BARRIERS TO LITERACY
There are many reasons why the numbers of people with disabilities who are do not read at a functional literacy level are so high. Unfortunately, there are numerous barriers which prevent people from becoming literate or improving their literacy skills. Often a person is confronted with a combination of barriers. An individual acting alone can have great difficulty overcoming these barriers. ILRCs can become involved in helping to remove these barriers from literacy programs within the community. The first step is to recognize that these barriers exist.
There are physical barriers to learning which exist for people with disabilities. The most obvious physical barrier is a building that is inaccessible. In some cases the building may be accessible but activities that take place outside the classroom are held in places that are inaccessible. Books, computers and other resources may be kept out of reach of a consumer.
A barrier to learning that exists for many people are family responsibilities. Some literacy programs offer child care at the program for children of students in adult literacy classes.
There are also adult students who are the primary caregiver for their elderly parents. If they are unable to get someone to help with this responsibility then they are not able to leave home to go to school.
Many people, in most cases women, have additional family responsibilities that act as a barrier to returning to school or entering a tutor program.