Frequently Asked Questions

One of the experienced adult literacy teachers will answer the phone. You can talk with them about your literacy or numeracy problems and they will be able to suggest a class in your area if that is what you want. These classes are run by organisations such as TAFE, community centres or similar organisations. The Hotline teacher will give you a phone number and other contact details and you then make the contact yourself. If you are not able to go to a class, the Hotline teacher can discuss other possibilities with you, perhaps a distance course or other ways you might be able to get started.

No, we do not run courses ourselves. We have a list of courses that are run throughout Australia at places such as TAFE colleges, or other training organisations, community centres, or community libraries. We can refer you to one or more of the courses that are run in your area.

Not really. The courses listed on our database are adult literacy courses that will only accept young people after they have left school. We do have information about a very few other child-specific helplines that may be able to offer assistance to parents.

Dyslexia is a term that really just means ‘has trouble reading and writing’. There can be a lot of different reasons for this but sometimes it is because the person has somehow ‘missed out’ on some important part of their schooling. Just because someone has told you that you have dyslexia, it doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your reading and writing like everyone else. Whatever the cause, most people can improve their reading and writing with time and practice and a helpful teacher. Call us on the Reading Writing Hotline if you want to talk about it some more. We can also help you to find a class near you.

We get calls at the Hotline from people such as:

  • Adults who want to improve their reading and writing. Some need help with basic reading skills, while others can read and write well enough for their everyday needs but may have problems with the reading and writing needed at work or for a course of study.
  • Friends or relatives of adults who want to improve their reading and writing.
  • Employers who want to help employees who are struggling with work-related literacy or numeracy issues.

Yes. We may be able to suggest a literacy/ numeracy trainer you could employ to come to your workplace or a local class you could refer your employee to. We may be able to provide information about any sources of funding which may be available.

Yes, we can help people with a wide range of literacy or numeracy needs, not just basic literacy. If spelling is your problem, we can suggest a distance course, or some self-help books and resources, or possibly a local course.

For some it has been an issue of broken schooling due to health issues or family issues or language issues for children of non-English speaking families. For some proportion of adults, it may be an issue of a specific learning disability, sometimes called dyslexia.
Many people who can manage their everyday literacy and numeracy needs quite happily, find they have a problem in certain employment or further study contexts. Literacy in different contexts, such as family or employment, require different sets of literacy skills; it is not the case that having learnt some basic set of literacy skills, you can now deal with any reading and writing tasks. This is the situation for many callers to the Hotline. They may have been offered a promotion which involves literacy demands that they are uncomfortable with, or they may be required to do some workplace training that involves literacy that they are not confident with.
The fact that they need to work on their literacy skills is not because they have a skills deficit but because the requirements of the workplace are becoming increasingly more complex.