OTTAWA–GATINEAU, Dec. 18, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today approved the structure and mandate of the Canadian Administrator of Video Relay Service. Earlier this year, the CRTC approved this telecommunications service, which will enable Canadians across the country to place phone calls and communicate using American Sign Language (ASL) or Quebec Sign Language (QSL) where the technology is available. The administrator will operate the video relay service and oversee its performance independently from the CRTC.
To ensure that different viewpoints are considered, the administrator's Board Directors will be made up of three directors chosen by organizations representing Deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired persons and two directors chosen by telecommunications service providers. These five directors will select two additional independent directors.
In addition to the seven directors, two permanent invitees will be elected by ASL and LSQ interpreter organizations. These permanent invitees will act as special advisors to the Board of Directors.
An interim three-member Board, established further to the CRTC's preliminary view, will oversee the electoral process of the Board of Directors.
The administrator must, among other things, select the technology that will be used to offer video relay service, create an awareness campaign to promote the service as well as ensure user confidentiality. It must also regularly report to the CRTC on how the service's implementation is progressing as well as its ongoing operations.
Video relay service may become operational, at the earliest, at the end of 2015.
- The CRTC has approved the structure and mandate of the Canadian Administrator of Video Relay Service.
- The service will be administrated independently from the CRTC.
- Video relay service is a telecommunications service that will enable Canadians who use American Sign Language or Quebec Sign Language to communicate with voice telephone users, and vice versa.
- The Board of Directors will be made up of seven directors and two permanent invitees serving as special advisors.
- Video relay service may become operational, at the earliest, at the end of 2015.
"Today's decision is another step forward that will enable the community of Deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired persons to have access to a service that it has asked for. Thanks to this service, it will be better equipped to participate fully in Canada's communication system."
Jean-Pierre Blais, CRTC Chairman
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SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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