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13 December 2002...Ireland Wood Primary School pupils doing Makaton sign language at the school's nativity play at Ireland Wood, Leeds.
13 December 2002...Ireland Wood Primary School pupils doing Makaton sign language at the school's nativity play at Ireland Wood, Leeds.
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Sheffield parents and carers who want to learn the Makaton sign language to help their children can sign up for a free taster session next month.

Sheffield Information Link (SIL) is offering the free three-hour sessions to any parent or carer living in Sheffield who is in receipt of benefits.

Makaton is a language programme devised to help anyone who cannot communicate efficiently by speaking.

The programme, which was first devised by a speech therapist and workers for Royal Association for Deaf people, involves various combinations of speech, signs and graphic symbols that are used in different ways, depending on the needs of the person who is using it.

The system is often taught to people who have learning disabilities and to stroke patients.

The first taster session is taking place today and the next one will be on Saturday, September 21 from 10am to 1pm.

SIL have received funding from the Santander Foundation to run the Sheffield sessions.

Chief executive of SIL, Sharron Baroudi said that the taster sessions are a great way of taking a look at how it works.

She added; “There are many families in Sheffield that could benefit from learning Makaton.

“Our taster sessions will introduce people to the language so they can see if it would work for them at home or in work.”

To book a place on the course you can call 0114 249 8271.