What is Literacy?

Literacy today means more than the ability to read and write. It includes health literacy, financial literacy and the ability to understand and interpret media. 

Let's take a look at some definitions by today's leaders in literacy...

Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts (UNESCO Institute for Statistics).

Literacy Matters Abbotsford defines literacy as “an essential cultural, social and academic practice that involves not only reading, writing and numeracy, but also a variety of abilities including viewing and representing, aural literacy including language, musical and listening skills, cultural literacy including media and social literacy, and critical literacy including civic skills.” (Abbotsford Literacy Asset Inventory Research Report, 2007

The Conference Board of Canada defines literacy as “an ability to use printed and written information well enough to function in society, achieve personal goals and cultivate knowledge and potential” (2006).