Reading is essential to health and safety

One of our readers, who would prefer to remain anonymous, is learning to read later in life and recently shared an earlier life experience with her reading coach. It clearly demonstrates one catastrophic effect of not being able to read. The story could equally apply to the use of medicines by parents for their children or the use of dangerous mechanical equipment in the workplace.

Never having the opportunity to attend school, our reader suffered an industrial accident when using an acetone cleaning fluid on a ‘plastic/rubber’ flooring, which resulted in hospitalisation of three people from fume inhalation. Unable to read the precautionary instructions, she had fortunately donned rubber gloves, as she recognised the black cross on a red background symbol.

Following this incident, she subsequently lost her job.

Now in her 60’s and fully employed, she is determined to do something for herself and is enjoying learning to read.

Reading coach experiences

Anne’s reader is now on the Moving Ahead programme. She talks about being a Read Easy reading coach:

“I am finding working with Steve so rewarding because he is really enjoying reading ‘Going Solo’. He is half way through already! He also wrote a whole side of A4 at the weekend, and he used colour, movement and humour in his writing; it is beginning to come alive and his own pleasure and pride in what he had achieved was most heartening.

“He is making quite quick progress and he can recognise the improvement in his written style and he can self correct many of his spelling mistakes. What makes me happiest as his tutor, though, is his passion to move forward and his obvious enjoyment!”

‘Learning to read changed my life’

The Gillingham News ran a feature on 20 April about the work of reading coach Karen Hobden and adult reader Kathy Walker. Thanks to the team at Read Easy Gillingham and Shaftesbury, learning to read has transformed Kathy’s life. She shares her story in the article which can be read in full through the following link: Gillingham News April 2017.

‘I was embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t read, the hardest part was saying that I needed help”.

Since June 2016, Kathy has been learning to read with her coach on a one to one basis and her life has changed dramatically:

”It’s helped my confidence big time…I never used to go out, now I help at a dementia group. I can text my friends. Being able to read means I can now do things that I would never have been able to do before”.

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