Video relay service now available to deaf Canadians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

News Release

November 1, 2017 – Ottawa – Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

A year after its launch, SRV Canada VRS  has extended its service hours, enabling American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise users to make and receive calls any time of the day.

SRV Canada VRS allows its customers to communicate to a sign-language interpreter via an Internet-based video link.  The interpreter provides real-time interpretation of conversations, as the system connects to the hearing caller whose words are translated into sign language.

Since the launch of SRV Canada VRS, over 280,000 calls have been placed by nearly 5,000 Canadian subscribers.


Quotes

“We are delighted to see the positive impact the Video Relay Service has had over the last year for Canadians with hearing and speech disabilities. This initiative contributes greatly to ensuring an equal society for all Canadians. We will work closely with the Canadian Administrator of the Video Relay Service to promote this service so that even more Canadians benefit.”

- Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC

“This has been an incredible first year. CAV hasn’t just been about setting up a relay service to help people make telephone calls, it has also empowered the deaf community.  Customers are calling their banks and doctors, their friends, 9-1-1 and obtaining employment in ways they could not before.  I’m so excited about the future of SRV Canada VRS and continuing to make refinements and improvements to the service.”

- Sue Decker, Executive Director and CEO, CAV

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC created the Canadian Administrator of Video Relay Service (CAV, Inc.) to manage the service for all Canadians.  The service was launched on September 28, 2016.

  • Canadians can access SRV Canada VRS at no cost. The service just requires a device such as a computer (Mac or PC), smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android) and a sufficient Internet connection.

  • Anyone wanting more information about the Video Relay Service or how to register should contact SRV Canada VRS.

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