Disabled Divers International (DDI) Programme now available at Resorts World Sentosa

Scuba diving can benefit our well-being in many ways. But do you know that it is also an excellent form of social and physical rehabilitation for disabled individuals? In water, the difference between disabled and abled people is minimised due to the feeling of weightlessness. A paraplegic (paralysis of both lower limbs due to spinal disease or injury) diver, for example, can easily move independently under water and experience greater mobility freedom than on land.

First and only DDI Dive Centre in Singapore

For the first time in Singapore, disabled individuals, such as those with muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or paraplegia, can learn to scuba dive at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) – Singapore’s first and only accredited DDI Dive Centre that offers Disabled Divers International (DDI) programmes.

How DDI Programmes Work

  • Modifies and enhances existing diver training programmes and/or equipment to enable disabled individuals to perform all skill requirements while diving safely.
  • Highly customised to suit participants with a wide range of disabilities from cerebral palsy to spinal cord injuries.

Recently on 18 November 2017, we welcomed our first batch of four participants who underwent the DDI introductory course.

From left: Erwayne Teo, Syed Abdul Aziz, Wong Liang Le and Angeline Peh.
The session began with a theory lesson which covered safety rules, basic diving theory, hand signals and essential techniques like equalising air spaces and clearing water from the regulator and mask.
This was followed by confined water training where participants put their new knowledge into practise underwater.
Wong Liang Le, who has a spinal cord injury (incomplete tetraplegia), goes on an assisted underwater training session with instructor Ashley Benson.
Finally, the participants embarked on their first diving experience in S.E.A. Aquarium’s Open Ocean Habitat, swimming among more than 40,000 marine animals, including manta rays and goliath groupers.

Moving across the top of the Ocean Dome

One of the participants was Syed Abdul Aziz, a helpesk consultant. He suffered a stroke about 2 years ago who resulted in hemiparesis – weakness or the inability to move one side of the body. He was hospitalised for 3 months and spent another 8 months to regain his ability to walk and take public transport on his own.

I feel a sense of achievement after completing the programme. It’s not about proving to others but to myself. That I too can accomplish what normal people can do.

Syed (right) and his instructor Kent Jubela.

Another participant, Angeline Peh, never thought she would be able to experience water-based activities again after her fall last year which injured her spinal cord, resulting in complete T8 paraplegia.

I enjoyed my close encounter with the sharks and rays. The trainers were very experienced and patient, especially in the beginning when I was a little worried about being in the water. I felt reassured with them guiding me every step of the way.

Angeline is grateful for the opportunity to experience diving in the Open Ocean Habitat.
Our first DDI programme – a success!

Complimentary for eligible participants

As part of our corporate social responsibility programme, RWS is offering complimentary DDI introductory courses to all eligible participants. For enquiries and reservations, please email dive@rwsentosa.com

To find out more about other dive courses available at RWS, click here

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