Basic Sign Language Classes/Augmentative Communication

Based in Sydney Australia.

Learn the basics in sign language for use with children with a speech delay or developmental disability that is causing speech delay.

Sign Language can also be used in early childhood settings to add actions to many of the songs, directions or stories used in day to day activities.

Sing & Sign Workshops are a beautiful way to add gesture to songs and nursery rhymes.

Baby Sign Workshops are a way to start baby communicating before their verbal skills are fine tuned. (More information on Baby Sign page)

 The  Makaton Dictionary (Auslan Edition) is NOW AVAILABLE.
I have authored/designed with Makaton  an extension of the Makaton book called “Key Signs – supplement to the Makaton Vocabulary”  incorporating many early childhood signs and signs available for those entering school. There is no double up on the signs used in these two books.
“KEY SIGNS a supplement to the Makaton Vocabulary” is  NOW AVAILABLE .


“SING & SIGN WITH ME” Book Available

“SMALL TALK” TM Book & Instant Reference Chart available


Most of the songs covered in the Sing Sign book are taught during classes. Remember hands on experience is best. Participation in a class to learn and reinforce the signs then use the book as back up is the best way. Trying to learn fron a book can be difficult as graphics are good but not as good as first hand experience. 

There are a number of workshops available that people can link into or book for their service, association or group – call us for available dates.  We are happy to travel throughout Sydney Metropolitan area, up to areas around Newcastle and down to Canberra and surrounding areas and we are always happy  to  run workshops from your centre, workplace etc.


02 8230 3063 or

EMAIL Aileen <johnw@ispdr.net.au>

“Hands Can Talk” is all about sign language.

Helping everyday Australian families and carers enhance communication by learning sign language.

“Hands Can Talk” was established in 1995 and came about as a result of Aileen meeting so many parents and professionals who needed to learn basic sign language to help them communicate with children and adults who had speech and/or developmental delay.

Having gone in to teach the preschool staff where her daughter, Elysha, was going, how to sign, life became much easier for Elysha and the staff at the centre. Aileen also found that demand increased for her teaching style which was both relaxed and effective. Because of the need for small amounts of sign language rather than studying for years Aileen’s business has grown to include many different types of workshops.

Aileen became involved with Makaton Australia by training to become a Makaton Presenter and being involved on the Makaton Resource Committee with the aim towards increasing awareness of this great way of communicating.

By raising awareness children like Elysha, have a much better chance of being accepted in the general community. One of the great things that Aileen has discovered is that people everywhere love to watch and understand more about sign language so her classes often have people coming along who just want to learn a little and understand more. By using sign language in the general community people are making it possible for children/adults with speech and/or developmental delay to communicate and feel part of the wider community.

In 2000 parents both here and overseas started to take an interest in using a gesture or sign system to get babies “talking” to get their needs and wants across. Aileen had used sign language with both her twins so successfully that she decided to start teaching Baby to Toddler Sign Language Workshops in 2002. Demand has increased rapidly with parents enjoying the benefits of sign language used together with spoken language.

Aileen has also been producing and working with other organisations to produce resources that are relevant to Australians.

“Hands Can Talk” focuses mainly on children and signing.

  • Workshops cover a small amount of sign language, each one tailored to meet specific areas.
  • Simple, everyday, EASY TO LEARN signs for everyday Australians.
  • Talks about the Special Needs areas.
  • Teaches Baby to toddler signing, the why’s and how’s.
  • Uses Auslan sign language with the Key Sign concept. (Which basically means using the sign language of the deaf community but always with voice and only signing the most relevant words.)