The Makaton Language Program was developed in the United Kingdom in the 1970’s by a Speech and Language Therapist, Margaret Walker (MBE) who was working in an institution for the mentally challenged. She noticed that many of the challenging behavioural issues they were faced with, were greatly reduced when communication by speech was accompanied with the use of British Sign Language (BSL).
Makaton in the UK has since gone from strength to strength. They have over 1000 tutors and have trained many people across the country. Whole cities can be deemed ‘Makaton Friendly’ if at least 40% of the council workers including police, ambulance, fire services, bus and taxi drivers are trained in Makaton. Inclusive community life is the goal.