The right-handed bias of life

Are you left-handed?

Have you ever felt that the world is against you and your dominant hand?

Do you ever ask yourself why?

Ok perhaps these questions are slightly ‘left-field’ but for all those lefties out there, like myself, who wanted a list of just how we are disadvantaged, here it is.

How left-handed people are ‘left’ out from a young age

  • Computer Mouse
    If your left-handed student has more control of the mouse in his left hand, add a simple piece of software to the desktop to swap the functionality of the two buttons so they work correctly in the left-hand.
  • Desk Positioning
    To avoid knocking elbows and cramped desk space, sit left-handed students at the left of a double desk, or at the left end of a row. If chairs with hinged writing tablets are used, always ensure there are enough left-handed ones for those students who need them – remember they are often too embarrassed to ask, and should never be sent off round the school looking for the odd left-handed desk that might be spare.

  • Workbooks and Binders
    Printed workbooks or test papers often have the questions in the left column and answer space on the right, so left-handers are constantly covering up the questions, or they may be too far to the left of the desk to read easily. A second question sheet positioned to the right of the answer space can help. The bindings, and spiral binding on pads are underneath the left-hand, so if note taking is uncomfortable your child could try making Mind Maps with notebook turned landscape – it also appeals to lefties creativity and visual thinking.
  • Using the Whiteboard
    Left-handed students should stand at the right of the whiteboard, with their writing arm out to their left and underneath their writing or drawing. Otherwise, their hand will follow behind their work, and immediately erase what they are writing!
  • Forms
    I might as well of put all forms of writing are biased towards those that are right-handed. instead I am focussing on filling out forms. Why? Because it infuriates me daily! Even the form to get my post redirected was done this way! If it wasn’t bad enough that when we write our hand immediately smudges the ink afterwards, the world has made forms so that I am now doubly blind-sided. (Thanks to Megcor for their guide on this really saved my bacon the other day.)
  • Science
    Left-handers pour and stir with their left hand so keep all chemicals, ingredients and tools to the left during experiments. When working in pairs, the left-hander should stand to the left to avoid knocking elbows. Microscopes and other equipment with controls on the right side are harder for the left-hander to reach and control.
  • Design Technology, Metal, Woodwork
    Check safety overrides on heavy machinery and a left-hander can reach power tools in an emergency. They are usually positioned for a right-handers safety so can be hard for lefties to reach. Workshop and equipment layout for right-handers’ ease often means left-handers don’t have room to work, so attempt to use powerful and dangerous tools “backwards” crossing their arms over their body or using their weaker hand – both very dangerous.
  • Food Technology
    As with kitchens at home, many food preparation implements such as kitchen scissors, peeler’s, can openers and serrated knives are right-handed, and thus awkward to use for a left-hander, slowing them down and causing more accidents.