International Literacy Day 2018

A celebration of International Literacy Day 2018

Adult literacy in Ireland: 
Challenges and solutions for communicating effectively with the public

*Please note that this event is now full* - If you would like to be notified if tickets become available please join our waitlist.

We are delighted to invite you to a free conference to celebrate International Literacy Day on Friday 7 September. It focuses on plain English and how organisations can communicate more effectively with the public.

The conference marks the start of National Adult Literacy Awareness Week and the launch of the SOLAS funded 'Take the first step' campaign which you will hear more about soon.

One in six (520,000) adults in Ireland find reading and understanding everyday documents difficult: for example, reading a leaflet, bus timetable or medicine instructions. Lack of awareness of the extent and effect of low literacy levels in Ireland has meant that many organisations are not reaching - and often excluding - their customers. This conference will show that organisations that are aware of literacy issues and use plain English are more effective in meeting both the needs of the public and business needs.

There will be a lot of interesting speakers including the Attorney General and representatives from the Data Protection Commission, the Office of the Ombudsman and other experts in plain English. You can also take part in a workshop on plain English or writing for the web in the afternoon.

The conference will take place in the National College of Ireland, Dublin 1 on Friday 7 September from 9.30am - 3pm. If you or some of your colleagues would like to attend, please register below now. 

Adult Literacy is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund (ESF) as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.


When: Friday 7 September 2018 from 9.30am to 12.30pm. There will also be free workshops that attendees can choose to take part in from 1.30pm to 3pm.

Registration will be open from 9.00am.

Where: National College of Ireland, Mayor Street, Irish Financial Services Centre, Dublin 1, DO1 Y300

Cost: There is no fee for attending this conference

Speakers and topics

Introduction: Chair

Conor Pope, Author, Broadcaster and Consumer Affairs correspondent, The Irish Times

Setting the scene: Literacy levels in Ireland– their impact onindividuals, society and the economy

Dr Inez Bailey, Chief Executive, National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA)

The personal consequences

Eamon Delaney, Adult Literacy Student, Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB)

Plain English and the law

Attorney General, Séamus Woulfe

Information is power: Understanding and responding to cancer patients’ information needs

Sarah Lane and Tara Droog, Cancer Information Editors, Irish Cancer Society

GDPR and the public: Making the complicated accessible

MB Donnelly, Head of GDPR Awareness and Training, Assistant Commissioner, Data Protection Commission, Ireland (Note: GDPR is General Data Protection Regulation)

Rising to the challenge: Integrating literacy into apprenticeship programmes, workplace training and taster programmes for the unemployed

Joann Power, Adult Literacy Organiser, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (ETB) and Cathy Powell, Acting Adult Education Officer, Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB

Clear design: How document design can support people who struggle with reading

Rob Waller, Simplification Centre, UK

Communications: A bridge or a barrier?

Jennifer Hanrahan, Senior Investigator, Office of the Ombudsman

12.30  Lunch break

Note: NALA will not be providing lunch, but there are several shops and cafés nearby

1.30    Workshops: Each participant can attend one workshop:

  1. Writing clearly for the web
  2. Plain English
  3. How to be a literacy friendly organisation

3.00    Close

Public transport:The nearest LUAS tram stop is Mayor Square (two stops after Busarus on the red line)

Parking: The NCI car park is on Alderman Way, Dublin 1 (Please note that NALA does not pay for participants’ parking)

International Literacy Day Conference