Video Relay Service (VRS)
VRS is a basic telecommunications service that enables people with hearing or speech disabilities who use sign language to communicate with voice telephone users. The sign language user connects to a VRS operator using Internet-based videoconferencing. The operator then places a voice telephone call to the other party and relays the conversation from sign language to voice and vice-versa. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Everything you need to know about using VRS, including availability, equipment you might need, costs, etc.
Information about the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV).
A VRS user can use the relay service to call 9-1-1. Emergency calls will be placed first in line for a VRS interpreter. The VRS interpreter will then connect the call to 9-1-1 responders and relay the emergency call.
Alternative means of calling 9-1-1 are via TTY, message-relay (i.e TTY relay and IP relay), or text message where it is available and users have pre-registered.
To learn more about communicating with 9-1-1 call centres via text message, please visit the Text with 9-1-1 website.
What we are doing
Policies, Decisions and Orders
- Highlights of the decisions related to VRS:
- Application requesting video relay service funding for 2016 (Telecom Decision CRTC 2015-532)
- Request for 2014-2015 video relay service funding (Telecom Decision CRTC 2014-665)
- Structure and mandate of the video relay service administrator (Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-659)
- Establishing the structure and mandate of the video relay service administrator (Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2014-188)
- Video relay service (Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-187)
- Accessibility of telecommunications and broadcasting services (Telecom Decision CRTC 2009-430)
- Report: Assessing the Compliance of Wireless Service Providers with the CRTC Accessibility Policy
- Report: Technical Feasibility of Implementing a Video Relay Service in Canada [PDF version]
- Report: Mobile Wireless Handset Accessibility Assessment [PDF version]
- Report: The Evolution of Alternative Communications Technologies for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired [PDF version]
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