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We are a registered Makaton friendly Setting

The Makaton Friendly scheme recognises organisations that strive to make their services accessible to people who use Makaton to aid their communication.

We have demonstrated that we;

  • Understand that different people use alternative ways to communicate.

  • Provide a supportive and welcoming environment so that people who have learning or communication difficulties whatever age, can take part in the services that are provided by your organisation.

  • The use of Makaton symbols and signs around the organisation to aid inclusiveness and independence with signage and wayfinding

Makaton Friendly

What is Makaton?

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.

Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.

With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech.

Why use Makaton?

Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual's needs and used at a level suitable for them. It can be used to:

  • · share thoughts, choices and emotions

  • · label real objects, pictures, photos and places

  • · take part in games and songs

  • · listen to, read and tell stories

  • · create recipes, menus and shopping lists

  • · write letters and messages

  • · help people find their way around public buildings

Makaton at Steady Steps

We have a schedule of Makaton signs that we follow each term to support the children’s learning.  We introduce new signs on a weekly basis and encourage the children to use Makaton throughout the session to help build and develop important communication and language skills. 

How does Makaton work?

Makaton uses speech with signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate.  We also use facial expression, eye contact and body language to give as much information as possible.

When we speak, we often use extra tools to help the person we are communicating with understand what we are saying.  For example, if we are asked for directions, we might point (gesture) or draw a picture.  These are clues to help provide more information.

Signs and symbols give extra information which can be seen.  Research has shown that signs and gestures are easier to learn than spoken words.  This makes sense.  Babies use gestures before they can speak, to tell us what they want.  For example, they might point at the biscuit tin or hold out their arms to be lifted.  Children and adults can use Makaton to let others know what they want, make choices, share information and understand more.  This helps build and develop important communication and language skills.

How can Makaton support my child?

Makaton can be used to support your child in the following ways:

  • · Attention and listening

  • · Understanding speech

  • · Developing speech

  • · Making themselves understood

  • · Understand what will happen next


Further information about Makaton can be found here:

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