Key Word Sign Australia
After over two decades service to the Australian community through its management of Makaton Australia and Key Word Sign Australia (KWSA), the University of Newcastle will soon discontinue its association with KWSA. We expect that by early 2014, the online shop will close and that KWSA resources will no longer be available from the University. More detailed information on the closure of the KWSA shop and the cessation of other KWSA services from the University will be made later this year.
Expressions of interest from another group or organisation who wishes to use KWSA intellectual property that the University of Newcastle owns may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Key Word Sign Australia is located in the Special Education Centre at the University of Newcastle, NSW. Key Word Sign Australia acts as the co-ordinating body for Key Word Sign activities throughout Australia. The aims of Key Word Sign Australia are :
- To promote and develop the use of key word signing throughout Australia, for the benefit of people with communication difficulties.
- To support a state network of Key Word Sign Representatives.
- To ensure a high standard of training of Key Word Sign Presenters.
- To up-date and develop new key word signing resources appropriate to Australia.
- To provide for the sale and distribution of Key Word Sign resources across Australia.
- To be a source of information on all maters relating to key word signing in Australia.
Key Word Sign Australia was formerly known as Makaton Australia. The Makaton Vocabulary was developed in England by Margaret Walker in the early 1970’s. The Makaton Program was introduced to Australia by Anne Cooney in 1977 and first used at the Stockton Hospital (Newcastle, NSW). In 1984 Margaret Walker visited Australia and helped organise Makaton Australia and Makaton state branches. In 2010, Makaton Australia was renamed Key Word Sign Australia. Key Word Sign Australia continues to support children and adults with communication and language difficulties and continues to provide quality resources to families, carers and professionals.