We all know that illiteracy creates a barrier that is difficult to overcome. Individuals living with special needs face a unique challenge that is often overlooked: functional literacy.
Functional literacy refers to the capacity of a person to engage in all those activities in which literacy is required for effective function of his or her group and community and also for enabling him or her to continue to use reading, writing and calculation for his or her own and the community’s development. (UNESCO Institute for Statistics)
Achieving functional literacy means being able to read a simple sign like “open” or “closed,” being able to fill out a form, or being able to use a mobile phone. Research has found that literacy has the potential to add significantly to the quality of life of individuals with intellectual disabilities both academically and emotionally. Though they learn differently and need individual instruction, those with special needs are capable of learning to read, achieving functional literacy and more.