This typing manual is the result of my attempt to learn to touch type using the Dvorak single-handed keyboard. I found that there was almost no material to help. It seemed like a good idea to share what I learned with those who could benefit. I am not a typing teacher. I am not a writer. I am a one-handed touch typist. That skill has made my job as an electronics instructor easier. Typing is a task when using the hunt and peck method. Touch typing makes it easy and even fun. The recent increase in the number of computers in the workplace makes typing a skill that many people need. If you have one hand or you are able to use only one hand to type, for any reason, you too can still have that skill!
August Dvorak designed the "simplified keyboard" in the early nineteen thirties. The keyboard that is used today by most two-handed typists is the result of an early attempt to slow down typist so that early typewriters would not jam. The letters that are most common were made hard to reach on purpose. Dvorak thought that to be ridiculous. He studied the language and put the most used keys in the home row. Seventy percent of the letters used in ordinary text are on the home row. The fingers of a typist using the "QWERTY" keyboard travel between 12 and 20 miles in an eight hour day. Typing the same text, the fingers of the typist using the two-handed Dvorak travel only one mile. The answer to the current medical problems of typist was found in 1936 by August Dvorak.
Colonel Robert Allen lost an arm during World War II. He asked Dvorak to design a keyboard for him so that he could return to the writing profession. Dvorak designed a left-handed and a right-handed keyboard for one-handed typist. He wrote a manual for Allen and in ten weeks the Colonel was typing 56WPM. The year was 1945. In 1994 it is hard to find even an educator that knows about the one-handed keyboard layouts. It is my purpose to change that!
The advent of computers makes the cost of changing the keyboard layout zero. With a few lines of computer programming the layout can be changed! Some computers come with the file Dvorak.sys installed. Microsoft gives it to MS-DOS users. The dll files to invoke one or two-handed Dvorak keyboards with Microsoft Windows are freely supplied by Microsoft. You can carry a copy in your shirt pocket and invoke your keyboard on the school or office computer. A few simple keystrokes returns the system to the "QWERTY" layout. Left and right handed Dvorak is installed on the computers at the nearby computer store with Windows 95. Special info for Win 95 users
Typing tutor software is everywhere. There are ten different programs on the shelf at the store where I shop. These are very useful to anyone wishing to learn to touch type. They are even helpful to one-handed typists. They can be frustrating to the beginning one-handed typist. The "QWERTY" home keys are awkward for the one-handed person to start on. I learned on a regular tutor. I decided to write a special tutor so that one-handed typists would have an easier task. Since I could not think of a good name I call it TUTOR. A simple name for a simple no nonsense program. It uses regular text files for lessons. This feature makes it useful for any keyboard layout. I have written lessons for one-handed users. If you don't like them you can write your own. I suggest it. I used a word processor and saved as a DOS text file. You can use the write feature of TUTOR. Any DOS text file with 6 lines of about 60 characters each will do. Be sure to hit the return key at the end of each line (including line 6) as the software looks for the return character to go to the next line. If you have problems with certain keys then you can write a practice lesson for yourself.
If you do the lessons that are with my typing tutor software in order there is no real need for the book. It is nice to have. The lessons precede from 1 to 13 and the keys are presented in a logical order to be learned. The home keys are dthe and they are in lesson 1a and 1b.
I have assigned filenames to the lessons that start with the group number for the new keys that have just been introduced. The key group is followed by a letter starting with a. Group 1 has lesson 1a and 1b. The first few groups have only a couple lessons as there are few keys. Later groups have more lessons. I hope you will make even more lessons. No file extension has been given to make asking for a lesson as short and sweet as possible. DOS does not require an extension. You may assign any legal filename to your lessons. Remember that you will have to type in the filename when you want to do the lesson. Make it short!
Hard copies of the lessons are in the typing manual. If lessons are added these may not be strictly up to date. Before you call the TUTOR you can get the directory at the DOS prompt with the command dir/w *. and all filenames with no extension will be shown. You might want to print the screen so you will have a copy to view.
TUTOR will improve as I find time to work on it. I have ideas to make it nicer. I hope that you have no need for it by then. There are a few bugs. I hope you don't find them. If you use it as it is intended to be used you will have no problems. I would like very much to hear any suggestions or comments.
I wish to make it clear that I have no part in making the single-handed keyboard available. Dr. Dvorak and Microsoft did that. The files you need to invoke the keyboards are found on many bulletin boards. Windows 95 has left and right handed Dvorak installed now. I learned to use the keyboard pretty well so that I can give a beginner help. I wrote a typing tutor to make learning easier. I also wrote a manual that will be of great help to the beginning single-handed typist.
The single-handed Dvorak keyboard has been available for many years. Typewriters were built with single-handed layouts. When I walked by the typing class in high school and wished that I could touch type the technology was already in place for me to do so. I did not know that. I suppose school officials were unaware. I think that is a shame. I wanted to copy Morse Code with a typewriter. The pencil is limiting.
If you are a school official and students who can use one hand only for some reason do not have the Dvorak single-handed keyboard available to them you are in violation of the law. I was not too supportive of the disabilities act until I tried to get schools to tell students about this opportunity. I found little interest. It must be plain that the ability to type up to 80 wpm (the fastest I have heard of) could change the lives of many disabled students. Few school officials are interested. I sent my tutor to the State of Florida, Commissioner of Education along with an offer to give it to Florida schools free and got no reply.
I must say that I know a few good teachers that are helping students to learn with this system. I also know a high level county administrator in a central Florida county who has made teachers aware of the aid available and supplied materials needed.
School officials are required by law to help you!
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