Advancements in technology are making it easier for deaf people to communicate.

In Ireland over one hundred thousand people are either deaf or hard of hearing. Technological developments in communications now offer those with hearing difficulties new ways of communicating. 

A new electronic mail service allows users to send text over an ordinary telephone line onto a computer screen. 

Telecom Eireann says they are only in the early stages of realising the full potential of modern developments.

The Dutch invention can be connected to a regular telephone allowing the deaf person to type in a message which is then received on a screen at the other end. The cost of the entire system is around £600. 

RTÉ News spoke to Helena Saunders about how this new technology has changed the way she communicates. 

I do not have to have a hearing person to make the call for me. I can send a message to a deaf or hearing person myself anytime.

Caitriona Whelan acts as sign-language translator.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 May 1987. The reporter is Alan MacCullough.