The authors describe the first psychiatric research and demonstration program for the deaf in the U.S., which began in New York State in 1955. In 1963 a special inpatient unit for the deaf was opened; during its first three years it was able to discharge nearly 50 percent of patients over 25 and 25 percent of the young group. This unit has been used as a model for similar programs in other parts of the U.S., England, and Scandinavia. The most recent effort has been in the areas of preventive psychiatry and rehabilitation. The authors also outline unmet needs.