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Thread: How do paraplegics use sewing machines

  1. #1

    Question How do paraplegics use sewing machines

    I found out my wife's sewing machine is controlled with a foot pedal. Is there a way for paraplegics to use such a machine?

  2. #2
    The only way that comes to mind is a switch that can be activated by chin, or mouth. I know person who's a quad and tig welds using this method.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    I use my elbow and can still guide the material with both hands (move the foot pedal to the even table beside the machine).
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  4. #4
    Yes, most people I know who sew with a machine after SCI use the footpedal with their elbow. It may be easier to add a pad to make the little button easier to access if yours has a small button.

    Here is a video:


  5. #5
    Here is one that is manufactured:
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

    See my personal webpage @

  6. #6
    I have a sewing machine that you can work by foot pedal or you can unplug the foot pedal and there is a switch on the machine you push from left to right when you do that it works just as the foot pedal would (so if you move it to the right slightly it goes slowly if you push it all the way to the right it goes fast and all the way to the left it stops completely). since I don't have any movement/use of my lower legs I control the machine with the switch by one hand while I guide the fabric with the other. So if your wife has full use of her hands maybe that would be an option?

  7. #7
    I took a piece of string and hung the controller under my arm pit. Just squeeze with your arm.

  8. #8
    Senior Member flying's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Southern Oregon coast
    I use my elbow, but am trying to rig it up so the controller is in front of my chest, so I could lean forward to make it go.
    T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

  9. #9
    Hi BabyFu18. What make and model?

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