What is Literacy?
Literacy skills needed for further education or employment are constantly changing. The literacy skills required to be successful in 2011 are quite different from the skills that were needed twenty or even ten years ago.
The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) defines literacy as "the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities at home, at work and in the community - to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential". Literacy is absolutely necessary in order for people to meet their immediate and long-term employment and training goals.
What is Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS)?
Literacy and Basic Skills programs exist in Durham Region to provide reading, writing, math and computer instruction to English-speaking adults who lack basic skills.
The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) fund literacy and Basic Skills programs across Ontario. MTCU’s intent in funding these programs is "to establish a training system relevant to the needs of workers and employers, one that will help Ontarians find and keep jobs in increasingly competitive markets."
People who want to improve their literacy skills come from all different kinds of social and economic backgrounds and they all bring individual challenges, histories and learning styles to the learning process. Because of this, MTCU funds three different literacy sectors or types of literacy programs: community-based, school board, and college programs. Where possible, a mix of literacy programs exists in each community to meet individuals’ goals.
Finding a Program
There are six organizations in Durham Region that provide Literacy and Basic Skills classes to adults who need to improve their skills. These providers are:
- Durham Catholic District School Board
- Durham College
- Durham Deaf Services
- Durham District School Board
- John Howard Society Durham
- Literacy Council of Durham Region of Durham
If you or someone you know needs a literacy program, you can contact the regional literacy network to get a referral.
Literacy Network of Durham Region