I have recently become a Local Makaton Tutor and heard about The Communication Friendly Funday at The Links Café. I organised for a group of people from Condover College Limited, where I work as a Speech and Language Therapist, to attend the event.
We planned for our visit by contacting staff at The Links Café to enquire about what food and drinks would be available. This enabled us to practice the appropriate signs in advance and to prepare communication book pages.
It was the ideal environment not only for increasing learners’ confidence in using their communication aids but for demonstrating to staff how to use different communication strategies. The activities available were easily adaptable to every learner’s needs.
The activities, which included Bingo, matching and sequencing, were organised into stations and this proved to be an effective way for encouraging learners and staff to practice their signing and to develop their use of picture support whilst having fun.
Once we had completed the activities, we used Makaton symbols, communication books and Makaton signs to choose which cake we wanted – a perfect reason to communicate!
From a personal point of view, not only did I enjoy the afternoon but it was an invaluable opportunity for meeting other Makaton Tutors, learning new signs and for picking up new and exciting ideas.
The feedback from both the learners and the staff was extremely positive, particularly as there were a number of great raffle prizes up for grabs!
People are still talking about it now and we certainly plan on attending next year!
See also The Links Café blog