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What is Makaton?

Makaton is a language programme developed by The Makaton Charity, that uses symbols, signs and speech to help people communicate. Makaton is frequently used with children and adults who have Autism, Down syndrome, and other communication and learning disabilities. You may have seen Makaton used in the Something Special show on the CBeebies TV Channel (available in the UK and some other countries), and by Singing Hands.

You can find lots more information about Makaton, including explanatory videos, and how to access Makaton training, on the Makaton Website.

What Makaton resources are available through Special iApps?

As a result of an ongoing collaboration with The Makaton Charity, Special iApps is pleased to offer a growing set of resources that include images of official Makaton symbols with corresponding text and audio. These are currently available to download and use in our Special Words Plus, Special Stories Plus and Special Spelling Plus apps, which are available as part of Special iApps Membership. Using these resources in our apps is a great way to learn and reinforce sign-based communication, as well as encouraging speech and other skills.

How do I access Makaton resources in these apps?

You need to have already joined Special iApps Membership, and downloaded and logged in to one of our plus apps (on iPad, iPhone, Android or desktop). You also need to have a current Makaton membership.

To download Makaton resources in Special Words Plus, go to Word List > Actions > Import Word List > Download > Makaton. The first time you do this, you will be asked for your Makaton username and 6-digit membership ID (not your password). If you don't know these, see the answer to the question below.

You can then browse all the word lists that are currently available. These are grouped by Makaton Membership level (Free, Standard or Premium), and although you can browse them all, you can only actually download the ones permitted by your membership level (e.g. if you have Standard Membership, you can download the Free and Standard ones, but not the Premium ones).

Please Note:

When you have selected a word list you are permitted to download, you will be offered a choice of Add new profile, Replace "Profile 1", etc. We recommend selecting Add new profile, so as not to risk losing any existing word lists. You can switch between multiple word lists from Word List > Actions > Manage Profiles.

How do I find my Makaton Membership Details?

Sign in on the Makaton Website, with your Makaton username (usually an email address) and password. Then click the "Hi <Your Name>" at the top to see your 6-digit Membership ID and other details. If you have forgotten your username or password, you can find help on the Makaton website.

What if I change my Makaton Membership level or need to use a different Makaton ID?

You should log out of the app using Actions > Logout (this will not affect your existing content or settings), and then log back in with the email address and product key associated with your Special iApps Membership. The next time you go to download Makaton resources, you will be asked for your Makaton username and ID again. If you have lost your Special iApps product key, visit our Manage Your Membership page.

If you have a Makaton Trial Membership, you will only be able to download until the end of your trial. For other Makaton memberships, you will be required to re-validate your Makaton username and ID in the app after 90 days from when you last did so.

Can I print out Makaton Symbols from Special Words Plus?

You can print assessment forms with Makaton symbol thumbnails, as well as written word cards. You can only print picture cards of Makaton symbols if you have Makaton Premium Membership (not Free or Standard), for copyright reasons.

Can I export word lists with Makaton symbols and import on another device?

No, you cannot export a word list that contains any Makaton symbol images, for copyright reasons. To use Makaton symbols on a different device, download them again.

Can I access Makaton resources outside the UK?

Makaton is available in other countries. The symbols are pictographic so can be used in other languages, however some symbols will be different. The symbol of bread in the UK is a traditional loaf but that used in French will be a baguette. Makaton resources for our apps are downloadable in any country, but are currently only available in British English.