The History of Makaton
Makaton was devised in the UK by Margaret Walker, Kathy Johnston and Tony Cornforth – working with deaf mentally handicapped residents at Botley Park Psychiatric Institution in the late 1960s. It was observed that without a communication system residents were vulnerable and frustrated.
Margaret decided that only the key words in a sentence would be signed (this was the first time this strategy was used). Linguists confirm that in every language there is a threshold or core vocabulary. The 300 concepts that were chosen for Makaton
Makaton was updated and revised in 1996 to reflect the UK's modern multi-cultural society.
Makaton has been adapted for use in over 40 countries.
Original research resulting in the design
of the Makaton Core Vocabulary
Makaton Core Vocabulary established First Makaton Training workshop heldThe Makaton Vocabulary Development Project (MVDP) established as a non-profit organisationMakaton Symbols Working Party founded
First Makaton Tutor Training Course
Work started on Makaton Resource Vocabulary
The Makaton Language Programme began to be used overseas
The MVDP became a Registered Charitable Trust
Makaton Core Vocabulary Symbols published, enabling multi-modal use of signs and symbols
Makaton Core Vocabulary updated, enlarged and revised Makaton signs and symbols published for the computer Makaton website established
Makaton now used in over 40 countries
Number of qualified tutors in UK reaches 800
Makaton is added to the Oxford English Dictionary
The Makaton Charity established and MVDP transferred to The Makaton Charity
Number of licensed Makaton Tutors reaches 1000
First 11 South African Regional Tutors trained