Literacy increases the opportunity
\ue001or individuals and communities to
re\ue000ect on their situations, explore new
possibilities and initiate change.
Literacy involves listening and speaking, reading, writing, numeracy and
using everyday technology to communicate and handle in\ue001ormation. But
it includes more than the technical skills o\ue001 communication: it also has
personal, social and economic dimensions.
Literacy and numeracy skills are part o\ue001 everyday li\ue001e. Think o\ue001 all the notices
and signs around us, how we use money every day, use the internet and
send text messages. Everywhere we go we are \ue001aced with text, numbers and
Literacy has an important role \ue001or the individual, the worker, \ue001amily member
and the citizen. Most people have some literacy and numeracy skills, but
they can vary in di\ue001\ue001erent situations. For example, a person might have high
levels o\ue001 literacy in completing a \ue001orm but low levels o\ue001 literacy when fguring
out the instructions \ue001or using a DVD player.
u\ue000writing a shopping list,
u\ue000reading a health and sa\ue001ety notice, or
u\ue000flling in a driving licence application \ue001orm.
NALA\u2019s view is that while literacy is clearly linked to economic development and employment, it must not be limited to issues o\ue001 economics. Literacy is deeply connected with the rights o\ue001 individuals and communities: it is about
Adult literacy di\ue001fculties are a major issue \ue001or Irish society. In 1997, results
\ue001rom the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), developed by the
Organisation \ue001or Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),
showed that 25% o\ue001 the Irish adult population, or at least 500,000 people,
scored at the lowest level, Level 1, o\ue001 a fve level scale.
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