Teaching One Hand Typing and Keyboarding

Ideas and Resources for vocational, occupational, rehabilitation therapists, and their clients, who have lost full, or partial use of one hand, with a special emphasis on learning to type with a standard keyboard.

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If your student, has good use of at least one hand, a standard keyboard can, and should be used. There are several other alternatives. But why teach the one handed student to use an alternative keyboard, or keyboard layout that they will not find in use by their classmates, nor later in the workplace? My preference is for no gimmicks, no add-on equipment or software. When systems, like one hand Dvorak and Half QWERTY are used commonly in the mainstream, then the one-hand typist should use them also. I do however suggest, especially for the young typist, a small, child, or space saving keyboard

The reality is, no matter what alternatives you decide to teach the child with one hand, they are going to use what their friends and family are using. That is a keyboard layout called QWERTY. So, why not teach them to touch type on that?

Go To Introduction and Overview of Top One Hand Typing Choices

Very quickly our one handed child discovers they can hunt and peck with one hand just as fast as the two handed person! So, why use a piece of equipment that makes them feel like the odd person out? The one handed keyboard gets put in a closet. The child continues on for the rest of their life being an inadequate typist. What a pity. If those same months in training had been spent teaching them to speed touch type on the normal standard keyboard they could have excelled on the keyboard. They would now be typing with the same speed, often with more, than their two handed friends.

For schools, we suggest the CD: on the CD are four versions of the One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manuals. One is a PDF file, which is exactly the same as the 72 page printed manual.

The other three allow you to practice right into the document on the screen! Fields are provided for practicing the exercises. These e-books are 330 pages. The exercises are exactly the same in the 72 page printed manual. However, we have taken each exercise, and broken it up into very easy to read, and easy to practice steps. This way, the process is much more interactive, simple, and fun!

One version, our personal favorite, is in a PDF format. You read that with Adobe® Acrobat Reader, this is a free program which we include on the CD. The other two version are on Microsoft Word® 95/97 and 98. Using one of these Word versions allows the user to become familiar with this most popular of the word processing programs used in offices today. You must own Word already to use these.

With the use of either your right, or left hand, this simple manual will teach you to type on a standard keyboard. Within 1-3 weeks of working through the drills in this manual, you can step into any mainstream program to learn typing. The One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manuals on CD are only $49, and especially good for schools.

Are you purchasing this for a child 11 or under, or a person with very small hands? Then you should purchase The Child One Hand Typing Package

Click here to go to the order form

Go To Introduction and Overview of Top One Hand Typing Choices

Teaching Tips About One Hand Typing and Keyboarding



  • Try to make the environment for the one-handed student, the same as you create for the two-handed students. Are the two-handed students using an actual "manual?" Then use the One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual for the one-handed student. If you are using software for the two-handers, use the MS Word version of the manual. The one-handed student can use the same desk, the same lighting.

Workstation Set-up

  • The only difference for the one-handed student is that the keyboard must offset to the side the students body. This may require a larger table top than your school has for the standard student.


  • SPEED: In the first few weeks, the student must follow the drills in the One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual until they learn home base. If you are using music drills, they can do their own lessons to the music. Most one handed typists are a bit more excited to learn keyboarding than their two handed friends, so they might learn home base faster than your two handed students. Once they have, just switch them over to the standard manual the other students are using. Have them start in right where the rest of the class is working.


  • MAKING ALLOWANCES: If there are no cognitive problems, you should treat your one-handed student just as you treat the others. Make no allowances for their 'handicap.' Include them naturally in your examples and discussions. For instance, use a two-handed student, and a one-handed student as visual aid to give the body posture lecture. You can add that there is a very good chance that ______ (your one-handed student) will learn the keyboard faster than the rest of the class because they can sit in a more ergonomic position. This is most likely NOT 100% correct, but there is a great deal of truth to it.
  • POSTURE: Teaching your entire class posture give you the chance to point out the advantages the one-handed student has over their two-handed fellows. The two hander must cross both arms to the inside of the body to reach the keyboard. They must try very hard to compensate against bad posture. The one-handed student has the keyboard centered in front of the shoulder of the strong hand. This has the body in a much more natural position. Often the posture lecture is a great time to open discuss the difference in the human body, and what needs to be done to accommodate anyone's body. These kinds of open class discussions will help everyone overcome feeling awkward.
  • OVERCOMING YOUR AWKWARDNESS: Your students will feel as awkward about a one-handed student as you do - and you should not feel awkward at all :) Be natural. Be openly curious. I find the most the least awkward conversation I have about my own hand problem is with very young children. They have not yet been taught that I am 'different.' To them, I am just Lilly, with a hand that does not look like theirs. They want to touch it and ask all kinds of questions ... then they want to go do something else interesting! To them, I was not, nor am I odd, I am still just Lilly. It is the adults who create all kinds of problems. SShhhhhh!! Don't talk about *IT.* :::::sigh:::: Yes, talk about it. But find a natural way to open discussion. Using your one-handed student as part of the posture lecture gives you and entire class a chance to openly notice the one-handed person and understand what they are learning, and how it is different. Include in this lecture a person that average, one that is tall and muscular, and your one-handed student. Perhaps you can allow the class to help position each person in the "perfect position" for their body.

The easiest way to teach one hand typing, is to purchase the One Hand Typing Manual and work with your student for 1 - 3 weeks on drills. After the going through the drills, the student will be ready to step into any mainstream typing teaching system or software program which the two handed student uses.

No Peeking - Touch Typing!

To be a speed typist, you need to be able to type, without looking. To force yourself, or your student to not look at the keys, you find a way to cover them up. Here are several suggestions.

Keyboard Cover:

sometimes called "keyboard skins". Normally these are used to protect the keyboard from sticky fingers. They look like a molded keyboard, which allows you to press down the keys. You can perhaps spray them black, or use a black marker pen Cost, approx. $10 each.

Cardboard Box Cover:

take a card box, which fits over the keyboards. Cut the sides so it stands about 8 - 12 inches above the keyboard. Cut out the side where the hands need to enter.

Paper or Cloth Cover:

take a large piece of heavy paper. Try taping it to the top of the keyboard, or to the desk (especially if you use a drop down rack. You want it to flap over the hands. Alternative, a pillowcase could be used. Just have the student reach into it. Some people haved used tea towels. One suggested boxer shorts! Slip the shorts from the front 0 the spacebar side - up to the top of keyboard. The elastic waist is up at the top, where you see the function keys. Kids slip their hands through the two leg holes. This guarantees that they cannot bend down and look at the keys.

You can introduce your student to use the one hand typing system FREE by via this web site, or through free downloads several lessons in the manual.


You can introduce your student to use the one hand typing system FREE by via this web site, or through free downloads several lessons in the manual.

To purchase our products: ORDER FORM


I welcome your calls! Phone: 909-815-8535
- Lilly Walters,
Internationally acclaimed author and one-hand typist.


Go To Introduction and Overview of Top One Hand Typing Choices

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One Hand Typing

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What's New?

One Hand Typing and Keyboarding & Resources on CD

($49, plus $7 s/h): On the CD are ...

1) Many versions of One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manuals: some to practice on screen, and one to print

2) One Handed Office Professional eBook: How To Be The Most Productive Person in Your Office

3) Scores of resources from all of the Internet

Laptops for One Handed Typists!

Finally! There are laptops for one handed typists!

See least expensive option at Amazon

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