12 considerations for choosing a one-handed typing method

One-handed typing can be a useful option if you have a disability involving one of your hands, and there are a surprising number of options for typing with one hand. Here are some key issues to consider when choosing a one-handed typing method.

One-handed typing: 12 key considerations. Photo of someone typing with their right hand on a keyboard.

What do we mean by one-handed typing?

At the risk of stating the obvious, we’re talking about typing using the fingers of a single hand, possibly with a bit of help from the other hand but often completely solo. The most basic one-handed typing method is to use a standard physical keyboard with one hand instead of two, requiring more movement of the typing hand and arm, and reducing opportunities to touch-type. Because of these limitations, a number of other options for one-handed typing have emerged over the years.

This post was inspired by a question to the QIAT listserv, asking about typing options for a middle school student born with only one hand. You might benefit from a one-handed typing method if one of your hands functions pretty well but the other has limitations, perhaps due to a stroke. You might also benefit if you need to avoid using one of your hands due to repetitive stress injury or pain, or if you are in a hands-busy environment where one hand just isn’t available for regular touch typing.

By choosing the one-handed typing method that best meets your needs, you can have an efficient and comfortable way to enter text using only one hand. Read on for some key considerations that will help you make a good choice.

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