Makaton is a unique language programme which uses signs, symbols and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention, listening, comprehension, recall and organisation of language and expression.
Makaton is used by children and adults with a variety of communication and learning difficulties. It is used extensively all over the UK in pre-schools, schools, centres, hospitals and clinics, and in the homes of people with communication and learning difficulties, and has been adapted for use in over 50 countries.
In addition to the children and adults with communication and learning difficulties and the communities around them - for example, teachers, health professionals, friends, public service bodies etc. - Makaton is increasingly used by the general public to aid communication. Makaton has been shown to be useful for all sorts of people including those who struggle with understanding concepts, those who have poor literacy skills - including grammatical knowledge, and those with English as an Additional Language. By using Makaton, children and adults can take a more active part in life, because communication and language are the key to everything we do and learn.
The Makaton symbols and signs are 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.