Wheelchair with various steering options

A variety of steering options for an electric wheelchair are important for persons who use their head to drive and easily develop neck pain

User sits in wheelchair, all three control alternatives visible
User sits in wheelchair, all three control alternatives visible

Description
The user drives a Permobil Chairman with DriveLink with MultiControl.
She has three different control alternatives:
1. Chin control with joystick: mounted on a stand attached to the backrest; the on/off button sits on the joystick holder.

2. Neck control: consists of 3 levers that sit behind, to the right, and to the left of the head; the user controls the wheelchair with head movements. She accelerates by pushing backward, with the other levers she steers to the right or left. The on/off button sits on a stand attached to the backrest.

3. Caretaker control: a joystick that sits behind the backrest, assistants can control the wheelchair.

Users comments
The joystick control is mainly used indoors, it is more accurate and works best in tight spaces. Neck control is mainly used outdoors. The user appreciates not having to have an object in front of her face.

Since the user develops neck pain when she controls the wheelchair it is important for her to be able to switch between the different control systems, which use different muscles.

When she tires an assistant can help her with the caretaker control option.

Made by
Permobil, www.permobil.com (last checked February 2017).

Paid for by
County Council

This tip is from 2008

User with chin control
User with chin control
User with neck control
User with neck control
Caretaker control
Caretaker control

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Tipsare: Nina

Nina lives in an apartment. She is working part time. She was injured in 1996 and has a high tetraplegia (C4). She is a ventilator user. She has two personal assistants 24 hours a day.