Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy International Literacy Day!!!

September 8th is International Literacy Day. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Here are some statistics that suggest just how important literacy is.

- 42% of Canadians, age 16-65, do not have the minimum literacy skills for coping with everyday life and work. Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (Statistics Canada and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2005).

- Offenders experience literacy problems at a rate 3 times that of the general population. Select Committee of Experts on Education in Prison (Council of Europe, 1989)

- The average education level of newly admitted offenders serving two years or more is Grade 7. Correctional Education Year-end Report (Correctional Service of Canada, 1995)

- Canadians classified among the most healthy have the higher average literacy and numeracy skills, while those among the least healthy have the lowest average skills. Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (Statistics Canada and OECD, 2005).

- Some direct effects of living with low literacy levels include increased hospitalization and misinterpreted medication instructions. Baker, D.W. et al., Functional Health Literacy and the risk of hospital admission among Medicare managed care enrolees (2002)

- People with low literacy skills 42% of adult Canadians) are about twice as likely to be unemployed for 6 months or more than those with higher skills. Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (Statistics Canada and OECD, 2005)

- 50% of Canadian adults score low numeracy levels and are 2.5 times more likely to receive social assistance, compared with those scoring higher levels. Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (Statistics Canada and OECD, 2005)

- Between 22% and 50% of adults with lower levels of literacy live in low-income households, compared with only 8% of those with high-level literacy skills. The Value of Words: Literacy and Economic Security in Canada (Statistics Canada, 1998)

Adult and workplace literacy myths.

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