

Dive Buddy Course Prerequisites

Certified Open Water Scuba Diver with 20 or more Logged Scuba Dives



Great Dive Shop!

Great Dive Shop, the instructor went out of his way to explain things and he was super patient. My husband has been trying to get me Scuba certified for years and I kept putting it off, but now that I am certified, I really wish I had done it sooner. The process was a lot easier than i thought it would be, and the teacher walked us through everything in a way that was really easy to understand. after I got my certification, my husband and I decided to sign up our two kids (14, 17) and now our whole family is certified.  I would say this place is family friendly and a great place to take classes and buy equipment.

- Bertha, St. Paul, MN


Boy Scouts of America can earn their Scuba Diving Merrit Badge at the MidWest School of Diving in White Bear Lake, MN, a suburb of the Twin Cities of MInneapolis and St. Paul.