Seeking one-handed e-reading solutions
January 4, 2012 | 7:07 pm
I haven’t posted much over the last few days, partly because of some trying times my family is going through right now. On New Year’s Eve, my Mom was in a farm equipment accident and ended up having her right arm amputated a few inches below the shoulder. It’s been hitting the family pretty hard, but we’ve had a lot of support from friends and family. It may take some time, but sooner or later we’ll be all right—or at least as all right as we can be under the circumstances.
We’re all trying to think of ways that we can make her life easier now that she only has one hand (and her non-dominant hand at that). Needless to say, I’m suddenly a lot more interested in e-reading solutions that can support one-handed use.
We had given Mom a Kindle Touch for Christmas, and she has it in the hospital and has been using it to read some, and I showed her how to check her Facebook with the built-in web browser. I watched her using it some last night, and it was still a little awkward for her to hold and operate it at the same time. She kept tapping the wrong areas on the screen by accident, and I wondered if she might not have been better off with the non-touch version that has forward and backward buttons on both edges of the case. Of course, she can easily operate it if it’s sitting on a flat surface, but holding and working it at the same time seemed to be a little problematic.
I also wonder if it might not be a good idea to get her an iPod Touch and teach her how to use it. As Steve Jobs planned, the 3.5” screen allows one to hold it in one’s hand and touch any part of it with his thumb. It could be very handy for her for e-reading, and also for checking email and Facebook.
I did see a story about a congenital amputee who found great reading success with a Nook, and tales like that give me hope something like that will work for my Mom. And even the Kindle Touch will still be easier for her to handle than a paper book. But I’m very interested in other ways that e-reading and tablet technology can help make her life easier, and any that folks want to point out in the comments will be greatly appreciated.