Visually impaired students scuba dive for first time

Wesley Harnish, 12, of Lebanon, with Adaptive Diving Association volunteer Dominic Pubbo.
Wesley Harnish, 12, of Lebanon, with Adaptive Diving Association volunteer Dominic Pubbo. Jesi Yost - Digital First Media
Annie Harnish, 12, of Lebanon, scuba dives for the first time.
Annie Harnish, 12, of Lebanon, scuba dives for the first time. Jesi Yost - Digital First Media

By Jesi Yost

For Digital First Media

As a way of giving back to the community, The Heritage of Green Hills in Shillington hosted a scuba diving class at its indoor pool for youth from VisionCorps, a Lancaster-based non-profit organization that empowers people who are blind or vision impaired to attain independence.

With the help of Adaptive Diving Association, the visually impaired youth, ages 10 to 13, scuba dive for the first time.

“Why would someone who is blind want to scuba dive?” asked Adaptive Diving Association founder and CEO Jim Hoser. “Because of their vision impairment, these youths have much higher sensory awareness when it comes to their other senses — such as hearing and touch. Their first scuba dive will be an exhilarating experience.”

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Adaptive Diving Association provided all the equipment. Heritage of Green Hills provided the pool.

Hoser and Adaptive Diving Association volunteers Allen Moyer, Dominic Pubbo and Tom Allan helped VisionCorps students Annie, Toby and Wesley Harnish, Kai and Naima Smith enjoy scuba diving for the first time.