Travellers need targeted initiatives as part of Adult Literacy for Life

Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre welcomes the publication of today’s Adult Literacy For Life Strategy and is happy to have taken part in the consultations on the Strategy.

Improving adult literacy is important for Irish Travellers. According to the All Ireland Traveller Health Study (AITHS) Self-report of literacy varies markedly between the Traveller and general population groups.  More Travellers – up on 50% –  express difficulty with day-to-day literacy issues such as the written instructions provided with prescription medicines.

“We will be working to help ensure that Travellers are recognised as important stakeholders in this Strategy,” said Tracey Reillly of Pavee Point.  The people  who should benefit from the Strategy need to see themselves as owning if from the outset – and this includes Travellers and Roma.  So the initial awareness raising campaign named in the Strategy needs to reflect the diversity that’s now and has always been part of Ireland. “

“COVID-19 has exacerbated the literacy issue with Travellers now losing out because of a digital divide.  Not only do Travellers not have access to internet and digital services – but digital literacy stops Travellers engaging with digital platforms.  This is going to have an impact given the blended learning and working environments that are likely to become part of the ‘new normal,” said Ms. Reilly.   

Pavee Point looks forward to working with State agencies to ensure Traveller and Roma targeted initiatives are part of the implementation of this strategy.  And  we will be lobbying for Traveller organisations to have direct resources to work on this issue.