Kind-hearted Houghton Regis colleagues completed training in a revolutionary language programme, so as they are better able to help people with learning or communication difficulties.
The supported housing and floating support team of Aldwyck Housing Group studied Makaton to aid communication with people they help, including those with physical or learning disabilities, or those with a mental health condition.
The programme uses signs and symbols to help people communicate, the signs and symbols used with speech, in spoken word order.
Terence Holloway, senior floating support worker, said: “Makaton is a great tool which will help us to communicate more easily with our most vulnerable clients, and those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to communicate meaningfully or effectively, helping us to get them the support they need.
“This could be by helping them maintain their tenancy, achieving goals such as managing their money and home, going to work or college, or managing their health and lifestyle.”
Makaton was developed in the 1970s by three speech and language therapists from the Royal Association for Deaf people and today over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton to communicate.
Most people start to use it as children then naturally stop using the signs and symbols, whereas some use Makaton throughout their lives.