Adult Literacy

Literacy is more than reading and writing. It is being able to understand, use and act on information. It involves listening, speaking, reading, writing, numeracy and using everyday technology to communicate and handle information. Literacy touches every aspect of our lives and has a big influence on our wellbeing. Literacy changes lives.

Adult literacy classes are provided by the Learning for Living programme. Learning is offered to anyone who wants to improve their literacy skills and is tailored to suit the needs of each student. Courses are free, part-time and are delivered in a supportive and friendly environment. 


Courses can be accredited or non-accredited.

  • Accreditation can be offered though QQI Major and Minor Awards from Level 1 to Level 3.
  • Non-accredited courses are short courses designed to meet specific training needs.


All courses are free.

How to apply

The ETB Adult Literacy Service is available through your nearest FET centre and in some local community/resource centres.  You can join at any stage during the year.  Students and tutors interact on an equal basis and classes focus on the needs of the learner as an individual.


In some cases, people don’t feel ready to join a group. A one-to-one class can be arranged for a limited time to help build confidence and in preparation to join a small group class. Volunteers are essential to offering this service. One-to-one classes are usually just 1-2 hours per week. Training is provided for all volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering to help someone make a change in their life by improving their literacy skills, please submit an expression of interest form here

Adult Literacy for Life (ALL)

Adult literacy for Life is a ten year, whole-of-society government strategy dedicated to ensuring that everyone in Ireland has the necessary literacy skills to meet their needs, and that literacy is valued and supported at every level of society.  Minister Simon Harris launched this strategy in 2021 and you can read it here.  

Literacy effects everyone, everywhere. Good literacy skills are essential if you want to fully engage in society. In Ireland, more than 500,000 people have unmet literacy needs. Even more have unmet numeracy and digital literacy needs. This means they may be unable to fill in a form, vote, read instructions on medicines, add up a bill, help children with homework or search the web for information. This can negatively impact their confidence and prevent them from participating fully in society. ​

Bridging the literacy gap is something we can all do. Everyone has a part to play. As part of the ALL strategy, Donegal ETB’s Regional Literacy Coordinator, Adele McElhinney, offers Literacy Awareness training. If you would like to play your part and access this free training, contact Adele for more information.

Adult Literacy is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union.

Contact Details

County Coordinator
Teresa Kealy
Tel: 074 9153194 / 086 1364352   

FET Centre Buncrana
Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO)
Claire McNicholl
Tel: 074 9362466 / 086 1740684

FET Centre Donegal Town (Drumcliff)
Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO)
Tricia Walsh Gillepsie
Tel: 074 9740181 / 086 8207338 

FET Centre Gort an Choirce
Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO)
Mairead Somerville
Tel: 074 9180871 / 086 1740677

FET Centre Letterkenny / Milford
Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO)
Emilia Niewulska
Tel: 074 9706097 / 086 1740683

FET Centre Stranorlar
Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO)
Georgina Thompson
Tel: 074 9190610 / 087 7002294

Regional Literacy Coordinator
Adele McElhinney
Tel: 074 9120521 / 086 0849284

Read Student Stories

Read Theresa’s IT story. 

Contact your local organiser for further information, they will be happy to talk to you and discuss options and locations for delivery

Adult Literacy Programme Supports

The following supports are available while on Adult Literacy Programme