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Left handedness and stylus input (tabletPC, palm, etc)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2002 10:12:09 -0500 (EST)
To: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0212111002530.15814-100000@tux.w3.org>

Hi folks,

one of the simple things that the physical world often forgets to cater for
is being left handed. Things like having the drawers and the empty space on
the wrong side of a desk, the important parts of a keyboard on the wrong
side, the binding rings of a notebook in the way of your writing hand and so
on are not a problem on the order of tying to get a wheelcair up a lot of
steps, but do cause problems nevertheless.

On a computer this isn't normally much of an issue - move the mouse to the
other side of the keyboard (no good for people with tiny laptops that have a
built-in mouse on the right), reverse the numbering of a 3-button mouse, and
most of the problem goes away.

But it does become an issue when using a stylus to touch the screen. Often
controls are fixed to the right-hand side. For right-handers this is
convenient - they don't obscure what they are working on as they operate the
controls. Which is the exact oposite of what happens to left handers.

I presume that mouth-stick users can have similar problems, and that both
groups are used to just dealing with the efficency loss. But I would be
interested in learning more about where and to what extent this causes a

(I realise that this is not the most pressing problem for many people, but it
has been a minor one for me for a long time, and if we could identify the
real issues and deal with them, or discover that I am unique and should fix
it quietly myself, then we might make the world a bit more accessible, and
even learn something useful in the process)


Received on Wednesday, 11 December 2002 10:12:09 UTC

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