This is certainly one of the programs that I am super excited about. After having the honor of being able to help put this together PADI has rolled out their Adaptive teaching techniques program. This has been a while in the making and it is great to finally be able to pass on some of the amazing experiences that I have had bringing scuba to even more people.
What you have to remember about the program is that it is not designed to allow you to teach a separate certification. It is designed so that you can take the already existing levels of scuba diving certification and look at many of the different ways to adapt them to people of varying abilities. Maybe your student has a physical adaption that is needed, maybe the suffer from PTSD. There is such a vast array of things that scuba can help and heal, this program is designed to arm with as many tools as possible to get you thinking outside the box with your teaching.
So, how is the program structured and who is it for?
First up the structure. It has been divided into two sections, the Adaptive support diver and then the Adaptive teaching techniques. The support diver program is designed for anyone who wants to be able to accompany someone scuba diving. You do not have to be a scuba professional to teach this program but a first aid certification as well as your scuba certification (Advanced or equivalent ) is recommended. You will learn the mentality of working with people of many different abilities as well as various techniques for assisting them in the water.
For the Adaptive teaching techniques program this is designed for scuba professionals, Divemaster or above from any agency. The program covers the same as the adaptive support diver, and then also looks at techniques for teaching. How can you adapt skills for the someone who maybe has some physical limitations? It is never about looking at what they can't do, but more at what they can do. If you look closely at a lot of the standards there are many areas where you the skill is open to interpretation, as in, there is no one specific way to do something. This is when you need to start thinking outside the box and have a very open mind. Don't be stuck on that one way you always taught something. There is always something new to learn and I am sure that many of your future students will show a thing or to as well.
So does this intrigue you? I would hope so. I love this new program so much that I will already be incorporating elements of it into our pro teaching programs. The next IDC will be having an MSDT program followed by the Adaptive teaching techniques program so anyone who has an interest can schedule to jump on it with me.
Scuba is an incredible healing tool and it should be available to anyone who wants to try, with this new program, we are closer to that goal : )