TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An ASU sophomore is designing an adaptive wetsuit to make it easier for divers with disabilities to participate in the sport.

"I started diving when I was ten," said Tallin Speek. "This brand new world where the sounds are new, the sights are new, and you're weightless was just such an incredible new experience."

Speek always wanted to share his passion with others.

"I was helping by volunteering at my local dive shop to help with the certification of adaptive divers, which are those divers that have physical disabilities, often paralysis," Speek said.

It was through this work at a local dive shop back home in Colorado that Speek noticed something.

"I was helping certify this quadriplegic who had quite a bit of use of his arms and legs, and I watched him struggle to put on his wetsuit for over half an hour," Speek said.

Wetsuits are tough to get on for anyone and can be even more challenging for those with disabilities.

"There had to be a better way, a better wetsuit for people like him," Speek said.

So here in the desert, the fish out of water is designing a better way for people with disabilities to get into their wetsuits.

"My design allows the users to place their arm into the wetsuit and closes around it," Speek said.

Speek also just got a grant from "Changemaker Central @ ASU" to help fund the project.

"I have a potential partner in Thailand, which is one of the largest wetsuit manufacturers," Speek said.

You could say things are going swimmingly as the sophomore attending Barrett, The Honors College at ASU, works to make a splash in the world of scuba diving.

"To be able to dive at such a young age and have all of these amazing experiences, I really want to give back," Speek said.

 

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