Toward a "whole life" approach (2007)

A guide to learning disabilities resources for adult literacy educators

This reference guide is written for adult literacy educators looking for resources to support their practice in the area of learning disabilities(LD). The authors treat learning disabilities as a “whole life” issue that shapes not only literacy and learning, but also people’s self-esteem, family and work life. They have identified six principles of practice in LD that support this whole life approach and have organized their review accordingly:

1. Finding out about learning disabilities and how it shapes adult literacy work.
2. Building relationships of trust and dialogue through intake, screening and learning profiles.
3. “LD-friendly” instructional strategies and supports inside and outside the classroom.
4. Addressing issues such as fear, low self esteem, anxiety, experiences of violence, poverty and isolation.
5. Changing how the world thinks about LD: system advocacy, self advocacy and awareness raising.
6. Continuing the conversation: Self-directed professional development.

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APA citation
Nora D. Randall and Suzanne Smythe. Toward a "whole life" approach 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2022 <>
Nora D. Randall & Suzanne Smythe (2007). Toward a "whole life" approach. Retrieved December 3, 2022, from
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