OuterBanksShells.com:  ©  One Handed Tying
www.ShareOBX.com

 
Hom Meet My Staff Links Contact Us Picture Gallery
Lighthouse Mary's Crafts Dewey's Domain One Handed Tying
Read My Stories  Mystical Memories Shell Families


Tying Shoes One-Handed

By

Richard Smoot, Jr.

I have been tying shoes one-handed for forty-one years. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. When I was in elementary school and could not tie my shoes I had to ask my parents, or a friend, to tie my shoes for me. Almost everyday, while I was at school, whenever I saw one of the other kids tying their shoes I wished I could tie mine. At that time, there were few that knew how to tie one handed. One day, after a doctorís appointment at Georgetown University Hospital, an occupational therapist came to my hospital room and taught me how to tie shoes one-handed. It only took the occupational therapist around fifteen minutes to teach me. I was one happy boy. Can you imagine how excited I was, at age 12 and in the 6th grade to finally be able to tie my own shoes. That day, not only did the therapist teach me how to tie my shoes, but he increased my self-esteem

From that day forward I began to learn a great lesson. A lesson that was fortified even more when I became associated with the Mountain States Centers for Independent Living in Huntington, WV. They taught me, what is probably the greatest lesson anyone who has a disability can learn. That lesson is. "You are only disabled if you think you are disable".

I have been teaching other people to tie one-handed almost as long as I have been tying shoes one-handed. My first day back to school I taught the Cerebral Palsy (CP) Clinic how to tie one-handed. Sometimes it takes a few lessons to learn so a few days later they pulled me out of class so I could teach one of their patients how to tie one handed. A few years later while I was volunteering at Mountain State Centers for Independent Living, my counselor, Ron Yost, asked me to go to his office and talk to another client about tying one handed. After talking to his client we set a time when I could teach him. Then about every six months Ron Yost asked me teach another client. I can honestly say I loved every second I was teaching someone how to tie one handed. Not only did it help them but it helped me even more. I will always be indebted to Anne Weeks, President and CEO (http://www.wvsilc.org/anneweeks.htm) and the staff of the Mountain States Centers for Independent Living not only for increasing my self esteem but enriching my life.

Tying your shoes one-handed isnít hard at all. It only takes a few minutes to set your shoes up to tie one-handed. Then after that it is time to start tying your shoes. To setup your shoes for tying one-handed: First, unlace your shoes. Second, tie a knot six inches from the end of one shoestring. Third, put long part of shoestring through the bottom hole. Start with right bottom hole for right shoe. Start with left bottom hole for left shot. Fourth, lace shoes up by going from side to side until you reach the top. Fifth, tighten shoestring until it feels comfortable. If you need a longer or shorter shoestring, before cutting the shoestring you could untie the knot and tie another knot either an inch or so back or forward depending upon which direction you need the knot to be placed. Lastly, after making sure the knot is in the right place then cut the shoestring about one inch away from the knot.

How to Tie Shoes One Handed
Before Tying Shoes Set Them Up

Pictures of Step By Step Directions for Setting Up Shoes for Tying

Step One:

Unlace Shoestrings



Step Two:

Put long part of shoestring through the bottom hole
      A. Start with right bottom hole for right shoe
B. Start with left bottom hole for left shot



Step Three:

Lace shoes up by going from side to side until you reach the top. You can lengthen or shorten the shoestring by moving the knot on the other side of the shoestring. Once the knot is in the right place cut off excess shoestring.



Step Four:

Lace shoes up by going from side to side until you reach the top



Four Simple Steps to Tying Shoes One-Handed

Step One:

Place the shoestring under the top crossbar and slowly pull the shoestring until it looks like a small circle.
Step One:

Place the shoestring under the top crossbar and slowly pull the shoestring until it looks like a small circle.



Step Two:

While holding slowly move it to the other side of your shoe then lay it behind the small circle.
Step Two:

While holding slowly move it to the other side of your shoe then lay it behind the small circle.



Step Three:

While holding both the shoestring, and the small circle: push a loop through the small circle.



Step Four:

Slowly pull the loop until it is tight.

Take a look at the pictures or the slide show below for step-by-step instructions on tying shoes one handed. If you are watching the slide show after finishing each step click Back>> to move on to the next step until your shoes are tied

Now that you have successfully tied your shoes with one hand I would like to ask you a question? Did you get a sense of satisfaction from accomplishing a task you have never done before? Can you imagine what it meant to me when I was a child to finally be able to do things that other children took for granted. We who live in what you term the handicap world often find joy in accomplishing the simplest of task. It is the little things that often bring us satisfaction and pleasure. I hope in some way having shared this little task with you of how to tie your shoes one-handed will make you aware of my world and others like me.

A suggestion for parents and school teachers. Use tying shoes one handed as a lesson for children in understanding others. Challenge them to learn how to tie their shoes one handed. Make a game out of it. After they learn how to do so, then discuss with them the challenges that others people face from day to day in performing the simplest of task. Teachers might invite someone who faces physical challenges to come to their classroom and demonstrate how to tie their shoes one handed.

For more information contact our Webmaster at OuterBanksShells@aol.com