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CRTC Approves Video Relay Service In Canada

VIDEO: Deaf News: CRTC announces the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people across Canada will have access to new video relay service in 2015!

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission CRTC announced on April 22, 2014, that video relay services (VRS) will now be available in Canada for Deaf people who communicate in American Sign Language ASL and Langue des signes québécoise LSQ.

Video relay services enable callers to use the services of a sign language interpreter through the Internet. The interpreter interprets spoken English into sign for the deaf caller, and voices into English the signs of the Deaf caller.

“Many Canadians who are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired learn American Sign Language or Langue des signes québécoise early in life," Peter Menzies, Vice-Chairman of Telecommunications, and Chairman of the hearing panel.

"In many cases, neither English nor French is their first language. Video relay service will make it possible for them to communicate in sign language with ease, whether it’s to make a doctor’s appointment, speak to a friend or make any other type of call. At the same time, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that this service is introduced in an efficient manner and as quickly as possible.”

Users will require their own high-speed Internet service and a device connected to the Internet such as a smartphone, tablet, computer, or videophone. Additional services such as call display and voicemail will be billed at rates similar to those charged by other service providers.

An independent administrator will be created to supervise the implementation and provision of video relay services and ensure that the views of users are taken into account during the decision-making process. The CRTC will review the video relay service three years after it has been launched to determine whether the service is efficiently meeting the needs of Canadians.

The CRTC is requiring that VRS become available to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing or speech impaired as early as the fall of 2015. The VRS service is offered at no charge, but users must sign up to use it. People who want to use the service can use their own phone number to access VRS. An estimated 20,000 Canadians will be the primary users of VRS... Read More.

Chris Kenopic Vlog On CRTC VRS Announcement.

"CRTC announces that Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired people across Canada will have access to new telecommunications services in 2015! Chris Kenopic, president and CEO of the Canadian Hearing Society, delivers a vlog on VRS in Canada."

What If... The Quest for VRS in Canada.

"The BCVRS Committee has co-produced a short documentary-drama film with Lenois Productions. It speaks directly to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commissioners about the reality of TTY vs. VRS in the Deaf community of Canada."

Funding to support video relay service in Canada will be taken from the National Contribution Fund, and will be capped at CAD 30 million annually. To ensure the perspectives of users are reflected in the decision making process, an independent administrator will be created to oversee the implementation and provision of video relay service... Read More.

Related Canada VRS:
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CRTC Approves Video Relay Service In Canada
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Deaf Canadians Put Pressure On CRTC
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