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One in three with reading disabilities

About one million Norwegians have reading disabilities and have problems repeating information from simple texts.

Only 17.6 percent of adult Norwegians have good reading proficiency and comprehension. About 33 percent, or close to one million people, have a hard time of repeating information from simple texts, reported the Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende.

«The numbers reveal a democratic problem which we have not realized that we have,» said Anne Marit Godal, manager of the organization Leser søker bok (Reader seeks book).

According to Godal, this research explains in part some problems like poor voting participation, feeling of powerlessness, and some social problems.

«We who can read properly take this skill for granted, and we probably do not understand how large the great ripple effects are for the people who can not read,» Godal said according to the paper.

Associate professor Egil Gabrielsen at Senter for leseforskning at Stavanger University College was project leader for the Norwegian part of this survey. He also views reading disabilities as a democratic problem.

«What we do not need are more marginalised groups, and also from a democratic point of view is it becoming more important to protect the weakest groups’ interests,» Godal said.

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