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General Enquiries
Make a Referral 0808 208 2147 General 0808 208 3643

Many of the people we support use Makaton to communicate. Today, we celebrate this unique language.

International Makaton Day raises awareness of and celebrates the transformative power of communication through Makaton, a unique language that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. Makaton is commonly used by autistic people and individuals with a learning disability.

Today, over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton either as their main method of communication or as a way to support speech. Recognising the significance of inclusive communication, we want to promote the importance of breaking down barriers for individuals with different ways of communicating.

Michelle Widjaew, Assessment and Transitions Director at Priory said: “Makaton was first developed in the 1970s. The name comes from the people who developed this fully supportive communication system:

  • MA (Margaret Walker)
  • KA (Katherine Johnston)
  • TON (Tony Cornforth)

"There are similarities between Makaton and British Sign Language but Makaton is different in the fact it is used alongside speech to develop communication learning. Our communication is based on both verbal and non-verbal cues. Only 7% is the words we use and 55% is the body language we display alongside our speech. This is why using Makaton in conjunction with speech is important as it ensures that we are offering simultaneous communication messages to the people we support.

“I visit many Priory Adult Care sites and I often see "sign of the week" being utilised to train colleagues. This is a great idea to prompt colleagues to use the signs alongside their speech at all times. 

"We support many young adults transitioning from a school setting, with many of their own adapted signs, so it is always important to learn the individual's signs, which can be done through workshops with school placements and further training with Priory can support.”

Find out more about Makaton by visiting the Makaton Charity's website.

Get in touch

For more information on the specialist services Priory Adult Care provides across the UK to support adults with a range of needs, please contact us today on 0808 208 2147. Alternatively, click here to complete a short enquiry form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.