Definitions for Makaton
A system of communication, including speech, signing, and writing, intended for use by and with people who have language or learning difficulties.
Origin: From the names of its creators: Margaret Walker, Kathy Johnston and Tony Cornforth.
Makaton is a language programme designed to provide a means of communication to individuals who cannot communicate efficiently by speaking. The Makaton language programme has been effectively used with individuals who have cognitive impairments, autism, Down syndrome, specific language impairment, multisensory impairment and acquired neurological disorders that have negatively affected the ability to communicate. The name "Makaton" is derived from the names of the three people: Margaret Walker, speech therapist and researcher who designed Makaton, and two psychiatric hospital visitors who assisted from the Royal Association for Deaf people named Katharine Johnston and Tony Cornforth. Makaton is a registered trade mark of The Makaton Charity which was established in 2007. The original trademark application for Makaton was filed in the UK on August 28, 1979 with registration approved as from that date under UK trade mark registration no. 1119745. In 2004 the Oxford English University Press included Makaton as a common usage word in the Oxford English Dictionary. The entry states 'Makaton,n. Brit. A proprietary name for: a language programme integrating speech, manual signs, and graphic symbols, developed to help people for whom communication is very difficult, esp. those with learning disabilities.'
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