Adult possess little to no literacy skills usually

Adult illiteracy has been an issue
for many years and mostly every societal issue is due to low literacy.  Adult illiteracy would be described as the
inability “to use printed and written information to function in society, to
achieve one’s goals and to develop one’s knowledge and potential” (Adult
Illiteracy,n.d., para. 2). Many individuals suffer from not having the basic
skills that are needed to be successful throughout life which leads them to
depend on welfare and other government assistance due to not having the skills
to acquire a higher education and a better paying job. Low literacy affects
health and economic growth, it affects everyone tremendously and it is a major
issue that has increasingly negative effects on society. Adult illiteracy is a
societal issue that causes poor health decisions, poverty, and unemployment.
Creating more programs and providing more learning resources will create a
positive ethical outcome by reducing the number of illiterate adults in



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Adult illiteracy
allows individuals to live a meaningful life. It enhances their living
standards and quality of life. Without the necessary literacy skills needed to
enjoy the benefits of life one may not live their life to the fullest. “Education
helps in improving and enhancing standards of living and quality of life which
is actually the improvement of social life. While, illiterates neither get
enough chances to lead a better life nor enjoy facilities of a quality life due
to their lack of knowledge and education” (Aslam, n.d., para.1)


Adult illiteracy is
a major societal issue which leads toward slow economic growth and
unemployment. It causes poverty for many families and an increasing number of
illiterate adults due to parents not being able to teach their children because
they have low literacy skills. Adult illiteracy poses so many negative effects
on society. Individuals that possess little to no literacy skills usually have
a lower income, low-quality job, financial issues, low self-esteem, and health-related

Adult illiteracy
has been shown to cause poor health decisions. “Health literacy has been
defined as the degree to which individuals have the capacity to obtain,
process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make
appropriate health decisions” (King, 2010). If an
individual cannot read and understand the health information how will they know
what choices to make related to their health? Low health literacy has caused
patients not to follow treatment plans and other regimens, poor self-care,
expensive health care cost, increased hospital visits and a higher mortality
rate (King, 2010). Most illiterate adults are too ashamed to let others know of
their lack of knowledge therefore, they try to find alternate methods to handle
situations that require a certain amount of literacy to understand. Patients
that have low literacy skills are least likely to let their healthcare provider
know leaving them confused about their treatment plans and other healthcare
related concerns that they may have. They often misuse or become addicted to
medications because they cannot read the information on the labels.

Illiteracy can
lead to poverty. To maintain a job, one needs to have literacy skills to perform
the daily routines and tasks that are given to them. If an individual cannot read
or write they may experience many difficulties finding and keeping a job
especially in this society where there is an increasing need for higher
education just to get a job. Without any income, one cannot provide or take
care of their family and provide the essential needs that are needed to
maintain a healthy and stable environment/home. In situations where education
is not free families have to choose between home and school which leads to low
literacy skill or becoming illiterate due to not being able to afford school
and having to take care of home.

Unemployment is
one of the many negative outcomes of adult illiteracy. People with low literacy
skills are willing to take low paying and under the table jobs. In a society
where education is important and a major factor in determining one’s career
future it would be very difficult for an illiterate individual to get a job. “43 percent live in poverty, and 70
percent of adult welfare recipients have low literacy levels. There is a clear
correlation between more education and higher earnings, and between higher
educational scores and higher earnings” (ProLiteracy, 2017). Good paying jobs
look for individuals with basic skills to perform the job and more jobs are
requiring individuals to possess mastery levels skills. Individuals with low
literacy skills cannot perform the duties efficiently which leaves them


            The increasing number of illiterate
adults, cause for a creation of more programs for individuals that are in need and that do not possess
the basic skills such as reading and writing, therefore helping them strive
towards their literacy goals. If everyone were to come together and address this
issue and fund programs it would decrease the number of illiterate adults in
society. These programs should have experts, teachers, and tutors to assist with
their knowledge and understanding of basic skills. Some states have started to work toward this already by
creating programs with literacy practitioners to assist in assessment. They
have provided access to library materials and assisted with funding and

            Another solution would be to provide more learning
resources. Many illiterate individuals cannot afford the materials needed to aid
them in becoming literate and this is why free and readily available resources
should be provided. The Department of Education has been working to assist
colleges and schools in providing the resources necessary to help adults become
more knowledgeable and succeed. Also, many other technologies are being
invented to assist adults in becoming literate. This will provide adults with
support and guidance to gaining and maintain literacy skills.

Evaluation of Evidence

sources used throughout this paper would be considered valid and reliable. All
of the sources used were popular sources but pertained all facts and valuable
information needed to provide insight on this topic. The “Adult Illiteracy
(Distance Learning)” information provided the reasons why illiteracy is such a
serious problem, the definition of illiteracy, the statistical information
behind adult illiteracy, the attempts to address this is and the causes of
adult illiteracy.  The source, (Aslam,
n.d.) provided many effects of adult illiteracy and the meaning of this issue
also it addressed a possible solution to this problem. (King, 2010) provided
the definition of health literacy and how having low literacy skills can cause
individuals to make poor health decisions. Lastly, (ProLoiteracy, 2017)
provided statistical percentages in the number of illiterate adults and the
percentage of adults that live in poverty, on welfare, and that are unemployed.


Ethical Outcomes of Solution

            The negative
ethical outcome that could affect the proposed solutions would be the countries
that are underdeveloped and don’t have the same advantages as countries with
more funds and resources to provide. They are only offered a poor-quality
education which keeps them from learning. Low income also affects this because
if the countries cannot receive funds to contribute to education it makes it
harder for individuals to receive an education.

every piece of information reviewed and researched for this topic came to the
same conclusion, more programs and resources should be available for illiterate
adults. “Not every community has the resources it needs to identify those
households who are at a high risk of illiteracy. By creating public and private
outreach efforts to go into these communities and identify high-risk
households, people can be connected to the literacy services they may need to
be able to find a path out of their disadvantaged situation” (Lombardo, 2017).
The proposed solutions created positive ethical outcomes to the societal issue.


One way to start
working on adult illiteracy is to prioritize early childhood. Pay attention to
these children and assist them with their needs. Increase the skills and
development so they can make the most out of their lives. By improving adult
literacy, it improves the way of life for all. Adult illiteracy affects every other social issue in society. “Illiteracy not only limits the
full development of individuals and their participation in society, but also
has repercussions throughout life, affecting a person’s family environment,
restricting access to the benefits of development, and hindering the enjoyment
of other human rights” (Martinez, Fernandez, 2010).  This research could prove how this societal
issue affects everyone tremendously and that it is a major issue that has
increasingly negative effects on society.