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November About One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Monthly e-Newsletter

*** Overview of the four options available to the one hand typist

In our high tech world, we tend to happily look for high tech solutions, overlooking the simple and obvious. For those with a hand disability, there are four options to consider for those who wish to become adept at using a keyboard, and possibly pursuing technology careers that center around this important skill.

1) One Hand QWERTY

2) Adaptive devices (one handed keyboard, etc.)

3) Alternative keyboard layouts.

4) Voice Activation

One Hand QWERTY

QWERTY is the term used for the standard keyboard used by 99% of the English speaking world (see the keys on your keyboard starting at the Q in the upper left corner.) With good use of either the right, or left hand, (at least four fingers) the student CAN type on a standard keyboard, with no overlays, assistance devices, or alternative keyboard layouts. One Hand QWERTY takes the one strong hand, and has it use FGHJ as home base. The thumb operates the space bar. This system allows the user to compete in any mainstream environment. (There are two one handed manuals available in the market place, $13.95 - $14.95, see <http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect-home/waltersspeakerse>Amazon.com or your bookstore)

Adaptive Devices (one handed keyboards, etc.)

There are many devices and alternative keyboards that can be used to enter data into a computer. These replace a standard keyboard. The most well known is the BAT Personal Keyboard, which uses a series of "chords" to type. ($199 - $1000 see http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/resourses.html). 

Alternative Keyboard Layouts

QWERTY was designed to be so difficult, that it would slow the typist down, insuring the keys would not jam. As technology advanced, and jamming was no longer an issue, many looked for alternatives to QWERTY to ease the strain on the typist's hands. The two most well known are Dvoark, and Half-QWERTY. 

Half-QWERTY cuts the keyboard in half, using the left side of the keyboard, each key represents two letters, instead of one. 

The Dvoark system has layouts for two hands, just the right, or just the left hand. It only takes 30 seconds to set up most computers to the Dvoark system, which is a setting within most computer operating systems.  

Both of these layouts are faster, and easier on the hands of the typist, but not necessarily smarter. (Dvoark is free, Half-QWERTY, $395. For more, see http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com/dvorak.html)

Voice Activation

Using voice recognition software, the user speaks into a microphone, and the software transcribes the users words from the verbal dictation. The user must first spend time "training" the software to understand the users particular pronunciation. Voice Activation is the wave of the future and a great tool when used AFTER a good understanding of the standard keyboard is learned. Otherwise the user is not able to operate in environments that use only common equipment, i.e., the library, the workplace, at play with friends, etc.

__________

 

**** LETTER

From: "Mattew
To: "Lilly Walters" <Lilly@aboutonehandtyping.com>
Subject: Re: Article - keyboarding - disabilities of the hand

Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 16:15:17 -0800

Hi, I am a one handed typist due to left hemiplegia and I just wanted to share that with a little patience the querty method for typing works quite well. I do have an adaptive one-handed board to use, but it is collecting dust in my closet. With disability all things don't HAVE to be accommodated for.

Matt

 

**** GOOD LINKS

SUPERKIDS Children with Limb differences, http://www.super-kids.org

Practice typing free online, http://www.learn2type.com

_______

**** DID YOU KNOW

Did you know: Auguste Renoir 1841-1919, the famous French Impressionist painter and sculptor, was so disabled by rheumatoid arthritis, his paint brushes had to be tied to his hands?

"Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost."
- Helen Keller (1880-1968), blind/deaf author, lecturer, who typed all of her own books and speeches


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