ASP Vijay Kumar Sah with ASD Student3
March 2024

Provider of the Month

WaterWorld

India

Tell us a bit about you and your background...

My name is Vijay Kumar Sah, and I am the founder of WaterWorld, a pioneering organization dedicated to water sports and training.

Established in 1998 in Pune, Maharashtra, India, WaterWorld has been instrumental in promoting aquatic safety and skills across various sectors, including individuals with special needs.

With over two decades of experience in the field of aquatic education and training, I have passionately pursued the goal of making water-related activities accessible to all, regardless of ability.

Why did you choose to become Autism Swim Approved and what are the greatest benefits you've found since doing so?

Becoming Autism Swim Approved was a natural progression for WaterWorld as we recognized the importance of providing tailored aquatic programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

By aligning with Autism Swim, we gained access to specialized training and resources that enabled us to develop structured swimming programs catering to the unique needs of individuals with ASD.

The greatest benefit has been witnessing the positive impact of these programs firsthand, as participants experience increased confidence, improved social skills, and enhanced water safety awareness.

What sort of feedback have you received since putting the skills you learned into practice?

The feedback we've received from participants and their families has been overwhelmingly positive. Families have expressed gratitude for the inclusive environment and personalized approach to instruction provided by our certified teachers.

Participants have shown remarkable progress in their swimming abilities and confidence levels, often surpassing expectations. Moreover, families appreciate the emphasis on water safety skills, knowing that their loved ones are gaining essential life-saving abilities in a supportive setting.

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What advice can you give to other aquatic providers looking to become more inclusive?

My advice to other aquatic providers seeking to become more inclusive is to prioritize education and training in inclusive swimming practices. Invest in specialized training programs, such as those offered by Autism Swim, to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively support individuals with diverse needs.

Create a welcoming and accommodating environment where all participants feel valued and respected. Collaborate with local organizations and experts in disability services to enhance your understanding and capacity to serve diverse populations.

Ultimately, the key is to approach inclusivity with empathy, flexibility, and a genuine commitment to meeting the individual needs of each participant.

Do you have a favourite inclusion quote or analogy?

One of my favourite inclusion quotes is by Helen Keller, who said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." This quote beautifully encapsulates the essence of inclusivity – the idea that by embracing diversity and working together, we can achieve far greater outcomes than we ever could alone.

Just as water adapts and flows to accommodate various shapes and forms, so too should our approach to inclusion be fluid and adaptable, fostering a sense of belonging and unity among all individuals, regardless of differences.

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