Left-Hander's Day 2013 Media Release

Vote For The Left!

Politicians campaigning for next month’s federal election are being asked to put their hands up for left-handers and ensure their needs are covered when a new government is formed.  Successive governments have ignored the fact that up to 15% of their constituents and their children are left-handed and that they are being failed by poor curriculum and education policy.

“It is acknowledged that left-handed children must be taught in a left-handed manner and not with a modified right-handed method,” says Steve McGuirk from leftys.com.au.  “Teachers must have the knowledge, skills and tools in the classroom to help all of their students.  Without this, the children struggle with their learning and development right from the start.”

It is understood that the new national curriculum does not cover handwriting or left-handedness, nor does it specify a single writing font for students to use across the country.   With each classroom having 3 or 4 left-handed students on average, teaching them is made even more difficult without support from the curriculum.

“My daughter is in her final year at university studying to become a primary school teacher but the subject of handedness in education has not been covered her classes,” he said.  “And from the discussions I have had with teachers in various schools, this is the norm across Australia.  It is quite incredible really.”

Left-handedness is not a disability but it can lead to tremendous problems in a child’s learning and development if they are not taught correctly.  Children taught the correct way can grow to be among the most gifted in the community.

“But schools all over the country are generally under-resourced in meeting the needs of their left-handed students.  Simple items such as left-handed scissors and writing materials for left-handers are frequently not available or else they are being purchased by parents for their children to use at school,” said Mr McGuirk.

This Left-Hander’s Day, all candidates in next month’s election are being asked to openly state their support for the curriculum to include the specific needs of left-handed children and for universities to ensure that our future teachers are skilled in meeting those needs.

(Left-Handed Trivia:
While Lefty’s does not endorse any particular candidate or political party, it should be noted that Tony Abbott is a left-hander.
If the general population is a guide, 15-22 left-handed parliamentarians will be elected to the House of Representatives and 4-6 left-handed Senators will be newly elected next month.)

International Left-Hander’s Day is celebrated on 13th August every year as an opportunity to increase awareness of the issues left-handers face while living in a right-handed world.  It has been celebrated every year since 1976.