Telecom Commission Letter Addressed to Lisa Anderson-Kellett (Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee) and Frank Folino (Canadian Association of the Deaf)

 

Ottawa, 14 December 2016

Our reference: 1011-NOC2016-0116

BY EMAIL

Lisa Anderson-Kellett
Chair
Deaf Wireless Canada Consultative Committee
lisa@deafwireless.ca

Frank Folino
President
Canadian Association of the Deaf/
Association des Sourds du Canada
ffolino@cad.ca

Dear Ms. Anderson-Kellett and Mr. Folino:

My colleague, Ms. Roy, has referred to me your letter dated 8 December 2016 in which you ask for an explanation as to why certain accessibility measures requested in your correspondence of 2 December 2016 relating to your participation in Establishment of a regulatory framework for next-generation 9-1-1 in Canada, Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2016-116, were not accepted.  Specifically, you request an explanation as to why ASL and LSQ interpretive services, as well as English real-time captioning services, are not being provided for the duration of the public hearing associated with the proceeding.  You also request an explanation as to why the Commission was not providing you with access to ASL interpretive services for three hours to prepare for your appearance before the Commission.

In our 8 December 2016 email, we informed you that ASL interpretation and English CART services would be provided for all presentations and questions scheduled on Thursday, 19 January until lunch time, thereby encompassing your organizations’ presentation.  We also informed you that electronic copies of the hearing transcript would be made available to you in accessible format each day of the hearing once they come into staff’s possession.

The accessibility measures set out in our 8 December 2016 email will ensure that your respective organizations can effectively participate in the hearing and the proceeding more generally.  In the case of your and similarly situated organizations, reliance on the transcripts is an effective means of following the hearing as they will be available to you in accessible format.  Our assessment of the needed measures was also based on the fact that the oral hearing component of the proceeding does not contain an oral reply phase and that parties will have access to the official transcripts and will have 11 days following the end of the hearing to submit final written comments.

We further note that in your 2 December 2016 letter, you indicate that three of your deaf panelists intend to attend the full duration of the public hearing to listen to interveners with the goal of taking notes for your post-hearing reply.

Access to official transcripts, which are released daily, will allow all parties, including your organizations, to accurately follow what is said at the hearing. Further, parties’ presentations to the hearing panel are primarily intended to allow parties to highlight their positions on the various proceeding issues and less as a means to rebut other parties’ positions.  Parties have a full opportunity of engaging in reply comment in their final written comments. 

Finally, with respect to your request for the Commission to arrange for and provide ASL interpretive services the day prior to your scheduled appearance in order to assist with the preparation of your presentation, your organizations may apply for costs in relation to the expenses incurred for such services.  As indicated in our 8 December 2016 email response, the CRTC Rules of Practice and Procedure provide that costs may be awarded to applicants who can demonstrate that, among other things, the costs were necessarily and reasonably incurred.  You should include in your costs application the information supporting these criteria; where the Commission is satisfied that the criteria are met, an award of costs is made.

We hope that this response is helpful to you.  The Commission values your organizations’ contribution in its public hearings and has taken these accessibility measures to accommodate and facilitate your participation fairly in this proceeding.  We look forward to hearing from you at the hearing.

Eric Bowles
Legal Counsel, Legal Sector
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0N2
Tel.: 819-953-5204
eric.bowles@crtc.gc.ca

c.c.: Gary Malkowski, gmalkowski@chs.ca

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