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Old 05-29-2018, 04:39 PM
1 posts, read 155 times
Reputation: 10


I am a physiotherapist in a college in the UK for young people with disabilities. I have a client who drives a power chair using head switches so is unable to use it on the Sabbath. This means she is reliant on someone else to move her around. She struggles with anxiety and panic attacks when left alone unable to move.
She has a friend who is allowed use her power chair on the Sabbath however is worried that her Rabbi may say no. We have approached the Zomet institute regarding adapting her chair but they are unable to help due to the complexity of her driving system i.e. a system of head switches rather than a joystick.
I wondered if you could offer me any advice on how to help my patient without upsetting her faith and her family. She practices Modern Orthodox Judaism.
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:04 PM
Location: NJ
1,392 posts, read 497,618 times
Reputation: 596
The Tzomet institute is the best bet unless you know some students in a Jewish school who are strong in robotics and Jewish law and want to push the envelope. I don't know how head switches work but the issue (if it is the complexity of the driving system) is not the religious limitation but the technological one. Once a system (probably a grama system) is applied, it can be adapted to any motion method. It just takes someone who understands the technical aspects.
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:00 PM
Location: Boston,MA
126 posts, read 86,996 times
Reputation: 101
While it may not meet the seating/positioning and adaptive drive control needs your clients powerchair provides Amigo has a halachally approved solution:

Amigo Shabbat

There is a congregant at my former Shul who I believe has Musclar Dystrophy and used a Permobil with power seating functions but was able to transfer into the Amigo over Shabbos. Each person’s needs and abilities are different but this is one possible solution.
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