Video Relay Service: A new communications era in Canada

OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 28, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) joins the Canadian Administrator of the Video Relay Service (VRS) to launch this service during an event at the Museum of History, in the National Capital Region, along with the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

The launch of the VRS opens a new communications era in Canada that will simplify communications between Canadians who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired and other Canadians, and vice versa.

This made-for-Canada service enhances the ability of Canadian's whose first language is American Sign Language (ASL) or Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) to participate fully in Canada's communication system, and in Canadian society more broadly.

In October 2013, the CRTC held one of the most accessible public hearings in its history, during which Deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired Canadians spoke about how video relay service would make an important difference in their lives.

Quick Facts

  • It is estimated that there will be some 20,000 users of the Video Relay Service.
  • There is no charge to use the Video Relay Service. However, the service requires high-speed Internet access and an Internet-enabled device (e.g. a computer, smartphone, or tablet) that supports videoconferencing.
  • People who want to use the service can contact SRV Canada VRS to register.
  • The administrator, who is independent of the CRTC, manages the Video Relay Service and ensures its proper operation.

 

Quotes
"We believe people with disabilities should be able to fully participate in Canadian life as easily as anyone else. I understand what a difference it makes in a person's life when they have the tools they need to succeed. So I am very pleased to see the launch of Canada's Video Relay Service. This is a big step in the right direction."

– The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

"The implementation of the Video Relay Service will have a concrete and positive impact on the lives of Canadians who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired. The CRTC appreciates all the efforts put forth to ensure the success of this new service. This initiative illustrates strongly Canada's vision for an inclusive society which values equality of opportunity."

- Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

For further information: Media Relations, (819) 997-9403; General Inquiries, (819) 997-0313, Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782), TTY (819) 994-0423

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