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Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

With Makaton, signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign..

The complete Makaton Language Programme comprises two vocabularies:

A Core Vocabulary of essential words or concepts presented in stages of increasing complexity. The Core Vocabulary is taught first and is the foundation of the programme

A much larger, open-ended, topic-based resource vocabulary provides an enormous bank of further signs and symbols covering broader life experiences and used in association with the Core Vocabulary as required

Makaton symbols and signs are matched to all the concepts in the two vocabularies to be used with speech, the written word or on their own. They provide a visual representation of language which increases understanding and makes expressive communication easier.

This multi-modal approach, where one mode facilitates another, has been shown to increase opportunities for personal expression and development, participation in interaction and socialisation and to increase access to education, training and public information.

We are proud to have 3 members of staff qualified as Makaton tutors – they are able to deliver training sessions for staff, parents and locality schools, and provide ad hoc topic based refreshers for staff.