Adapted Aquatics

Adapted aquatics provide an opportunity for those with physical disabilities to experience independence and freedom from their crutches and wheelchairs through the support of water. On land or in the water, swimmers practice and improve on their individual survival and water safety skills, such as, holding their breath, blowing bubbles, floating, treading water, turning over and changing directions, head and body position, as well as developing personal swim strokes to move from one point to another.

An individualized assessment is needed in adapted aquatics as different needs require specific goals and objectives that include supervision, training, modifications and adaptations to the learning environment and equipment. Noodles, rafts, kickboards, tubes, basically anything that floats are great tools to have in the pool.


To get involved with adapted aquatics in the Bay Area, contact the Special Needs Aquatics Program (SNAP) located in Berkeley, CA. They have been around since 1991 offering classes for parents with young children under 3, school age children and pre-teens and teens.

If you’re looking for help getting a friend or family member that has a physical disability involved in swimming and need some guidance, please visit the USA Swimming Website and contact the Disability Swimming Committee :

If you’re looking for information about adapted aquatics including equipment, research, and possibly getting a job with adapted aquatics, go no further than Dr. Phillip Conaster’s Adapted Aquatics website here :