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Literacy Friendly Longford

Raising awareness about literacy needs among local businesses in Longford.

Group photo

“Brilliant idea, carried out in a friendly and positively charged atmosphere.” Quote from participant

This project raised awareness about literacy needs and encouraged organisations and businesses in Longford to adopt literacy-friendly approaches. Local businesses selected staff members to complete Longford’s Literacy Ambassador programme, which enables participants to use Plain English to develop more accessible forms and documents, to improve their customer service for people and colleagues with unmet literacy needs, and to highlight supports available from Longford Libraries, LWETB Adult Literacy Service, and NALA.   

The two-day training course took place in Edgeworthstown Library on the 28th and 29th November 2023. Staff members from An Post, PTSB, AIB, Women’s Link, Older Person Council, County Childcare Committee, Citizen’s Information, and Westmeath Libraries, along with seven internal departments in Longford County Council, learnt how Plain English makes information more inclusive, how to spot if someone is struggling with literacy, and how to signpost people to get more information or help in terms of support for theses unmet needs. 

This project had many positive outcomes. PTSB staff have started sign language courses and a review of Longford County Council’s website is currently underway. Some county council departments are even reviewing their forms so that they conform to Plain English principles. Multiple organisations are also reviewing their marketing schemes, websites, and posters in view of using Plain English, less text, and more visible images.  

This project was the result of a collaboration between Longford County Council and LWETB.

For more information, please contact Anne Maria Egan, LWETB Regional Literacy Coordinator at Aegan@lwetb.ie 

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