2015 January fACT Sheet Literacy
Literacy has been broadly defined by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as “understanding, evaluating, using and engaging with written texts to participate in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential”. In addition, literacy also involves numeracy, defined by the OECD as “the ability to engage with mathematical information in order to manage the mathematical demands of a range of situations in everyday life.” Low levels of literacy reduce a person’s ability to carry out basic daily activities. For example, this may mean the inability to work, use public transportation or understand important documents necessary to receive medical or social services. Providing all Canadians with meaningful opportunities to develop and sustain quality literary skills will result in stronger communities bolstered by active participation in economic, employment, health, and social systems.