DETROIT — A disturbing survey started by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund found that 47 percent of Detroit residents were functionally illiterate.
When it comes to reading a newspaper, filling out a job application or reading instructions on a medicine bottle, nearly half of the residents just can’t do it. Of the 200,000 adults who were found to be functionally illiterate, the study found that about half of them had a high school diploma or GED, while the other half did not. Out of that same group, only 10 percent are receiving adult literacy classes to teach them how to read, while only 25 percent of adult-education programs in Detroit offer services for learners at a low reading level.
The city of Detroit has suffered tremendously as a result of the poor economy, with unemployment rates as high as 50 percent — 33 percent among adults aged 20-24. There are very few job opportunities available for those that are illiterate in Detroit, regardless of any improvement in the economy.