At Allied, we communicate with people all over the world daily. Through our experiences, we’ve learned about the power of communication and how literacy impacts people all over the world.
We’ve provided services for people who cannot read or write, and we’ve learned more about how their experiences impact their daily lives.
In this blog, we want to raise awareness for how literacy impacts people, and the importance of providing services for people who are unable to read and write.
What is literacy?
In technical terms, literacy is the ability to read and write.
For some people, they never learn this ability because they don’t have the same opportunities that other people may have. There are countless factors that may impact someone’s ability to read or write, and it’s important that we do not judge and that we choose to show grace and understanding.
How does literacy impact people?
It’s no surprise that language barriers can cause communication challenges, but what happens when someone is unable to read or write.
People are often unable to read forms or understand legal documents when they aren’t familiar with a language, but people who can’t read also have similar challenges.
According to Do Something, “2/3 of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Over 70% of America’s inmates cannot read above a 4th grade level.”
Literacy impacts people in countless ways. Parents who can’t read notes home from their children’s teachers may feel isolated or frustrated that they’re unable to communicate with a school, someone who is navigating the legal system may feel ill-equipped to ask the proper questions they need to because they feel embarrassed that they can’t understand documents, a senior may not be able to fully understand something like a prescription because they can’t read the label.
If you’re able to read and write, it may feel hard to understand just how literacy plays a role in your everyday life. Every day you read road signs, recipes, directions, notes, newspapers, and so many other countless things. People who can’t read may not understand those things.
We recognize that it may feel challenging to know how to support people who are illiterate, so we want to encourage you to start small.
Take time to research more about how literacy impacts people and what programs or services are offered in your local community. You may find that you are able to donate your time or resources, provide support for someone, or even commit to raising awareness.
If you take nothing else away from this blog, we hope that you have a newfound appreciation for your ability to read and write. Language is a gift that opens up amazing opportunities. Don’t forget to appreciate the impact it has on your life.