Performing school, work, and computer-based activities with arm and hand differences

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Learn from young people with arm and hand differences about how they perform school, work, and computer-based work in their own way.

Key points

  • There are a variety of aids you can use at school, work, and at home to help you to keep objects steady and/or perform academic and workplace tasks with one or two limbs.
  • There are many ways you can adapt to performing different school, office and computer-based, and job-related tasks. Find what works best for you!

School, office and computer-based tasks

Many young people with arm and hand differences use adaptive strategies and aids to help them complete tasks at school, work, and at home.

Aids

There are a variety of aids you can use at school, work and at home to help you to keep objects steady and perform academic, computer-based, and job-related tasks. Below are just a few of many aids that are available to you:

  • Adapted keyboards and mice
  • Speech to text software
  • Anti-slip mats placed underneath a clipboard to prevent papers from slipping
  • Rulers and protractors with cork or anti-slip material underneath

Adaptive strategies

The way that you perform tasks at school, work, or at home is unique to you and your particular hand or arm difference. There is no “right way” of doing these tasks; do them the way that works the best for you! Watch the video below to see how Ashlyn, a young woman with a brachial plexus injury, adapts to the task of typing on a keyboard.

Typing on a laptop: Embracing Our Limb Differences – Ashlyn

 

Ashlyn is a young adult with a left brachial plexus birth injury who struggled to type on the keyboard because of the positioning of her forearm and hand. She demonstrates how she overcame this challenge by using her weaker hand to type fewer keys on the keyboard and making her stronger hand in charge of more keys.

There are many ways you can adapt, like Ashlyn, to performing different office and computer-based tasks. Check back to this page to watch other videos on how other young people with arm and hand differences perform various classwork, office work and computer work.

To view the entire Embracing Our Differences library, click here.

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Last updated: December 20th 2021