Earlyversity recognised for their use of Makaton

A South Wales business has been recognised for their use of Makaton to help people communicate and make their services accessible to children and adults with learning or communication difficulties.

EarlyVersity in Barry is the first high street business in Wales to be awarded the honour and only the 5th institution in Wales to be recognised by this prestigious accolade.

Peter Thomas a director at EarlyVersity stated “As a company formed by educational practitioners we are passionate about communication and firmly believe that all children and adults with a learning or communication difficulty should be able to access the same services and facilities as everyone else.”

The Makaton Friendly scheme is designed to recognise organisations or businesses that currently use Makaton in a simple, informal way to make Makaton users feel welcome and enable them to access services within their community. For most people, Makaton is related to the Cbeebies character Mr. Tumble who use the signs and symbols in his show Something Special.

All organisations that have been awarded Makaton Friendly status have demonstrated that they:

· Understand that different people use alternative ways to communicate. They may use speech, signs, symbols or electronic devices to support or instead of, spoken language.
· Provide a supportive and welcoming environment so that people who have learning or communication difficulties, old or young, can take part in the services that are provided.
· Use some Makaton symbols and signs. For example, use a few signs like ‘hello’ and ‘drink’ or use Makaton symbols to label doors such as toilets and exits.
· Support people who use Makaton to access services that everyone else can.

EarlyVersity use Makaton daily in their coffee shop, child development classes and shows and even introduced the signs into their recent Christmas experience with Santa utilising the Makaton language.

Kay Rawlinson who manages the Makaton programme at EarlyVersity said “I’m thrilled that as a company we have been award such an honour as the Makaton Friendly status provides. Using Makaton in our business is natural to all of our staff given our background in teaching and education”

EarlyVersity hopes to inspire other business to follow suit and use Makaton in their daily transactions and communications with customers.

For further information contact Kay Rawlinson support@earlyversity.com www.earlyversity.com 01446 734160