International Literacy Day - 50th anniversary

7 Sep 2015
International Literacy Day 2015

Tuesday 8 September marks the UN’s 50th International Literacy Day and there are hundreds of events planned all over the world.

In Ireland, the National Adult Literacy Agency is hosting a conference in Dublin to celebrate International Literacy Day. At this conference, there will be talks from literacy students and presentations from literacy tutors and researchers. It will take place from 9.30 am – 1 pm, in Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

Going back to education as an adult requires courage and commitment, and for those who have problems reading or writing, the stigma attached can prove daunting and discouraging. Three people who have taken this brave step will be speaking at the conference about how improving their literacy skills has changed their lives. They are Joe Higgins from Crumlin, Dublin; Ambrose O’Connell from Dungarvan, Waterford, and Olive Phelan from Tallaght, Dublin.

According to the last OECD survey in 2013, one in six Irish adults were found to be at or below literacy level 1 of a five level scale. At this level a person may be unable to determine the correct amount of medicine to take based on information printed on a medicine package. One in four Irish adults scored at or below level 1 for numeracy. Currently in Ireland there are 50,000 adults attending literacy and numeracy classes around the country.

“In the past literacy was considered to be the ability to read and write. Today the meaning of literacy has changed to reflect the skills needed by individuals to participate fully in society. It involves listening, speaking, reading, writing, numeracy and using everyday technology to communicate and handle information,” said Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency.

“Most adults with literacy difficulties can read something but find it hard to understand official forms or to deal with modern technology. Some will have left school confident about their numeracy and reading skills but find that changes in their workplace and everyday life make their skills inadequate. Equally, parents who have literacy difficulties may be unable to support their own children with their reading and writing. Currently in Ireland almost 30% of children from disadvantaged areas leave primary school with literacy difficulties,” said Inez.


What:A celebration of International Literacy Day

When: 9.30am - 1pm, Tuesday 8 September

Where: Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9

(The conference takes place in Room QG15 in the DCU Business School building. The business school building is opposite the multi-story car park which is close to the main DCU / Collins Avenue entrance. Drive in the main gate and turn right at the first roundabout. The multi-story car park is 100 meters on the right (before you get to the Helix theatre).)

Admission is free but you must register here.  You can read the full programme here

Media queries contact:

Clare McNally, National Adult Literacy Agency 

087 6486292 or 01 4127909.