Is Cass's initial illiteracy something essential that should go into future adaptations of her (whether live action, animated, etc) and if so, how could it be worked into her development?
Absolutely! Illiteracy is a real an debilitating factor in at least 14% of the US population, and that’s not taking into account the 22% of people who struggle reading past a 5th grade reading level. And that’s only in the United States. It’s an important problem that is not often addressed and can often isolate people suffering with these issues, especially for those who, like Cassandra herself, struggle with this issue due to a combination of unsupportive/abusive parenting and real reading disabilities like Cassandra’s (formerly canonical) dyslexia.
It’s a huge part of her characterization and has always been an important function of how she relates to other characters and the world around her. It’s why her original series Batgirl (2000-2006) was so unique and so beloved by people – it was a book that was so accessible and full of expressionist art that it was able to relate to and be understood at “lower” reading levels without lacking the significant nuance and maturity of its overall story.
It wouldn’t take much to express these things and transfer it into other medium either – actually, you could argue it’d be easier to express this in media that utilizes more than written language. Just use moments like these:
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #2]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #12]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #16]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #20]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #33]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #47]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #54]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #58]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #61]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #67]
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #69]
On an unrelated note, I’ve seen articles and posts claiming that Cass’ disabilities were not a visible or relatable part of her character in her own series and I just… really fail to understand where those people are coming from or what series they were reading, because literally these are the moments that just come to the top of my head when I think about Cass dealing with illiteracy and how important it is to her character. I didn’t even get the guest appearances in other books where it comes up.
Anyway. It’s an essential part of her character and it’s also something that is important and deserves more representation in all media.