Formerly known as the National Association for Deaf People, DeafHear was founded in 1964 to promote the welfare of deaf people and their families in Ireland. The organisation has worked to improve the quality of life for the deaf and hard of hearing.

One of the RTÉ milestones that helped content accessible to this community was the introduction of Ireland's first television magazine programme for the deaf in 1988. 'Sign of the Times' was a monthly half-hour programme that went out at 3pm on Sundays with repeats the following Saturday. It was presented by Josephine O'Leary and Pat Matthews in Irish sign language and subtitled with voiced interpretation. At the time it was produced by Green Apple for RTÉ. In 1996 the programme became 'Hands On' and moved to a fortnightly slot. Recent series of 'Hands On' have been broadcast weekly.

This extract is taking from the first ever 'Sign of the Times', broadcast on 2 October 1988. Josephine O'Leary talks to June O'Mahony, swimming director of the Irish Deaf Sports Assocation about training for the World Deaf Olympic Games, also known as the Deaflympics, in New Zealand in 1989. O'Leary meets Irish swimming champion Alan Turner, who won 2 gold medals at the last Deaflympics.

Alan Turner