The World 's Oldest Handicap Essay

750 Words Oct 5th, 2016 3 Pages
The World’s Oldest Handicap
It is an impairment nearly as old as time: illiteracy. The issue of illiteracy in America has taken many forms from the year 1776 to present. Twenty percent of the population during the colonial era were illiterate, but could still function adequately in society (National Assessment of Adult Literacy). Society then prioritized being able to work and farm land than knowing how to read a book. Today, however, the ability to read is nearly as important as the ability to breathe. The importance of literacy is evident in America’s basic learning principles: the ‘3 R’s’, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Reading today is required in the most basic of functions. The detrimental effects of illiteracy in the modern era include the inability to find jobs, issues with health, and the genetic passing of illiteracy to offspring.
Finding sufficient work is an arduous task for those who are illiterate because nearly all jobs require the use of reading. The steps to applying for a job, filling out an application or preparing a resume, even require reading. Some blue-collar jobs, such as factory work and construction, necessitate reading in order to follow instructions. Jobs that do not require literacy are scarce due to the fact that it is essential to complete nearly any given task and because most employers are simply unwilling to hire someone who is of illiterate status. Even if the job does not require the use of reading, the pay for it is often low. On…

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