One-Handed in a Two-Handed World

reviewed by Veronica Wightman [ Mine Action Information Center ]

by Tommye-K. Mayer
PrinceGallison Press–USA, 1996
ISBN: 0-9652805-0-0

Image 1

Applying her own life experience to One-Handed in a Two-Handed World, author Tommye-K. Mayer provides readers with a plethora of advice on how handle everyday life, single-handedly. Offering chapter topics ranging from household maintenance and repairs to office work and sports, this personal guidebook aims to cover it all. Mayer opens the book with a personal narrative describing her experience with single-handedness. She describes the mental ups and downs she struggled to overcome. She then offers insight into achieving a positive mindset, reassuring the reader that there are ways to regain self-sufficiency, self-reliance and self-esteem.

One-Handed in a Two-Handed World stresses three secrets that Mayer has classified as the most critical in successfully managing life single-handedly. The first tool to master is body positioning. Body positioning is basically figuring out how to use your body to accomplish what you want. This feat may require some reorganizing of the limbs so they are in a position that benefits you best. The next secret is recognizing that you do not have just one hand; you have four fingers and a thumb. It is important to consider your four fingers and one thumb as independent entities capable of working on their own. The last secret Mayer reveals to the reader has to do with all of the helpful gadgets that are available to help single-handed people. She provides a few suggestions on which gadgets she regards as indispensible.

The remaining 214 pages are full of invaluable advice on how to achieve the tasks that were once thought of as easy and routine, requiring little or no thought. The chapter called "Personal Care" addresses the very basics of taking care of your body by yourself.

"Office Work," Mayer's chapter on how to work around the office single-handedly, appears to be particularly informative and useful. It includes a section dedicated to providing helpful hints on signing your name, and a very detailed and instructive section on the computer and all of its components. Mayer acknowledges that a potential employer might be skeptical that a single-handed person is capable of being an asset to the company in a position working with computers. The section on computers provides tips on maneuvering single-handedly on the keyboard, dispelling that skepticism. In addition, it supplies information on getting to know the basics of the hardware and all of the applications you need to know to be productive with the machine you will be operating.

The design of this book makes it an easy-to-navigate manual, allowing readers to find the information they want promptly. It is a reasonable size, so if needed, it can be stowed in a tote bag or in the car, for on-the-spot help. One-Handed in a Two-Handed World is a must-have for those who have lost an arm or hand, those who have lost the use of an arm or hand, and those who care about someone in either circumstance. This book would be good reading material to have available in rehabilitation centers, mental health clinics, and physicians' offices. Bullet


Veronica Wightman joined the Mine Action Information Center as an Editorial Assistant for the JMA in September 2007. She will graduate in 2008 from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish.

Contact Information

Veronica Wightman
Editorial Assistant
Journal of Mine Action
Mine Action Information Center