Bid to break down barriers in community

Boston Spa youngster Francesca Smith. (S)
Boston Spa youngster Francesca Smith. (S)

A mum is hoping to help residents improve communication with disabled people.

Rachel Adams-Smith, whose 12-year-old daughter Francesca uses sign language, aims to run courses in Makaton an easy to learn form of signing.

Francesca has the extremely rare Chromosome 16 deletion and duplication which means she cannot speak, has developmental delay and complex medical issues.

The Boston Spa mum explained: “I am running this course to help children, like Francesca, and adults with communication difficulties feel more included in society and to enable them to have more confidence and less frustration.

“Boston Spa has two special schools and Martin House Children’s Hospice. I feel it would very beneficial for the village, if we all had some general knowledge of sign to help those with disabilities feel more able to communicate and be included into village life.”

Makaton uses signs and symbols to help people to communicate and is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech.

“For those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to communicate meaningfully or effectively, Makaton really can help,” added Rachel.

“Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect with other people and the world around them. This opens up all kinds of possibilities.”

The introduction to Makaton will be held in the Parish Room, St Mary’s Church in Boston Spa on June 29, 6.30-8.30pm. The cost is £10 per person, in advance, and should be booked through the Parish Office 01937 844402.

For further information on the course contact either Kerry Crabtree the Makaton Tutor via or Rachel on 07703611554.