Goals & Values

Literacy Link South Central's Customer Service Charter

LLSC is committed to providing exceptional service to our members and stakeholders. To view a copy of our Customer Service Charter, click here. 


Literacy for Family

Caregivers and parents set a literacy tone within a family.  If they don't read or write well, then literacy likely won't have a strong presence within the home.  If there isn't a literacy culture within a home, then children who are brought up in that environment will likely struggle with low literacy skills.  Literacy becomes an intergenerational issue and the cycle is repeated across generations.

People use literacy in the home to:

  • Read notes from a child's teacher
  • Pay bills
  • Shop for groceries
  • Follow recipes
  • Help children with homework
  • Play games
  • Build their knowledge and skills

How to help the families you work with:

  • Look at your services through the eyes of someone who may have low literacy skills
  • Talk with your coworkers about the possible literacy challenges of the people who use your services
  • Make yourself aware of how to recognize the signs of low literacy
  • Know how to talk about literacy with sensitivity
  • Know how to direct someone to get literacy support
  • Create written materials that are easy to read (Clear Writing)

How to create a home that supports literacy:

  • Take a trip to the library as a family
  • Play board games
  • Read books to each other
  • Have a "quiet time" when family members read, do homework or do word puzzles
  • Write letters or send emails to friends and family
  • Pick a topic and research together on the Internet
  • Make a scrap book (with stories) about a recent event or vacation
  • Do some budgeting together

Contact us for more information.


Literacy for Employment

A lack of literacy skills could result in missed opportunities and continual unemployment.  In our information-based society, reading, writing and math have taken on a lead role in the employment process.

People use literacy skills to find employment when they:

  • Use the job bank
  • Read the classified ads
  • Find job search agencies and resources
  • Develop a resume
  • Fill out application forms
  • Take tests during interviews

People use literacy skills to keep employment when they:

  • Review policy and procedure manuals
  • Take on-site training
  • Learn and understand new concepts (like WHMIS)
  • Use new equipment and computer programs

How to help clients who have low literacy skills find employment:

  • Look at your services through the eyes of someone who may have low literacy skills
  • Recognize that literacy is a foundational employment skill
  • Become familiar with the Essential Skills and their strong link to literacy
  • Understand that jobs today require more literacy skills than ever before
  • Be aware of free local literacy programs that can help your clients
  • Develop job search materials that are written in clear language (Clear Writing)

Contact us for more information.


Literacy for Community

Have you ever considered all the different ways that someone can be an active member of their community?  People with lower levels of literacy often do not feel comfortable participating in, or volunteering for, community activities, even those that are considered essential.  Low literacy skills often prevent people from participating in their local community as engaged citizens.

In the community, you need literacy skills to:

  • Get information about community events and opportunities
  • Spend money wisely
  • Know your rights
  • Participate in elections
  • Find the help you need - housing, income support, child care, transportation
  • Enjoy the benefits of leisure activities

We know that adults with low literacy skills:

  • Are nervous about filling in forms in front of people
  • Like face-to-face interactions (use a bank teller rather than the ATM)
  • Are less likely to vote
  • Avoid new or different situations
  • Are more likely to be the victims of scams
  • Often sign legal papers they can't read
  • Are more likely to get in trouble with the law (65% of prison inmates lack literacy skills)
  • Are less likely to join groups, such as Home and School or co-op housing committees
  • Have difficulty reading a bus schedule (20% of Canadians have trouble with this)
  • Are less likely to look to a library for information
  • Ignore mail unless it looks like a cheque or bill
  • Rely on television and radio, not newspapers, for news and information
  • Tend to avoid buying "no name" brands because there are no picture clues on the packaging
  • Purchase more prepared foods rather than planning to cook from recipes

How to help clients who have low literacy skills to participate more in their community:

  • Make information available in a clear and easy-to-read format (Clear Writing)
  • Talk about opportunities and events - don't just rely on the printed word
  • Consider an on-site literacy program
  • Promote free local literacy programs so clients know that there are programs that can help

Contact us for more information.


Literacy for Health

Health literacy refers to how people get, use and understand basic health information and services they need to make good health decisions.

More than 55% of Canadians (88% of seniors) lack the literacy skills to understand medication and safety instructions.

We need health literacy skills to:

  • Know where to go for help
  • Read nutrition labels on foods
  • Shop within a budget
  • Read medical instructions and take medicine properly
  • Get information on the best treatments for disease
  • Fill out medical release forms
  • Follow safety instructions
  • Find information on exercise, the risks of smoking and poor diet choices

Health literacy is affected by:

  • Poverty
  • Increased use of print material and an increase in outpatient services and home care
  • Health information and pamphlets being typically written at a Grade 12 reading level, which is well above the literacy skills of the average Canadian

What can we do?

  • Create partnerships between healthcare programs and literacy programs
  • Help a person with low literacy skills get the health and literacy information they need
  • Take a good look at clinical communication (verbal and written) and look for potential areas of misunderstanding
  • Adopt clear language in health information and forms (Clear Writing)
  • Communicate health information in a way that is sensitive to people's cultural and educational background

Contact us for more information.