Fighting illiteracy: portrait of Patrick, 63, who overcame his disability

It’s illiteracy week in France. Events are organized across the country to end this taboo and so that those interested can learn about the solutions that exist. Today, in France, 2.5 million people cannot read or write. This is the case with Patrick Grappin, 63 years old. All his life he struggled with this deficiency.

After a career in horticulture, Patrick Grappin, 63, domiciled in Druillat (Ain), is now retired. He is dyslexic and dysorthographic: he has difficulty writing certain sounds and consonants. He hid his illiteracy for a long time. “You have to know how to manage without the other noticing the problem you have”, declares the retired.

Ten years ago, his wife encouraged him to question himself, but it was difficult for Patrick Grappin to find training. “I was once told by an association: ‘if he is French, he must know how to read and write'”, reports Marie-Christine Grappin. At 50, he is finally accepted, but he hesitates to dive. “At school, they thought I was more of an ass, because of my difficulties, the singing and the blows of the rule, I knew that”, he remembers. His trauma is over and, after years of practice, he is computer independent. For several years, Patrick Grappin has championed the cause of illiteracy. He was a member of the board of directors of the association Atelec, which formed him, in Bourg-en-Bresse (Ain). There he learned to speak, read and write better.

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