Literacy and Numeracy skills are key in Utrecht

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Around 2.5 million people in the Netherlands have great difficulty reading, writing and or calculating. For them, e-mailing with organizations is not that simple.

For example, websites or brochures are difficult or impossible for them to understand. Many organizations can make their services more accessible to people who are low in literate skills. Removing these ‘thresholds and doors’ was central during the symposium of the Reading & Writing Foundation, ReadSpeaker and Food Banks Netherlands held this morning in Utrecht.

More than 125 representatives of civil society organizations and the business community entered into discussions with 12 Language Ambassadors who are experienced experts in the field of low literacy. The National Ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen, was present. Among other things, he spoke about the fact that the government overestimates the self-reliance of citizens.

Geke van Velzen, director and director of the Reading & Writing Foundation says:

“There are 2.5 million people in the Netherlands who have great difficulty reading, writing and / or calculating. Often they also have difficulty with digital skills and therefore with the services of many organizations. For example, going to ask something is possible with many Web shops do not, telephone numbers are often hidden on websites, companies prefer contact via chat or e-mail The far-reaching digitization of society is widening the gap between the people who come along and the people who are left behind. , companies and social organizations work on accessible services, so that everyone can participate in our society. “

Reinier van Zutphen, the National Ombudsman tells us:

“The government must be accessible to everyone. But does everyone, for example, understand the term ‘government’? People are often unintentionally excluded. Due to difficult language in letters or complex websites. As a result, these people cannot participate in society. In order to engage experience experts in conversation, we learn what people who are ‘otherwise able-bodied’ encounter. “

Dick Voogd, a Language Ambassador:

“Going through life as a low-literate person is not easy. I always have to ask everything to others. I can’t buy anything on the internet. I only look at pictures. As a result, the feeling of shame is only increasing. for example, I can app with family. Hope I will keep. To master language and the internet. “

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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