Helping Hands Foundation

"Providing Support, sharing experiences, and supplying information to families of children with upper limb differences."

Mailing Address
Helping Hands
P.O. Box 332
Medfield, MA 02052

Keyboarding for Single-Handed Users

Historical Note

In 1945, during World War II, Colonel Robert Allen lost his right arm. Being a writer, he now found typing nearly impossible. He contacted August Dvorak and asked for help. Using his previous research, August developed keyboard layouts for one handed typists. These are known as the Dvorak left hand layout and the Dvorak right hand layout. A few months after using the Dvorak left hand layout, the Colonel was typing over 50 WPM.



Microsoft distributes Dvorak keyboard layouts that make the most frequently typed characters on a keyboard Saturday, February 19, 2005 the standard "QWERTY" layout. There are three Dvorak layouts: one for two-handed users, one for people who type only with their left hand, and one for people who type only with their right hand. The left- or right-hand keyboard layouts can also be useful for people who type with a wand. You do not need to modify your hardware keyboard to use these layouts.

These layouts can be used with the following operating systems:

  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows NT 3.5, 3.51 and higher
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups
  • Microsoft Windows 3.0 or higher
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 or higher

Click HERE to download the keyboard layout.

What Is a Keyboard Layout?

A keyboard layout is a map or a definition of how keys are laid out on your keyboard. The keyboard layout you use is determined by software in your computer. The letters on your keys indicate the standard layout for your keyboard. There are many different keyboard layouts in use throughout the world. The one you ordinarily use depends on the country you are in or the language you use.

Dvorak Keyboard Layouts

Dvorak keyboard layouts are based on designs created by August Dvorak, a professor at the University of Washington during the 1930s and 1940s. Dr. Dvorak studied the way people type standard English, and determined the most common letter combinations. He then designed new keyboard layouts to speed up typing and reduce fatigue. These layouts, now called Dvorak or simplified keyboard layouts, were initially developed for two-handed typists. Following World War II, Dvorak layouts were developed for typists who use the right or left hand alone.

Learning to use the Dvorak keyboard layouts

The illustrations of standard and Dvorak keyboard layouts can help you learn a new keyboard layout.

You may want training materials or stickers to put on you keys so that you can see the new layout as you type. For information about training materials and stickers, contact:

5512 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105-3631
Phone: (206) 522-TYPE (522-8973)
Fax: (206) 524-2238

(This company is recommended by Microsoft's web site.  HHF in no way endorses this product.)

Information on one-handed keyboards 
A lot of good information about the dvorak keyboard, how it was created, and more resources for keyboards stickers or dvorak keyboards.

BATT One-Handed Keyboard
A compact computer input device that uses "chording" to replicate all the functions of a full-size keyboard, but with greater speed and portability.
Infogrip, Inc.
1141 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Toll-free: 800-397-0921

About One Hand Typing and Keyboarding
A One-Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual and links to resources for one handed typists. The author, Lilly Walters, is also willing to assist with questions on one hand typing.
Lilly Walters
Phone: 626-335-8069
Fax: 626-335-6127


FrogPad™ is a one-handed keyboard that works with most USB compatible
devices. This includes all desktops, laptops, tablets, wearable PC’s,
and gaming applications.
FrogPad™, Inc.
3310 W. Main
Houston, TX 77098 US
Phone: 713-960-9611

REACH Guide to computers (Located in England) 
This article has some good information and resources, although many are in the UK.

OAK Software
OAK software helps you to more easily type one-handed using any typical keyboard on a Windows PC. It makes one-handed typing easier by allowing you to access all the keys without having to move your hand all over the place.
Whichever side you use, you can access any letter on the other side by holding down the spacebar. Please visit us at

If you know  of any additional items that would be a benefit to this site's viewers, please send a message to the Webmaster.  Thank You!

Questions or comments about this web site can be sent to the Webmaster 
For information about the Helping Hands Foundation, send E-Mail to the Helping Hands Group
Copyright 2002 Helping Hands Foundation, Inc.
Last modified: Monday, January 24, 2011
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