Makaton is a language programme which uses signs and symbols and is used to support spoken language.  The signs and symbols are used with speech and in spoken word order which is different to British Sign Language.

Freedom Care recognises how beneficial Makaton can be for people who experience difficulties with being able to communicate effectively.  Our service users can all experience communication difficulties, this may be because they non verbal, have limited or unclear speech or have a good vocabulary but problems with processing information.  Makaton is flexible and can be tailored to the unique needs of our service users and can support them in a range of ways, to include:

  • Enabling service users to share their thoughts, feelings, emotions and choices with the people supporting them
  • Allowing people to participate in games, songs or community/social activities
  • Listen to, read or tell stories
  • Support with the creation of recipes, menus or shopping lists
  • Write letters and messages

We decided earlier this year, that our service users would benefit from using Makaton to support theirs and our verbal communication.  We put an advert out internally for our current staff team to apply for the position of in house trainer for Makaton.

Staff who applied for this role were committing themselves to several training dates throughout 2015 and 2016 to become a qualified Makaton Trainer.  The successful candidate would also be responsible for setting up resources and systems for the use of Makaton, promoting the use of Makaton throughout the group in addition to scheduling and delivering training to the staff team.

We interviewed staff by asking them to do a presentation about Makaton and how this could be used to enhance the lives of our service users.  Although we initially felt we would fund one person to complete the training, it became apparent when the presentations were delivered that this would be a difficult decision to make.  We ended up giving two staff members the role as they brought different skills and qualities to the role.

Tim Duffy and Ste Hardy have recently completed their initial 2 days training introducing them to Makaton.  They are busy working with management to look at how we integrate their learning into the company and how best to support service users through the use of Makaton.  In 2016 they will complete their further training, which means we will then have 2 fully qualified Makaton trainers employed by the company.

Tim Duffy

Tim Duffy

Ste Hardy

Ste Hardy

We are really excited about supporting our service users in a way which will only enhance their communication and interaction with others.  Watch this space and we will keep you updated as we progress!

 For more information about Makaton please click here>

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