International Association for Handicapped Divers (IAHD)

17.12.2016 by ricardo
IAHD logo

The Organisation International Association for Handicapped Divers (IAHD)

The IAHD is an internationally recognised and operating diving organisation, which is ISO-certified. Main focus of the organisation is the training of divers, which have a handicap. Its headquarters are in Middenmeer in the Netherlands. The foundation already took place in 1993 and thousands of divers and diving instructors with handicaps have been trained worldwide up to now. It is a non-profit organisation in the form of a charitable foundation.

Diving offers many advantages to people with a physical or mental handicap.  The movement in water as well as the increased activity in a social environment have positive effects. In addition, during the training there is no higher risk than with non-handicapped people.  The adjustment of the techniques as well as the devices on the respective diving student is taken over by a diving instructor who has been especially trained for this.  Depending on the case, separate lessons are performed in part.

IAHD works in accordance with a EUF certified system.

Courses offered by the International Association for Handicapped Divers (IAHD)

Introductory courses

Scuba Dive Introduction

It is an introductory course offered to all of those who do not want to do the complete training and wish to have first experiences with an independent underwater breathing apparatus.

  • Procedure: The course is divided into theoretical and practical parts. In the theoretical part, the operating principle of the equipment is explained. Additionally, the participants find out how the body reacts to diving. In the practical part, a dive with SCUBA gear in a basin or swimming pool is carried out.
  • Requirements: A verifiable swimming ability, as well as a diving medical examination and a signed declaration of consent must be presented.
  • Minimum age: 8 years
  • ISO-Certification: Introductory Dive in accordance with ISO 11121:2009

Beginners’ Courses

  • Pirate Fish Diver for children and adults with mental disability
  • Confined Water Diver (Supervised Diver in accordance with ISO 24801-1:2007 and EN 14153-1:2003)

Open Water Dive

The Open Water Dive enables divers with a handicap to do a training course, in order to be able to dive safely in open water.

  • Procedure: In the theoretical part, the operating principle of the diving equipment is explained. In addition, tips are given regarding what to take into account with the equipment. The participants find out, what reactions of their bodies they must pay attention to. In the practical part, first they go into a restricted water area, afterwards the open water exercises follow.
  • Requirements: Verifiable swimming ability as well as a diving medical examination and the signed declaration of consent.
  • Minimum age: 14 years
  • ISO-Certification: Autonomous Diver in accordance with ISO 24801-2:2007 and EN 14153-2:2003

Advanced Courses

  • Enriched Air Diver Level 1 (Nitrox in accordance with ISO 11107:2009 – for participants with or without a disability)
  • Dive Partner (Course for the certified training Rescue Diver for the supervision of divers with physical or mental handicaps)


not available

Professional Sector

  • Instructor Assistant (Dive Leader in accordance with ISO 24801-3:2007 and EN 14153-3:2003)
  • Instructor Level 2 (ISO 24802-2:2007 and EN 14413-2:2004 – exclusively for participants without a handicap)

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