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On Thursday 30th March, Cathy Menzies, Assistant Manager from Ernest Kleinwort Court, delivered a Makaton communications session to staff members from The Disabilities Trust’s central office in Burgess Hill. This was part of the Trust’s involvement in World Autism Awareness Week.

Cathy taught participants how to sign ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ and ask for much needed items such as tea, coffee and cake, essentials in every office.

Makaton is multimodal using signs, symbols and speech to support people with a wide range of communication difficulties. It is easily adapted to meet the needs of individuals with complex challenges in speaking, understanding and processing information.

Cathy said: “Teaching Makaton, even on a basic level, is a great way to raise awareness of the difficulties some people have with communicating. Makaton is also a fun way of communicating and I think it can benefit everyone who learns it.”

Cathy was brilliant! I had a lot of fun and genuinely learnt a lot."Marketing Officer Daisy Hopson said of the lesson."It was great to find out the different ways our staff can talk with people and how valuable Makaton is for helping people to communicate.”