Even top performers can hide illiteracy

Former NHL coach Jacques Demers represents many who avoid help for fear of stigma
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/06/2005

When National Hockey League coach Jacques Demers revealed to his wife that he couldn’t read, the reaction he found was utter incredulity.

How did he manage to mask his illiteracy for 10 years in professional hockey, Debbie Demers wanted to know. The answer: he was good at faking it.

When reading a document in front of a group of people, he would resort to one of three excuses. Perhaps he was too busy, or he had forgotten his glasses, or being francophone he had difficulty reading in English.