Skydiving for the Disabled

Thursday, September 5, 2019

We at WNY Skydiving believe the sky is for everyone – this includes skydiving for the disabled. And we’re passionate about making the skies accessible to people of all abilities. We even have a tried-and-tested plan in place to get you in the air. Heck, we prove it all the time!

Take for example Naomi. She is disabled, and chose to celebrate her birthday with us on August 6th with a tandem jump. It was a dream come true for her – and she was absolutely ecstatic.

Skydiving for the disabled - Naomi jumps at WNY Skydiving

It goes without saying that the experience of skydiving changes with the skydiver’s ability set. Our goal is to optimize the experience and make sure every skydiver gets the absolute most from a skydive. “Disability”? Hah. You’ll be flying higher than most people can imagine, no matter what their status on the sliding scale. Here’s what you need to know:

Paraplegic Skydiving

We’re excited to welcome paraplegic tandem students to WNY Skydiving. We take a little extra time in preparation, but that’s about the only difference from a regular tandem jump.

One thing for you to consider: there is the risk of bone injury, so it is strongly suggested you make this decision with your doctor.

If you complete that first tandem skydive, you demonstrate uncommon upper-body strength, and you’re keen to progress in the sport, we have some good news: In certain circumstances, paraplegic students can tackle the lifetime challenge of a solo skydiving certification. This, of course, requires significant preparation and ongoing conversation, but we’re happy to consult with you and your doctor about the possibility.

Paraplegic skydiving is totally possible - like Naomi proved during her tandem jump at WNY Skydiving.

Sight Impaired Skydiving / Blind Skydiving

Great news! There are no special considerations concerning tandem skydiving for the sight-impaired. The feeling of skydiving is an incredibly novel sensation even for sighted people; sight-impaired tandem skydiving students have some pretty incredible things to say about it.

While we’re unable to offer solo skydiving certification courses for blind persons (because sight is integral to the process of solo training and solo jumping), we can expand a sight-impaired tandem student’s responsibilities on the skydive to parachute steering (which feels absolutely awesome).

Hearing Impaired Skydiving / Deaf Skydiving

Being hearing-impaired doesn’t significantly or adversely affect a tandem skydive in most cases. That said: as in all skydiving, communication is key. The student’s tandem instructor needs to be able to clearly convey to the student the procedures of the skydive. So if you can demonstrate on the ground that you’re able to receive instructions via another method than the spoken word, you’ll be all set.

If you’re a hearing-impaired skydiving student who decides to go beyond the tandem level and commit to a first-jump course, we’d love to have you! Note that communication is critical here. You’ll need a signing interpreter with knowledge of the sport of skydiving at your side for the duration of the 4-6 hour First Jump Course.

Paraplegic skydiver Naomi gets prepared for her birthday skydive with her sister.

As you certainly know, each individual ability set requires its own special considerations. Please do yourself the important service of getting a doctor′s opinion. We don’t know you and your situation well enough to tell you with certainty how skydiving will affect you; only you and a physician who knows you well can make that judgment.*

That said: There’s a world of possibility for you to explore. Let’s start the conversation!

*Each individual’s ability to skydive will be determined by our Safety and Training Advisor. If we are unable to make a good determination, then a doctor’s note will be requested.

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