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Touch Typing With One Hand

Sometimes I get asked how do I type with only my left hand|

I started to learn how to type in about grade 1 or 2. All throughout school I had a visiting teacher from what is now called Vision Australia, but was then Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind. Visiting teachers are specialists in blindness education, who in my experience visit school students who are blind and are integrated into mainstream schools about once a week to ensure that all their education needs are taken care of. At that time my visiting teacher, Mrs English, would drive me home from school on Tuesday afternoons slightly earlier to teach me to touch type. To start off, we loaned an electric type writer. I am not sure why this was as we did have a computer with speech at the time. The only reason I can think of is that so I could be independent in using it. Hold on, I just asked my Mum and she said she thinks that we were having trouble with the Apple 2GS computer we had at the time, so that is why we had an electric type writer.

Thinking about it, touch typing is a skill I use every day and without that training I don’t know where I would be today. Mrs English recorded our lessons on a Dictaphone with cassette tapes so I could review later. This is also how my older sister learned to touch type, although she used the standard keys but the concept is the same. There must have been lesson plans which we progressed through. Basically, instead of the standard home keys, my home keys are F-J with my thumb on the space bar. I move my hand around the keyboard and when I get going I can type up to 40 words a minuteNow, I don’t think about it much and I just had to ask my sister which home keys are used for people who use two hands. I suppose it would be easier with two hands and I never really think about it now. When I was getting to the end of the touch typing lessons, I remember I was practicing by writing a letter to my classroom teacher, Mrs Vicic. We hadn’t learned the letter Q yet but I did know where it is on the keyboard. I will need to drag that letter from the archives and put it on here for a laugh! It is somewhere in the old Apple 2GS which does not work properly anymore and is in my sister’s computer museum. Also I slightly skipped over learning to type the number row above the main keyboard. I have always been a bit slower with the number row but have gotten better in the last few years. I used to volunteer in a literacy class at Vision Australia. I should practice the number row more.

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

This skill has proved invaluable especially now at work, where I work in a call centre. I need to make notes about every call and I can type them quite quickly. I use a smaller keyboard at work and a laptop at home, but I do feel quite comfortable with a standard qwerty keyboard also.

I hope this has been interesting!


2 thoughts on “Touch Typing With One Hand

  1. I remember doing the touch typing course! It is a skill that has made my life so much easier.

  2. I learned touch typing at secondary school; like you, Kerry, it has also been a marvellous skill to have, for work as well as typing up print for Ross and printing it out in braille for him, which meant in Year 12, for example, I could have his schoolwork ready for the next day, particularly Indonesian, one of his subjects. When I left secondary school in 1973 after Form 5, or today’s Year 11, I could type 60 words per minute and take (Dacomb) shorthand at 120 words per minute. We knew this because Sister Loretta, our marvellous teacher, timed us. A lot. In effect, we girls were shorthand/typists or stenographers on leaving school. We also used old, old typewriters that you see in movies/antique shops/op shops. Big old doorstops!! I remember using a particularly big machine with a huge carriage, and thinking if I hit it too hard to change lines, it had the capacity to fly out the window and do some substantial damage! Now we have the luxury of these gorgeous soft keyboards with programs that auto correct! Life Is Good!
    To all young people reading this, learn touch typing and learn to spell. These are skills that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your lives. You can teach your own children and will be called upon to proofread their work, therefore teaching them to be precise and efficient.

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