As a former diver, Underwater Signs have always been an interest of mine and I thought for fun I would teach my ASL students some common signs used by both deaf and hearing people under water.
PADI Course Director and founder of Aqua Hands, Thomas Koch, explains a little bit about using sign language while scuba diving. Calvin Young of Seek the World joined Thomas in Texas for a few days of diving with Aqua Hands.
Koch has been instrumental in introducing people who are deaf to diving, and has been growing the community of deaf divers since he became an instructor. To date, he has taught eight new deaf PADI Instructors around the United States. “It truly excites me when I am able to bring deaf people into the world of diving and educate them about the ocean as a certified diver,” he says. Thomas plans to continue training deaf instructors throughout the world so that all deaf people will have the opportunity to learn how to dive. Through his organization, Aqua Hands, deaf and signing hearing participants are always given full access to communication both underwater and above water.
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