To fully participate in society and the workplace in 2020, Americans will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the population.

Clearly, this should be a top priority for education and government.

  • Since 1983, more than 10 million Americans reached the 12th grade without having learned to read at a basic level. In the same period, more than 6 million Americans dropped out of high school altogether.
  • 50 percent of American adults are unable to read an eighth grade level book.
  • Approximately 50 percent of the nation's unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs.
  • The number of adults that are classified as functionally illiterate increases by about 2.25 million each year.
  • 43 percent of those whose literacy skills are lowest live in poverty.
  • 33% of children in California will not finish high school.
  • 14% of all individuals have a learning disability.
  • More than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. About three in five of America's prison inmates are illiterate.

More than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level - far below the level needed to earn a living wage.
  • 60 percent of America's prison inmates are illiterate and 85% of all juvenile offenders have reading problems
  • 21 million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate and one-fifth of high school graduates can't read their diplomas.

Reading Horizons v5 reading software was developed for independent use for people ages 10 and above who read below grade level. Individuals are able to work at their own pace and receive the instruction that they need to close the reading gap.

Incorporating the strategies taught in the Discover Intensive Phonics for Yourself methodology, this multi-sensory reading software produces rapid gains, usually two-to-five grade levels in 40-60 hours of instruction.

What are your ideas for addressing and curing adult illiteracy in America?

Sources: Jonathon Kozol, Illiterate America; Learning Disabilities Association; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Department of Education