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Local Chicago News post

Discussion in 'Diveheart' started by gmhicks5867, May 28, 2009.

  1. gmhicks5867

    gmhicks5867 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NW Indiana about 50 SE of Chicago
    Free Time: Diveheart buoys spirits Water dissolves barriers for people with disabilities

    Submitted by Renee Tomell on May 4, 2009 - 1:52pm
    Whether by land or sea, volunteers can help the Diveheart Foundation teach scuba diving to children and adults with disabilities. The foundation believes the sport enables participants to overcome physical limitations and build confidence and independence. ŪtÃÔ such a powerful sport and the only sport in the world with no gravity, which makes it perfect for people with disabilities, says Jim Elliott, foundation president.
    Ūt can change peopleÃÔ lives, and not only create a paradigm shift in how they think about themselves ... there are a lot of physiological benefits, including hyperbaric benefits from breathing compressed air," Elliott says.
    Ÿe are a leader in the world with people with visual impairment, Elliott says of the organization, which also focuses on returning veterans.
    He says when people with disabilities succeed at a challenge their able-bodied peers havenÃÕ attempted, such as shark and shipwreck dives, it changes not only self-perception but also others assumptions. ŪtÃÔ not Johnny in the wheelchair; itÃÔ Johnny the scuba diver, he says.
    The group dives locally at Lake Michigan and has facilitated more exotic dives in locations all over the world. It currently has five trips planned between now and August, the first of which will take a group of veterans with disabilities from Hines VA Hospital to the Florida Keys next week.


    People with or without scuba experience are welcome, and volunteer commitments range from an hour a week to a few hours a day.
    The organization provides certification programs for scuba novices, and even certified divers go through training to work with participants with disabilities. Program fees are on a sliding scale based on need, but start around $200 hundreds less than standard certification or training costs. Volunteers can also work holding tanks or snorkeling in shallow water.
    Landlubbers can lend a hand with DiveheartÃÔ Web site, fundraisers, administrative needs in the Downers Grove office or packing gear for participants poolside.
    WHO Jim Elliott, founder
    PHONE (630) 964-1983
    E-MAIL info@diveheart.org
    WEB www.diveheart.org

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