Collar & Cuffs Co

We're pleased to introduce you to one of the first organisations to become Makaton Aware, Collar & Cuffs Co.

Founded in 2016, Collar & Cuffs Co is a multi-award-winning company renowned for creating sensory trails, tours, theatre, and resources. Their mission? To widen access, participation, and inclusion in heritage, culture, arts, nature, and horticulture for people of all ages with special educational needs and disabilities, including those with severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

Here's what Creative Director, and autistic parent of autistic twins, Julia told us:

“If you've ever been to one of our shows, sensory tours or a sensory storytelling session, then you'll know that we use Makaton every single time, no matter who we're working with.

We use Makaton whether our audience communicates using signs or not. For our youngest participants, signing helps support visual attention and it helps to normalise signing as part of communication. Parents/Carers of children/young people without SEND find signing fascinating. Using it often leads to them wanting to know more, trying out signs for themselves, and having useful conversations with their kids about why signing matters.

For most of our SEND audience, Makaton is a key part of their communication needs, and it's as natural for us to sign as it is to use spoken, sensory, or any other type of inclusive and total communication.

As an autistic person, I have always been someone who uses my hands a lot when I talk, so signing offers me a way to give my hands purpose, control, and meaning. I have also signed with my children since they were born - one of my twins had a 60% hearing loss for nearly four years of his life, and signing became a way to support his language development. Our family still uses Makaton now as a means of communicating when anxiety levels are high, across crowded spaces, or when a bit of discretion is needed.

It is therefore a no-brainer that Collar & Cuffs Co has signed up to become Makaton Aware and will be proudly displaying the Makaton Aware certificate and window sticker.”

Thank you Collar & Cuffs Co for becoming Makaton Aware and helping us to build a community where everyone's voice is heard and understood! Together, we will continue to break down communication barriers and build a more inclusive world for all.

Click here for more information about how you can become Makaton Aware or get in touch on [email protected].