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e-News About One Hand Typing and Keyboarding
Type with One Hand on
February 2001 - About One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue:
1) ***New*** Classifieds!
2) Survey Results - Is the one handed person using adaptive technology?
3) funnies - Computer humor
4) Did you know ...
Several people have asked about classifieds ads! Well ok, we need a way to help pay expenses :)) Here is our first. Email me for the rates.
BAT Keyboard! Barely used, $50 email Barbara at email@example.com
Survey Results - One Hand Keyboarding, and Adaptive Technology
taken by Lilly Walters, http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com
On at least one occasion, in a many cases two to five occasions, we asked the question of many listservs (list is at the end of the article), "Who is actually using one hand keyboards and alternative keyboard layouts in the workplace?" (and alternative, but similar questions)
Compiling the total members of each list, I therefore asked a total of approximately 9000.
Less, considering many people do not open each message that comes through (which is why I asked more than once).
More, considering many on the members of the lists took the question very seriously and called others outside of the list to try and find me examples. All of those asked were people working with adaptive technologies, or are themselves disabled.
NOTE: Five schools contacted me to let me know they teach the appropriate students with a one hand keyboard. Of these, none could think of even a single one-handed student who had gone on to actually use the alternative equipment or alternative layouts in the workplace. This can be partially attributed to fact it is not part of the responsibility of people in vocational schools to follow the progress of their students into the workplace.
Also, several users contacted me who have severe disabilities in both hands - the results from these were not included below. Nor were the people who retired, rather than try to use their one handed skills in the workplace.
For the sake of clarity, we will call anyone with a disability in one hand - severe enough to force them to type with only one hand - a one handed person.
SUMMARY: I overwhelmingly found that if the person has good use of one hand, they are not using an alternative keyboard, an alternative keyboard layout (although many use macros and voice recognition), nor even a speed touch typing method on the standard keyboard.
The first choice is to "hunt and peck," or sadly, to retire from the workplace, even after being trained on adaptive keyboards and alternative layouts.
Much farther down the list is the second most used system, this for those who wished to be a speed touch typist: one hand qwerty (the good hand centering on the four center keys).
The vast majority of one hand users had never been told they could become speed touch typist using the standard keyboard. If anything was suggested, it was an alternative to the standard keyboard, which the user discarded.
Of the 9000 asked, those one handed people who currently use a **one handed keyboarders**in the workplace - and who replied to my query - are:
Bat One hand keyboard: two
NOTE: for the Half Qwerty Softare - 3, but all three are "about to start using it
No other one hand keyboards were mentioned.
There were 16 users of voice recognition (but one was a one hand typist)
CONCLUSIONS FOR THE ONE HANDED TYPIST: Although one hand keyboards are popular with assitive technology schools, the skills learned are not being brought with the user into the workplace. The schools and rehabilitation professionals see the many, and obvious, benefits in using a one handed device, and trains the users in what they feel is the best solution. The professional MUST be current in their knowledge on adaptive devices and assitive technology. They honestly feel they are going the best for their clients when they suggest a one hand keyboard. But the users are just as obviously not using the skills they are learning.
I feel, that on the most basic level this is because a one handed person can use the "able hand" to "hunt and peck" on the standard (QWERTY) keyboard with just as much speed as the two handed person. Many people in the workplace hunt and peck, instead of using a touch typing system. The one handed person steps into the workplace, already feeling a bit "different." They see their brethren in the office hunting and pecking, and instead of pulling out a keyboard that sets them apart even more, they do what the rest are doing. A one handed "hunt and pecker" has just about the same speed and ability as a "two hander. " So, why use the one hand keyboard when they can use the same tool as everyone else, and create for themselves a greater feeling of belonging.
Also, I have a suspicion, that many in the one handed, or partial hand amputee category just do not seek professional help. It is easier for them to find solutions on their own - hence the hunt and pecking.
Bill Baughn, moderator of two listservs for arm amputees, pointed out that at the famous One Arm Dove Hunt, eight out of ten amputees attending do not use prostheses. I think they leave their prostheses in the same closet that keeps their one handed keyboards. Because, at the end of the day it is just more comfortable to make our way in the world with only our natural abilities, and the tools at hand - yes, slight pun intended :)
If the one handed person is not going to adapt their work skills to one handed equipment, then perhaps we should adapt WHAT we are teaching the one handed person. We should help them excel on the equipment they seem most comfortable using. So, although we know the standard QWERTY keyboard is not the easiest, nor the fastest system of entering data, it is method they seem to end up using. Would not their time in training be better spent is learning ways to speed around the QWERTY keyboard*, ie, one hand QWERTY, macros, and voice recognition?
I believe that until the two handed community embraces alternative keyboards, neither will the one handed user.
*For charts, and how to information on one hand QWERTY http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/introduction.html
There are two manuals available at Amazon.com
THOSE QUESTIONED IN OUR SURVEY, approximately 9000
ABLETech: 182 subscribers, Oklahoma statewide project, to increase access to assistive technology for people of all ages and all disabilities
Adult Amputees N friends (Yahoo club): 574 subscribers
AMP-L: 200 subscribers - All types of amputees, friends and supporters
Amputee Safe Haven (Yahoo club): 157 subscribers
AMPUTEE: 280 subscribers - amputees, prosthetists and family member
ARM-AMP: 135 subscribers - Arm amputees, friends and supporters
Armless Hangout (Yahoo club): 70 subscribers
CANADAPT-L: List owner unwilling to submit information: Canadian Content with respect to Access and Adaptive Technology
DSSHE-L: 1281subscribers - Disabled Student Services in Higher Education
EASI: 578 subscribers - Equal Access to Software & Information
EDTECH: 5796 subscribers - determining the future directions of the uses of technology in education for many universities and school districts.
Living as an Arm Amputee (Yahoo club) 115 subscribers
SOREHAND: 933 subscribers, Discussion of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tendonitis etc..
**** COMPUTER HUMOR ...
Anytime you feel dumb, don't worry. Check out the following excerpts from a Wall Street Journal article by Jim Carlton, and you'll realize there are lots of people in the world far, far more idiotic than you could possibly be.
1. Compaq is considering changing the command "Press Any Key" to "Press Return Key" because of the flood of calls asking where the "Any" key is.
2. AST technical support had a caller complaining that her mouse was hard to control with the dust cover on. The cover turned out to be the plastic bag the mouse was packaged in.
3. Another Compaq technician received a call from a man complaining that the system wouldn't read word processing files from his old diskettes. After trouble- shooting for magnets and heat failed to diagnose the problem, it was found that the customer labeled the diskettes then rolled them into the typewriter to type the labels.
4. Another AST customer was asked to send a copy of her defective diskettes. A few days later a letter arrived from the customer along with Xeroxed copies of the floppies.
5. A Dell technician advised his customer to put his troubled floppy back in the drive and close the door. The customer asked the tech to hold on, and was heard putting the phone down, getting up and crossing the room to close the door to his room.
6. Another Dell customer called to say he couldn't get his computer to fax anything. After 40 minutes of trouble-shooting, the technician discovered the man was trying to fax a piece of paper by holding it in front of the monitor screen and hitting the "send" key.
7. Another Dell customer needed help setting up a new program, so a Dell tech suggested he go to the local Egghead. "Yeah, I got me a couple of friends, "the customer replied. When told Egghead was a software store, the man said, "Oh, I thought you meant for me to find a couple of geeks."
8. Yet another Dell customer called to complain that his keyboard no longer worked. He had cleaned it by filling up his tub with soap and water and soaking the keyboard for a day, then removing all the keys and washing them individually.
9. A Dell technician received a call from a customer who was enraged because his computer had told him he was "bad and an invalid".
The tech explained that the computer's "bad command" and "invalid" responses shouldn't be taken personally.
10. An exasperated caller to Dell Computer Tech Support couldn't get her new Dell Computer to turn on. After ensuring the computer was plugged in, the technician asked her what happened when she pushed the power button. Her response, "I pushed and pushed on this foot pedal and nothing happens." The "foot pedal" turned out to be the computer's mouse.
11. Another customer called Compaq tech support to say her brand-new computer wouldn't work. She said she unpacked the unit, plugged it in, and sat there for 20 minutes waiting for something to happen. When asked what happened when she pressed the power switch, she asked "What power switch?"
12. True story from a Novell NetWire SysOp:
Caller: "Hello, is this Tech Support?"
Tech: "Yes, it is. How may I help you?"
Caller: "The cup holder on my PC is broken and I am within my
warranty period. How do I go about getting that fixed?"
Tech: "I'm sorry, but did you say a cup holder?"
Caller: "Yes, it's attached to the front of my computer."
Tech: "Please excuse me if I seem a bit stumped, It's because I am. Did you receive this as part of a promotional, at a trade show? How did you get this cup holder? Does it have any trademark on it?"
Caller: "It came with my computer, I don't know anything abouta promotional. It just has '4X' on it."
At this point the Tech Rep had to mute the caller, because he couldn't stand it. The caller had been using the load drawer of the CD-ROM drive as a cup holder, and snapped it off the drive!
**** DID YOU KNOW
Did you know that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team?
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work
- Thomas Alva Edison, famous scientist and inventor, who was unable to read until he was twelve years old
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