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kath2407
10-09-2013, 07:56 AM
Hi Guys - yes its me!! Been lurking but need to call upon the community for some advice!!

I've been asked to do a try dive with some people who have approached our club who are blind/partially sighted. I have worked with blind people on land before through work but am wondering if anyone can give me any tips and pointers - particularly regarding underwater communication techniques.

I've noticed that Scuba Trust do courses (might be popping to see you at the Dive Show!!).

I enjoy that fact that this is a new experience for me and I'm looking forward to it but also want to make sure that the try divers enjoy themselves too.

K xx

Major Clanger
10-09-2013, 10:11 AM
Hi Guys - yes its me!! Been lurking but need to call upon the community for some advice!!

I've been asked to do a try dive with some people who have approached our club who are blind/partially sighted. I have worked with blind people on land before through work but am wondering if anyone can give me any tips and pointers - particularly regarding underwater communication techniques.

I've noticed that Scuba Trust do courses (might be popping to see you at the Dive Show!!).

I enjoy that fact that this is a new experience for me and I'm looking forward to it but also want to make sure that the try divers enjoy themselves too.

K xx

Contact AlbyR, one of his buddies is a blind diver.

Jase
10-09-2013, 11:32 AM
Contact AlbyR, one of his buddies is a blind diver.

Having just spent a week technical diving with said buddy, I found it quite a rewarding experience!

Jase

Major Clanger
10-09-2013, 12:28 PM
Having just spent a week technical diving with said buddy, I found it quite a rewarding experience!

Jase

Good guy, hope to meet up him and his lot again.

Paulo
10-09-2013, 04:59 PM
I am sure Christian will be along in a few minutes to sort this one out ;)

Seastar
10-09-2013, 06:19 PM
I'm an instructor with Scuba Trust, and happy to give you any help, advice, suggestions either on here or at the Dive Show. (Ask for Laura), Unfortunately leeds is a bit far for me to travel.

My main tip is discuss everything before you get in. the time spent in prep is key. I have a sheet for the standardised underwater hand signals that are used by DDI (Disabled divers international) and IAHD which when I find I can email to you.

It's always a good idea to have a go being blind yourself. use a blacked out mask, and get a buddy or an instructor to talk to you, you already know what to expect, but it is still an 'eye opener'. Simple things like describing what the pool is like and where they are in relation to it. Starting at a corner so they have knowledge of 2 pool walls. Knowing where the hand rail is to hold on. Imagine trying to describe the kit!

Paulo
10-09-2013, 06:30 PM
I find it very inspiring to hear about people overcoming physical issues like this and acheiving a long term goal!

I do however find it strange to hear of someone blind doing a tech dive. I only do it to see something I am never going to see otherwise. I would imagine that for a blind person the idea is to experience weightlessness or something similar (I dont know anyone blind nevermind a blind diver so I cant ask, sorry if my thinking is skewed or naive), surely that can be done in less challenging conditions, unless of course the challenge is the objective in the first place.

I regularly dive with a deaf guy and his ability to communicate underwater is phenominal. To him it is just like communicating elsewhere so he always gets his point across and will always work out what you are telling him ... its great :)

hilrosepaul
10-09-2013, 06:52 PM
Who's the blind guy on the box?

Is it Graham?

Needs a bit of help on land, but apparently in the water you'd never guess

Sent from my GT-I8160 using Tapatalk 2

Seastar
10-09-2013, 06:55 PM
I do however find it strange to hear of someone blind doing a tech dive. I only do it to see something I am never going to see otherwise. I would imagine that for a blind person the idea is to experience weightlessness or something similar (I dont know anyone blind nevermind a blind diver so I cant ask, sorry if my thinking is skewed or naive), surely that can be done in less challenging conditions, unless of course the challenge is the objective in the first place.

It's all of it - Everyone is different, blind or not, some do tech dives for the feeling of breaking barriers and challenges, going deeper, longer, others it's about what they see (wrecks or wildlife), or feel.

Jase
10-09-2013, 08:15 PM
Who's the blind guy on the box?

Is it Graham?

Needs a bit of help on land, but apparently in the water you'd never guess

Sent from my GT-I8160 using Tapatalk 2

It is Graham.

Having never met the guy previously, although having discussed our diving extensively on the phone, we dived Malin together a few weeks back.

As a tech inst, I can say few have his composure in the water. Clearly, he needs a visual steer with a few aspects topside, but is remarkably composed under. We did 70M+ and 2 hour runtimes in marginal conditions.

As has been said, surface planning is everything. For the critics here, comment after you have done it; disabled people have a remarkable capacity to amaze.

Jase

Major Clanger
10-09-2013, 08:33 PM
I dived off Top Gun with Graham last year. You'd need to discuss with him his motives for what he does and why. All I can say is that he is a cracking bloke and an absolute inspiration.

Stephen McElhone
10-09-2013, 09:16 PM
Hey,

I am currently teaching a blind guy, he did his open water course with one of the specialist agencies, can't remember right now which one. But he is now working his way through the PSAI Advanced Open Water course, the gets his manuals delivered to his computer & the software reads it to him. He has now done over 20 dives with me and he absolutely loves diving & more often than not his first words upon surfacing are to ask when we are diving again.
We worked together to develop a series of signals to communicate with each other, signals to communicate ok, up, down, stop, add air to suit/bcd, vent air, how long the stop is and many others.
We agree on a diveplan topside & stick to it, refreshing our signals as part of the pre-dive checks and a briefing about the location we are diving. The same as I would with a sighted diver. He enjoys feeling his way around the sites & wants to dive wrecks & complete his rescue diver course & from what I have seen of him so far I have no doubt that he will do it, and much more besides!

Stephen

Paulo
10-09-2013, 09:48 PM
Hey,

I am currently teaching a blind guy, he did his open water course with one of the specialist agencies, can't remember right now which one. But he is now working his way through the PSAI Advanced Open Water course, the gets his manuals delivered to his computer & the software reads it to him. He has now done over 20 dives with me and he absolutely loves diving & more often than not his first words upon surfacing are to ask when we are diving again.
We worked together to develop a series of signals to communicate with each other, signals to communicate ok, up, down, stop, add air to suit/bcd, vent air, how long the stop is and many others.
We agree on a diveplan topside & stick to it, refreshing our signals as part of the pre-dive checks and a briefing about the location we are diving. The same as I would with a sighted diver. He enjoys feeling his way around the sites & wants to dive wrecks & complete his rescue diver course & from what I have seen of him so far I have no doubt that he will do it, and much more besides!

Stephen

So Morgan is progressing then Stephen :)

Defiance Charters
11-09-2013, 09:18 AM
Who's the blind guy on the box?

Is it Graham?

Needs a bit of help on land, but apparently in the water you'd never guess

Sent from my GT-I8160 using Tapatalk 2

Hi

Mark Threadgold dives with me. I was the person who did the first 100m record with him on an Inspiration. (Pictures are on my website CCR100 Defiance Charters (http://brightonboat.co.uk/nggallery/ccr100/)) Mark is 100% blind.

Graham is the other person on an Inspo. He uses a standard whereas Mark's is modified by Martin Parker due to his total blindness.

I am happy to discuss signals etc. (I will PM my private phone number) or probably best is I will PM Mark's email. He will be glad to help. Otherwise I won't give him a lift home from the club tonight :)

Paul

kath2407
13-09-2013, 02:43 PM
Thanks for all the replies guys and also the PM's that I've received too.

We are try diving next week but apparently one person from teh group has exprssed an interest in moving onto full training. I will definitely be bothering the Scuba Trust at the Dive show - I need a new challenge and maybe I've just stumbled across it!!!

K xx

Alby R
17-09-2013, 11:53 AM
Thanks for all the replies guys and also the PM's that I've received too.

We are try diving next week but apparently one person from teh group has exprssed an interest in moving onto full training. I will definitely be bothering the Scuba Trust at the Dive show - I need a new challenge and maybe I've just stumbled across it!!!

K xx

hi kath

only just seen this thread been out to malta with our group which included graham and tracy is wife, did some great diving out there with extended run times (3hrs mostly). what people have said about graham is correct he is a very competant diver considering his disability, and he is also a top bloke to be with, i am sure he would help you out with any info and would probably be an asset for you to know, he also lives in your neck of the woods. I f you still need any help drop me a pm and i will send you his contact details

alby

kath2407
19-09-2013, 07:59 AM
The try dive was last night and it turns out that Graham is part of the group - one of their organiser/facilitator people for the Young People's Blind and VI group. It turns out that I recognised Graham having randomly chatted to him in Divers Warehouse once a few years back. So we had a bit of a chat and a catch up which was nice.

As for the try dive, the lady I took in was pretty apprehensive - although I explained that we'd be in 1.2m of water and if there were any issues she should just stand up she did ask me what the % chance of dying was. I reassured her on that one!!! She said that she enjoyed the experience and felt a personal satisfaction from having over come her nerves but diving wasn't the sport for her! (Not everyone can be assimilated!) I hope that wasn't a reflection on me!!

I found it really difficult - I do talk with my hands - so it was wierd not to just drop into old habits - I had to keep checking myself and thinking about how I'd explained things. I also found it physically exerting. Obviously the lady was expecting me to give her direction around the pool but she was very tense (and probably so was I) so I found it much harder that I expected to direct her.

She was 100% blind where as some of the other try divers had differing levels of visual impairment and were interested in watching the bubbles or the light on the surface.

All in all - a) I was incredibly proud of what she achieved in overcoming her own fears (kind of like any try diver really) b) I was incredible honoured that she would hand over her trust to me when we'd literally met only 10 minutes previously and c) a little bit chuffed with myself - I don't think I did horrendously bad - would do somethings different next time but I managed not to drown any blind people!!!!! - RESULT!

K xx


hi kath

only just seen this thread been out to malta with our group which included graham and tracy is wife, did some great diving out there with extended run times (3hrs mostly). what people have said about graham is correct he is a very competant diver considering his disability, and he is also a top bloke to be with, i am sure he would help you out with any info and would probably be an asset for you to know, he also lives in your neck of the woods. I f you still need any help drop me a pm and i will send you his contact details

alby