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Why Makaton is so fantastic

  • By Caitlin
  • 3rd December 2020

If you’ve not come across Makaton before it’s fantastic. And this is why…

Makaton is a form of sign language that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable children, young people and adults to communicate.

Makaton is similar to British Sign Language however it is a more efficient language programme to use with children as the signs are easy to copy and only focus on key words. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.

Over 100,000 people use Makaton. It’s also used by children and adults with communication and learning difficulties and the community around them so people like teachers and health professionals,

Makaton has been shown to be useful to anyone who struggles with understanding concepts, those who have poor literacy skills, 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.

Here are a couple of examples:

The Makaton website contains lots of useful resources and information about Makaton and there is also a free resource section. This Christmas, they are running a daily advent calendar so check it out.

This Christmas, we’re encouraging as many businesses, families, schools and individuals to all learn ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ using Makaton signs. This unique fundraising event is part of our Imagine If campaign. An awareness and fundraising campaign aiming to highlight what it is like to have a learning disability and show what’s important to young people with learning disabilities and their families.

The Great Big Leeds Mencap Singalong is a fundraising event for EVERYONE! With a step-by-step video teaching you all the signs you need and how to put them together, learn this well known Christmas song. For more information about the campaign and how to get involved in this fun and unique initiative, visit the Leeds Mencap website: https://www.leedsmencap.org.uk/events/the-great-big-leeds-mencap-singalong/

Here’s some of the team showing us how it’s done using Makaton:

We are asking participants to either make a donation or raise sponsorship to take part. Once complete, share your video with us and on social – don’t forget to use the hashtag #leedsmencapsingalong. Please return it to us by Friday 18th December.

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