Q:

What are some different types of power wheelchair joysticks?

A:

Quick Answer

Power wheelchair joysticks come in two main types: hand and chin. Hand joysticks can further be broken down into carrot joysticks, ball and dome style, and goalpost style. All are designed for different levels of fine-tuned control depending on a user's relative mobility and motor function ability.

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Full Answer

The most fine-tuned control is the standard carrot stick joystick. The person operating the control uses his thumb and a few fingers to control the wheelchair. For those unable to operate this type of control, the next easiest control is the ball and dome. The ball and dome is like a carrot joystick with a large ball on the top to make grasping easier.

For people who cannot use the ball and dome, the goalpost style joystick offers the easiest manual control. The goalpost style is a T-shaped bar with raised ends shaped like a football goalpost. This allows the user to rest her entire hand on the joystick and utilize motor movements of the whole arm, if necessary, to steer the wheelchair.

For those who cannot use their hands at all, the chin joystick is another option for controlling the wheelchair. This consists of a bracket mounted near the user's head with a small joystick resting just under the chin. It usually has a cup shaped top on the stick for the person to rest his chin. This accommodates control of the wheelchair with minimal dexterity and strength.

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