About us

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, TD and Inez Bailey, NALA Director

The National Adult Literacy Agency is an independent charity committed to making sure people with literacy and numeracy difficulties can fully take part in society and have access to learning opportunities that meet their needs. According to the last international survey, one in four - that is, about half a million - Irish adults have problems reading and writing.

Since we were set up by volunteers in 1980, we have been a leading campaigning and lobbying force on adult literacy issues. We have been involved with tutor training, developing teaching materials, distance education services, policy making, research and campaigns to raise awareness of the causes, extent and responses to adult literacy difficulties in Ireland.

Many individuals and organisations have contributed considerably to adult literacy work in Ireland. For our part, we have put literacy on the political agenda and secured funding for the provision of adult literacy services. Currently there are 57,000 adults attending VEC adult literacy courses nationwide. This service is delivered by 1,500 paid tutors and over 4,000 volunteers.