April 26, 2006

Switched at an early age.

A Reader wrote:

Hello, I know this question is rather frequent, but I have some specifics I would like to ask in this community.

I was born left-handed and sometime in my early childhood I was forced to switch by my relatives, which was an unconscious decision on my part.

Sometime after the third grade I began having learning disabilities which still follow me: I get tired really fast when I start to study (read or write), things just don't add up-basically the standard lot that "plagues" lefties.

When I was starting to write as a child, my mother noticed that even while writing with my right hand, I was adopting the standard "hooked" left hand position. My handwriting was also much to the likes of a lefty.

I am 22 now and I find doing things with my left hand to be much easier in terms of "brain effort". All my life I was afraid of using my left hand and now that I have tried it-it feels so much more natural, as opposed to using my right hand.

Now, my question is as follows: I have searched the web quite extensively and failed to find anything that even remotely resembles my situation. I want to know if there can be any health (maybe even psychological) complications if I am to continue on my way of learning to wield my left hand? And speaking of relearning, what should learn first? Writing? Any other skills I should develop or maybe some activities I should concentrate on participating in at first, so the transition can be a smooth as possible?

To tell you the truth, I am quite scared and I was looking for some support and good advice.

Thank you for listening.


PS: I also have had debilitating headaches which no one could explain or cure-usually it was a reaction to weather changes, but after I started (about two weeks ago) practicing doing things with my left hand here and there, they declined and are not so severe. The place of the ache itself was the left part of the brain, where the neck meets the scull.

April 10, 2006

Universal Design and Left Handed

A Reader wrote:

Hey everyone,

I've looked through pages on left handedness and failed to get the answers I'm looking for.

a) Why is left handedness not considered as a disability in design terms? No offence. But when I checked Universal Design 7 elements, it focuses on right handed, disabled, children and elderly. Therefore, when a product/item is considered ergonomics, it will not to left handed. This could lead to discomfort and long term injury.

b) What would be the criteria or requirements in order to make an item non biased towards right or left handers? So that lefties also could enjoy using a product.