People with functional illiteracy often hide their difficulties because they are ashamed and live in constant concern that their problem will be recognized. It is difficult for them to start a reading and writing course and thus admit the problem. Functional illiterates are outsiders in many ways: they do not progress professionally, barely participate in public life, are mentally tense, often depressed, have relationship problems. They are very dependent on others for help, such as reading instructions, studying train schedules or using ATMs. Anyone who relies on the help of third parties every day does not have the opportunity to do something new on their own. Again and again, there are limits. The vicious circle of self-esteem and insecurity leads repeatedly to social isolation.
Where do you get help?
Currently about 20, 000 sufferers use the opportunity to learn how to read and write in courses - usually at community colleges. Many people who can not read and write adequately do not yet know that literacy is possible. The employment office can not provide retraining for people with insufficient language and writing skills. The victims have to take care of it themselves.
The most important first step is the alpha phone, which has existed since 1995: The association can be reached at any time by calling 0251/533344. He gives victims and relatives of illiterate people tips on where in which city there are courses in which reading and writing is taught.