When we tell people that we work with the Deaf we often hear “oh I can do sign language, I know some Makaton”, so we thought we’d take a moment to explain the differences.

British Sign Language is a language with it’s own structure and grammar which is completely different from the grammatical structure of English. It is the preferred first language of the Deaf community in the UK and as with any spoken language it is constantly evolving.

Makaton is designed to be used to support spoken English for people with learning or communication difficulties. Makaton is often used alongside speech to help aid children and adults with communication. It is common for people to stop using signs as their speech develops.

Most of the signs used for Makaton are taken from sign language and are delivered in spoken word order.