The 26TEN Communities Guide


This guide is for anyone who wants to help lift literacy levels in their community, and would like to work together with others in a systematic way to do that.


Literacy, in this guide, refers to the skills of reading, writing, doing basic maths, using everyday technology, and solving problems. In Tasmania, we know that around one in every two adults among us struggles with one or more literacy skills, such as:

  • reading books, newspapers, magazines and brochures
  • obtaining information from bus timetables, or reading charts and graphs
  • adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and calculating percentages
  • reading and interpreting medicine labels, information and advice
  • speaking and listening to obtain information, get a service or build a relationship
  • using computers and other technology
  • working through day-to-day challenges and their consequences


26TEN refers to the 26 letters of the alphabet we use for reading and writing, and the ten numbers we use for counting – the tools for literacy. 26TEN is a growing movement of people committed to improving adult literacy in Tasmania

Everyone’s efforts are guided by the Tasmanian Adult Literacy Action Plan. The overarching aim of this plan is:

For Tasmanian adults to have the literacy skills they need to participate fully in their family life, the community, learning and employment, and contribute to Tasmania’s economic prosperity.

As awareness about literacy grows, more and more Tasmanians are tapping into support programs. Some are taking their first steps by learning to read a letter from a loved one or write a reply. Others are building on the skills needed to enrol in and successfully complete training courses in all sorts of areas, from community services to construction.

26TEN runs a members program to help build the 26TEN network and make support more widely available. Any group or organisation is welcome to join. The first step is to contact the 26TEN Strategy Team for a membership pack. They can explain the benefits of membership and help with completing a 26TEN member action plan.

26TEN Strategy Team
Freecall 1300 00 2610


26TEN Communities are places where people are working together in a coordinated way to lift literacy levels. Some of the settings where they can work well are local government areas, industry groups and large organisations.

Each 26TEN Community is striving to achieve three main outcomes:

  1. Everyone knows about adult literacy
    - Literacy is talked about openly in the community and is seen as a valuable skill that can be learned.
  2. Everyone is supported to improve their literacy skills
    - People can easily tap into programs and services that will help them.
  3. Everyone communicates information clearly
    - All information is presented in ways that people can readily understand.


The guide is in two parts:

Part 1: The 26TEN Communities Guide
Part 2: The 26TEN Communities Toolbox

In Part 1, we’ve set out five main steps for you to follow to become a 26TEN Community. Under each step are suggested actions to take. There are also links to further information, and references to practical tools that you might find helpful.

Part 2 is where you’ll find the tools all gathered in one place. Keep in mind that they are just suggestions. Don’t feel you have to use them – you may have your own that already work well for you.


As well as this guide, there are plenty of people who can help you by telephone and face to face. Talk to the 26TEN Strategy Team if you have any questions. As well as having a lot of information and resources at their fingertips, they can also put you in touch with people doing similar work to you.

26TEN Strategy Team
Freecall 1300 00 2610