30 June 2017

The language programme taking the world by storm

What is Makaton?

“Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate.” Makaton.org

It enables children and adults to communicate, supporting spoken language for those who might have difficulties communicating.

Signs are coupled with speech to provide extra clues about what someone is saying, and is surprisingly often used by the many of people going about their day-to-day life – without their realising it.

People may start to drop the signs or symbols naturally as their speech develops.

Who uses Makaton?

As Makaton is so flexible and easy to understand, it has been adopted by a wide range of individuals.

Examples include: those with learning or communication difficulties, those developing language or literacy skills, those learning a new language for the first time, people looking after babies or young children and mainstream schools.

You’d be surprised to hear that you also probably use Makaton in your daily life.

Signs and symbols are used in many public areas such as libraries to help you find your way about, through communication (such as pretending to drink from a cup when offering your colleagues tea or coffee), and even through games such as charades.

Why is it important?

Effective communication is one of the most important skills we need in life, without it we would become shut off from the world, unable to interact with our peers.

Almost everything we do in our day-to-day lives involves some form of communication, be this through speech or written word. You need good communication skills to make friends, enable you to learn and/or work, even for a trip to a local restaurant or shop.

For any of you who may have had difficulty communicating at some point in your life, even if this is only down to losing your voice for a few days, you can understand the frustration of trying to go about your daily life.

This is where Makaton can really help.

It enables those with limited speech to socialise and interact with the world around them.

Examples

How has Newcross gotten involved?

We’re a big fan of Makaton here at Newcross; its flexible nature and the ability to personalise the language to individual needs encompasses one our core values of tailored, person-centred care.

Over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton in the UK, and its popularity is growing as people realise the pure simplicity and empowering nature of this programme.

We want to ensure that our staff understand and can cater to the needs of service users who communicate using Makaton.

That is why we offer comprehensive training to our healthcare employees, free through work credits.

If you are a current employee and would like to participate in one of our Speech, Signs and Symbols training courses, please contact your branch to register your interest.

Our next available dates and locations are as follows:

  • 24th July – Hereford
  • 01st August - Plymouth
  • 02nd August – Chester
  • 02nd August – Torquay (Intermediate)
  • 09th August – Hereford (Intermediate)
  • 18th August – Cannock (Intermediate)
  • 25th August – Crawley
  • 30th August – Colchester
  • 07th September - Cannock
  • 13th September – Lincoln

Makaton Symbols and Signs graphics © The Makaton Charity 2017 makaton.org