Diveheart imagines possibilities for those with physical and developmental disabilities
By: Angela Hager, NCTV17
Diveheart provides and supports educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult, or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person.
The forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, everyone is equal.
Who participates with Diveheart?
Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.
“Getting people out of their wheelchairs and getting them standing up, looking down, going, ‘my God, I’m standing up for the first time since my injury.’ That is a high for me,” says Jim Elliott, Founder and President. “But to scale that up and replicate that in a way where we could serve tens of thousands of people in a year instead of hundreds of thousands, we really need to build a deep, warm water facility that we can replicate what we see in open water, and that includes pain management. If we get them deep enough, there’s extra output of serotonin in the human body, which helps with pain management.”
Partner with Diveheart
Diveheart relies on volunteers, but not all volunteers need scuba training. “You do not need to be a diver to volunteer,” says Executive Director Tinamarie Hernandez. “We need people to help us on land as well. If they want to learn, we have a way that we can teach you. If you’re not a diver, how to help at the pool. If you are a diver, we invite you to come and help.”
Diveheart is a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.