Mission & History

The mission of Hands On is to provide access to arts and cultural programs for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities.  We offer the information and services needed to ensure their active participation in New York’s vibrant cultural mainstream.

Hands On was founded in 1982 by 4 individuals, with a small group of names for a mailing list and a first season that was comprised of 6 interpreted Off-Broadway performances.  In 1994, the organization introduced the Cultural Calendar of events for the Deaf community, the first and only comprehensive listing of its kind. 

Today, Hands On produces 20 to 30 interpreted performances annually, with a track record of over 500 shows to date.  It maintains an active web site, which features its monthly Cultural Calendar and a comprehensive Resource Directory, and generates input from Deaf people locally and around the world.