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.
A VRS user will be able to call 9-1-1 through the relay service during the hours of operation of the service. 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.
During the periods where VRS is unavailable, users will need to use the existing alternative means of calling 9-1-1, for example, via TTY, 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.
Everything you need to know about using VRS, including availability, equipment you might need, costs, etc.
Information about the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV).
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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