How Does a Wheelchair Joystick Work | Detailed Guide

Those people who just started using an electric wheelchair usually ask that How does a wheelchair joystick work and how to use it properly. Well if you also looking for that then you are in the right spot because I’m going to explain it in complete detail.

The problem faced by the new wheelchair user is that don’t know how does a wheelchair joystick work and sometime don’t even you how to control the wheelchair properly. Well, the joystick work is easy and simple.

The work and movement of the wheelchair are dependent on the movement of the joystick-like if you want to move forward then move the joystick forward and moving backward needs the joystick backward. Just like that the wheelchair move from left to right with the movement of the joystick.

How does a wheelchair joystick work

What is an Electric Wheelchair joystick?

An electric wheelchair is controlled by a joystick and a joystick is a physical device that controls the overall movement of an electric wheelchair. It is made and designed for those who are physically challenged and have a disability.

Through the joystick, we can move the overall wheelchair with just our fingers. This movement also doesn’t mean to go only forward and backward but it can also go left to right.

How Does a Wheelchair Joystick Work?

How does a joystick work? Well, the working of a wheelchair joystick is can be defined by a lot of things and I going to explain it properly. The wheelchair joystick is actually the control part of the overall process. An electric wheelchair first gets the required power from the batteries and then this power operates the motor of the wheelchair.

Then in the next step, the wheelchair joystick comes. Now you can control the overall movement of the motorized wheelchair. The work of the joystick is really simple and easy. If you move the joystick forward then it moves the wheelchair forward and moves back the joystick moves the wheelchair backward.

Just like that moving the joystick right moves the wheelchair right side and turns to the left side moving the wheelchair to the left side. The braking of a wheelchair is simple, all you have to do is to release the joystick and it will apply brakes automatically.

How to Control the Wheelchair Joystick

When we talk about the wheelchair joystick then we should talk about how to control it. Well, controlling also means using the joystick according to the places you are because it has limited mobility and limited range of strength and motion.

Controlling also means that used it safely so won’t break if you do then you have to unlock the power wheelchair and fix it by yourself or by calling professionals.

Why do People use Wheelchairs with a joystick?

In our happy world, there are about 57% of people have disabilities that required some sort of support. Some of them are dependent upon the wheelchair and especially the electric wheelchairs that are operated by a joystick.

For some people with such conditions that they are unable to move their hands properly or do not have any caregiver then you need an electric wheelchair that can be controlled with a joystick.

Wheelchair Joystick Types:

When it comes to wheelchair joystick handles then you found a lot of different types with different features and also different uses. You should know all of its types because it will help you in wheelchair joystick repair, Some of them are given below.

Conventional Joystick:

This is one of the basic and most common joysticks that you may see already. This joystick is used with only a powered wheelchair.


Some of the joysticks have softball called wheelchair joystick ball which is easy to grasp in the entire palm and also release making the wheelchair stop. It is suitable for that user to have finger controls.


The T handle is suitable for those who like to use more gross motor movements for their elbows and shoulder to control that joystick.


Stick handles basically are big and thick but not any longer. Now it is small and specially used for those who don’t have enough power in their fingers and hands.

Dome Shaped:

This handle has a larger surface area and is designed for those who have a poor grasp and with those hands, you can control the joystick effectively.

Large Ball:

The large ball also makes the grasp easier for people who can’t hold it on and find it hard. In this joystick, you can use the cone-shaped joystick.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Controller on a Wheelchair?

Normally a Joystick is a basic controller on an electric wheelchair that is responsible for all of the movement of the wheelchair. You can do all the 360 controllers on the wheelchair and even increase the speed and range of the wheelchair with this joystick controller.

How do you use an Electric Wheelchair Joystick?

An electric wheelchair joystick has a very easy design that everyone can use without effort. It has an on and off button on the top, then you have a speed increasing and decreasing button and then you also have a joystick which required simple movement. For example, if you want to move forward then move the joystick forward but if you move in reverse then press the joystick backward and the same goes for the right and left movements.

How do you Unlock a Joystick on a Wheelchair?

Locking and unlocking are easy but you have to understand them properly. To lock the joystick first you have to turn it on and then press and hold the power button for 2 seconds. Then you have to hold the joystick forward for 2 seconds, now hold the joystick in the reverse direction for 2 seconds and The joystick will be locked.
For unlocking you have to turn the joystick on first. now move the joystick forward and hold it for 2 seconds then move the joystick backward(reverse) and hold it for 2 seconds. This will unlock your wheelchair.


An electric wheelchair is one of the easiest wheelchairs because of its movement and the movement can be done by a joystick. It makes the overall work of moving a wheelchair easy. A wheelchair joystick is one of the main and unique features of an electric wheelchair.

I provide you with everything about how does a wheelchair joystick work and I hope that answers the question that you looking for if you have any questions about the joystick wheelchair or the wheelchair joystick controller hack and maybe in the article above then feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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