Lifelong learning

Lifelong learning includes all the learning that takes place throughout life, and particularly learning opportunities for adults. It refers to all types of learning that promote personal development and participation in society, especially adult literacy and the knowledge and skills needed for employment. Vocational education and training could be seen as an important part of lifelong learning (please refer to Skills development keylist). It is essential that youth and adults with disabilities are included in lifelong learning opportunities and experiences in the community. Inclusive lifelong learning is supported by article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

This keylist features resources that support inclusive lifelong learning. We welcome your feedback: please send comments or suggested additions to

Selected resources

A new approach to improving education and training services for tertiary students with disabilities


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"This project sought to take an alternative view of disability service provision for the educational and learning needs of students in tertiary institutions. In looking at these issues, this project focused on the issue of flexibility within mainstream, on-campus educational and training programmes and drew a distinction between these and other learning programmes such as distance education and courses that are solely delivered electronically or on-line...This project report consists of four main sections. An Introduction including purpose, background and rationale, and structure. A review of the significant literature available on the issue of disability and education programme design and particularly the experience of students with disabilities. A report on a survey of teaching and disability staff’s views on FTL (Flexible teaching and learning) and disability. An outline of some practical resources for disability and teaching staff in the area of FTL that have eventuated from the project"

Conceptual evolution and policy developments in lifelong learning


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"The 24 papers collected here document the debates and discussions led by experts from across the world. The papers are grouped into five themes, recounting first how lifelong learning has evolved conceptually and then how policy has developed in its promotion. Subsequent sections examine its relationship with distance education, new learning media and higher education; its association with the learning cities movement; and its role in rural and industrial development. The General Rapporteur’s Summary Report of the Forum provides the final section, giving an overview of the event"
Shanghai International Forum on Lifelong Learning
Shanghai, China
19-21 May 2010

Illiteracy among adults with disabilities in the developing world : an unexplored area of concern

GROCE, Nora Ellen
August 2009

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This paper reviews findings from a literature search on literacy of adults with disability in developing countries. The research indicates that there are limited studies in international development, education, health, or disability studies that address this issue. The paper highlights that, though inclusive efforts for children are important, more attention should to be directed to providing literacy skills to illiterate and marginally literate disabled adults. This paper is useful for people interest in illiteracy among adults with disabilities in the developing world
Working Paper Series No 9

Integrating lifelong learning perspectives


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This report from an international confernence on lifelong learning contains presentations from the plenary sessions and highlights information from the workshops. The select papers are divided into nine parts that reflect the thinking and practice on lifelong learning, taking into consideration geographical representation and heterogeneity of experiences. This report is useful to people interested in global lifelong learning perspectives
"International Conference on Lifelong Learning : Global Perspectives on Education"
Beijing, China
1-3 July 2001

Lifelong learning in Asia and Pacific


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This report describes the concept and purpose of lifelong learning in Asia and the Pacific. It emphasises the need for a well trained workforce to cope with the changing pace of the economy, the importance of related government laws and policy, and highlights relevant case studies from the different regions. The report concludes that if an individual possesses skills and knowledge through a lifelong learning process, an individual is likely to influence his/her employment outcome and lifelong income. This report would be useful for governments and practitioners interested in lifelong learning in Asia and the Pacific

Overcoming exclusion through inclusive approaches in education : a challenge and a vision


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Paper seeking to map out inclusive approaches in education as a strategy to achieve the goal of education for all. It aims to construct a coherent conceptual and contextual policy framework in order to provide access and quality in basic education for all children and young people, and explores the implications for education systems so that these needs can be addressed and responded to in mainstream education whether it is formal or non-formal

Training in the community for people with disabilities

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This set of 33 manuals is a key training resource for CBR trainers and workers trying to improve the quality of life of disabled people living in developing countries. The manuals present the WHO model of CBR, comprised of a system of 'local supervisors' and a 'community rehabilitation committee'. The manuals address disabled people, school-teachers and families. They cover rehabilitation activities for all types of impairment, as well as training on cross-impairment issues such as breastfeeding, play, schooling, social integration and job placement

UNESCO Institute for lifelong learning


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The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is a non-profit, policy-driven, international research, training, information, documentation and publishing centre of UNESCO. This website has information about its programme areas, implementation strategies, and information services as well as related links. This website is useful for people interested in lifelong learning