Frequently Asked Questions

Canada VRS is for Deaf, Hard of Hearing or speech-impaired Canadians who wish to make telephone calls using Internet and cell-phone based technologies. VRS callers connect with a sign language interpreter who provides real time interpretation for these calls.

To register, you must be a Deaf, Hard of Hearing or speech-impaired Canadian who uses sign language.

Hearing callers cannot register for Canada VRS apps. However, they may call registered customers.

Canada VRS is free to use.

Yes. Canada VRS offers 9-1-1 support across Canada in both ASL/English and LSQ/French. All 9-1-1 calls are treated as urgent, go directly to first place in the Canada VRS queue.

The Video Interpreter (VI) and emergency personnel will always confirm the customer’s location. That’s why it’s important that Canada VRS customers keep their home address up to date in the app. Note, the call is connected to the Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) based on the customer’s location.

Once the location and nature of the emergency is determined, the PSAP dispatches either fire, police or medical responders.

The VI stays with the caller and assists the emergency services personnel as long as they are needed.


Because Canada VRS is internet or data service based, emergency calls made via VRS may not properly connect. For example, if there is an internet or data service failure or if you lose electrical power. Also, your 9-1-1 call may not be routed correctly if you have not updated your physical location information.

If you experience a technical problem dialing 9-1-1 via Canada VRS, hang up and re-dial. If you continue to experience technical difficulties, you may wish to try alternative services such as; landline telephone with TTY, Text 9-1-1, Relay Services or IP Relay.


Customers may also call any 10-digit number in most locations in the U.S. without charge. If an area in the U.S. is not covered, (e.g. Alaska, Hawaii), the caller must use a long distance or international calling card to complete and pay for the call.

Customers can receive calls from anywhere in the world.

When using a calling card with VRS, you must dial the calling service number first and follow their instructions. Please make sure the calling card you select works with VOIP (internet based) services and/or cell phone services.

Point-to-Point calls between Canadian and U.S VRS applications are not possible at this time. Canada VRS suggests Skype or Facetime as an alternative way to communicate Point-to-Point.

Calls to 900 and other “Pay-for-Service” numbers including some 800, 888, 877 and 866 numbers cannot be made through Canada VRS.

Not yet. However, to keep personal and employment related calls separate, VRS customers can register for a 2nd account for work use.

Yes. If you have Internet or cell service, you can use Canada VRS the same way as if you were in Canada. That said, if you’re using cell service with your mobile device, roaming charges may be significant.

Using Canada VRS while driving is not permitted. You are permitted to use the service as a passenger provided doing so does not create a distraction for the driver and you may also use the service when your vehicle is parked in a safe area. Our policy reflects the fact that CAV takes the safety of its customers, other drivers, as well as its employees and video interpreters very seriously. Our employees and Video Interpreters, in particular, should not be forced to face risks associated with distracted driving and CAV’s policy reflects this.

  • You can ask the agent to explain their authorisation process to you.
  • You can explain what VRS is, how it works and explain VIs are subject to strict privacy policies.
  • You can tell them you “authorize or give permission” for the VI (the 3rd party) to be on the call with you.
  • You can ask for the agent’s name or Staff ID and/or ask to be transferred to their supervisor.
  • You can file a complaint with the business or service or with the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). Click here to learn more.
  • You can provide them with “written consent”. CAV has prepared a form, called “CONSENT TO DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION”. Click here to download the form.
  • You can research the organizations website to see if they have a policy regarding accepting calls from relay services. Example: The CRA website says: “You do not need to authorize the relay service operator to communicate with the Canada Revenue Agency.”

Remember: This is your call and your personal information.

In addition to 9-1-1, (see FAQ #2), Canada VRS supports other 3-Digits for direct dialing from your VRS app. Check out the Table below to see what 3-Digit numbers are available.


  • 9-1-1 is accessible across all Provinces. Please see FAQ #G2 for more information.
  • However, 8-1-1, 5-1-1, 3-1-1 and 2-1-1 numbers are routed to Provincial, Territories or Municipal services and not all support 3-Digit number dialing. Check out the Table below to see what 3-Digit numbers are available in your calling area.
  • If your local area is not supported, the VI will receive a network message that says, “your number cannot be completed”. This means you will need to dial the applicable 10-Digit number. Check your local directories for these numbers.
  • If 3-Digit dialing is supported in your area, the call will be routed based on the area code of your VRS number. For example: if your VRS number area code is (613), your call will be routed to Ontario services even if you are physically in a different province.
  • Canada VRS offers a list of 10-Digit Numbers for 8-1-1, check it out at:
  • Canada VRS does not have access to all of the Provincial, Territories and Municipality 10-Digit numbers. Please check your local directory for these numbers.

VRI is a fee-based interpreting service that lets customers communicate with others either in the same room or remotely using video interpretation services.

VRI is especially useful for scenarios such as: hospital or health care situations, business meetings and more. When you hire a VRI service, you are getting high quality interpreting services just like having an in-person interpreter. There are many VRI companies available across Canada.

Transferring is a way to keep interpreters healthy and safe, as well as help keep your wait times down.

As you know, interpreting can be tiring. Generally, VRS interpreters sign for 20-30 minutes depending on the call before needing a break. If they need a break, the interpreter may transfer the call. This allows you to continue the call without going back into the queue.

Transfers may also occur if an interpreter is ending their shift. If you call with less than 15 minutes before the interpreter’s shift ends, they will let you know there will be a transfer.

Because every call features new people and a new topic, interpreters must adapt quickly and efficiently. When an interpreter is on a long call or many calls are waiting, the interpreter may postpone their scheduled break to help customers. In these cases, the interpreter will transfer the call when they can.

There are a lot of variables in the call centre at any given time and as a result, interpreters may transfer calls at odd or unpredictable moments. In cases where you require special attention or uninterrupted service, consider hiring a community-based interpreter or VRI service.

Voice Carry Over (VCO) allows Deaf, Hard of Hearing and speech-impaired users to speak for themselves in VRS calls. When the VCO feature is enabled on the user’s app, it allows the customer’s voice to be heard by the other party. When the other party responds, the Video Interpreter signs in ASL or LSQ. The VCO option can be enabled in the user’s app Settings screen.

As a telephone services provider, CAV and its representatives cannot judge or moderate the specific content of calls.

However, you have the right to “refuse” unwanted calls and the following are tips you can use to reduce unwanted calls.

  • Inform the caller that you do not wish to receive calls or videomail messages from them and request that the caller remove your VRS phone number from their call list.
  • If your VRS number is listed in the CAV Directory, we suggest you consider removing it.
  • If you have the new PC or Mac apps, you can “Block” a caller’s phone number.

Most importantly, if you perceive the call to be of a “threatening or illegal” nature, we suggest you contact your local police.

CAV works very hard at educating financial, healthcare, government, and other organizations about Canada VRS.  Inaccurately identifying yourself could undermine trust in the service and result in these institutions refusing calls from Canada VRS users. 

If you make a call on behalf of someone else please first obtain consent from that person and inform the called party of the fact that you are calling on behalf of someone else at the beginning of the call. It is your responsibility to represent yourself accurately when using Canada VRS.

In cases where VIs knows the VRS caller is misrepresenting themselves or is using VRS for unlawful purposes, they will not complete the call.

Please see the FAIR USAGE POLICIES section in the User Agreement at: CAV-User-Agreement-27-June-2018-Final-EN.pdf, in addition to these and other terms, conditions, rules, and policies which may be displayed, you agree that you will:

  • not violate any applicable laws or these Terms and Conditions when using the VRS Services, and you acknowledge that we may investigate any violations of law and may cooperate with law enforcement authorities in prosecuting users in this regard.
  • not engage in communications or conduct of an illegal, abusive, annoying or offensive nature when using the VRS Services and not allow others to access your account to do so. This may include indecent, obscene, unlawful, fraudulent, threatening, harassing or prank calls, the commission or encouragement of a criminal offence, stalking, harassment, spamming, disrupting or interfering with the Internet or any network, computer or other devices, transmission of a virus or other harmful component, collecting or storing personal data about other users, defamation, intellectual property infringement, or interference with other CAV users’ services.

Conference calls can be very challenging for VRS users and the participants on the call, as they can be long, technical and involve the exchange of multiple participants. To make it easier and have more success we suggest:

  • Let the Host and participants know you are using video relay service (VRS) and there is a sign-language interpreter (VI) on the call.
  • Let the VI know this will be a conference call, the approximate length, number of participants and any helpful background information you have.
  • Ask the participants to identify themselves before they speak, to help the VI know who is speaking. Advise participants the VI cannot see them and that the VI does not have access to any of the materials they reference during the call.
  • If it is a long call with many participants, advise the host they should not use VRS for this purpose.

Further Note:

  • Advise participants that for the health and safety of the VIs and schedule demands, VIs may transfer calls, and on very long calls, they may transfer multiple times.
    • You will be first in line when you are transferred, but still may have to wait.
  • If the conference call is held during busy hours 9am-6pm ET, when VIs are the busiest, you may have to wait in the queue for the next available VI.
  • If the call is hosted by your employer, an organization, a business, an educational or government institution, it is the obligation of the host to hire an in-person, community interpreter or arrange for Video Remote Interpreter (VRI).
    • This is especially true if it is a long meeting. Remind the host that VRS is a telephone service where the average length of the call is about 7 minutes long.
  • Remember, VRS is not a substitute for community or VRI interpreting.

Yes. VRS users can let the VI know at the start of the call that they would like to self-announce rather than have the VI announce the call.

No. Only Registered Users of VRS can download the app and make pt to pt calls. To register, users must be Deaf, Hard of Hearing or speech-impaired and, use sign language.

No. CAV does not record the content of calls for quality and training purposes.  For quality and training purposes, calls are “monitored”, side by side by interpreter supervisors. In these cases, the VI will notify the customer the call is being monitored for quality and training purposes, and the customer is asked if it is ok or not.

When organizations such as financial institutions and government agencies provide dedicated VRS phone numbers, Canada VRS callers can more easily access their call centers. Dedicated VRS numbers, like dedicated TTY numbers, minimize queues and ensure calls are answered by call center agents familiar with VRS. These numbers also reduce wait times and hang-ups and promote the efficient use of Canada VRS interpreters.

To ensure that Canada VRS users are aware of an organization’s dedicated VRS number, CAV has been automatically adding this number to VRS directory.

If you are a PC/Mac user and you wish to add a Dedicated VRS number to “My Contacts,” you only need to access the VRS directory and save the specific Direct VRS Number to your contact numbers. Any numbers added to My Contacts on Mac/PC will automatically show up on your mobile devices as long as you sign into the same account.

If you are a Mobile user only, you can manually add the Access number to My Contacts. Note that anything added this way can be deleted the same way.

Below, you can find the table with Dedicated VRS numbers that are effective and in service (in alphabetical order).

You can report your feedback to the Customer Service. When providing your feedback, you need to have the VI’s identification number, the date and time of the call, the phone number that you called.

Still Need Help?

Submit a Support Ticket or Use Live Chat

Contact Us

Video: ASL or LSQ: Dial 9050 within the app.
Mail: Canada VRS Customer Service C/O IVèS Canada, Inc. 303-25 Avenue Mozart, Montréal, Québec H2S 1B1
Telephone: English and French 1-800-958-5856
Live Chat: Live chat is available during Customer Service hours on all the latest version of the Canada VRS application.

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Carla Dupras

ASL Permanent Invitee

Carla Dupras is a child of deaf adults (Coda), a heritage language user of American Sign Language, and a community freelance interpreter for the last 27 years. She is an honorary lifetime member of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Alberta (ASLIA) and a certified (COI) member of the Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI).

Carla maintains an active and engaged presence in both provincial and national organizations, as well as in her local community in Alberta. Currently, Carla sits on the federal government Translation Bureau advisory panel in addition to mentoring colleagues who are new to the field of interpreting. She remains focused on enhancing the quality of interpreting service in all aspects of people’s life.

Mark Kusiak

ASL/LSQ Representative

Since 2008, Mark has been employed at London Drugs as a staff pharmacist for Nursing home and Compounding centre. Currently, he works as a pharmacy manager oversees the operational flow, staffing (human resources), policy development and implementing, financial including KPI and inventory controls. Mark holds Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from University of Alberta. In addition, he is the Member at Large for the Deaf and Hear Alberta Board of Directors. He is heavy involvement in Deaf sport community including President for the Canadian Deaf Sports Association for 10 years (2010-2020). In my free time, I am actively in Crossfit.

Ruth Altman

TSP Representative

Ruth has been employed at Rogers Communications since 2006, working in a variety of progressive roles in the Regulatory department. Currently, she is Director Regulatory Consumer Policy, where she provides advice on compliance with consumer-oriented regulatory policies and regulations and develops policy positions on regulatory proceedings, including matters related to accessibility. At Rogers she is actively involved in inclusion and diversity initiatives, and serves on the steering committee for Rogers AccessAbility Network, an employee resource group dedicated to empowering employees with visible and invisible disabilities to achieve professional and personal growth. Prior to working at Rogers, Ruth worked in Regulatory Affairs at Corus Entertainment and was Development Manager at Pro Bono Ontario, where she helped to secure operational and project funding. Ruth has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University and an MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business.

Jordan Sangalang, MA (Commencing May 2021)

DHH ASL/LSQ Director


Jordan is a Service Manager at New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Throughout his career, he has participated in numerous trainings and workshops which contribute to his leadership and management style. Additionally, he provides training as a Non-Violent Crisis Intervention instructor and teaches ASL at the University of Manitoba. He is involved in theatre, physical sketch comedy, and storytelling. When he is not performing, he dedicates time to both individuals and organizations that serve the Deaf community. Jordan holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia and a M.A. from Gallaudet University.

Sue Decker

CEO and Executive Director, Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV), Inc.

Sue is responsible for leading the development, implementation and administration of Canada’s inaugural video relay service, SRV Canada VRS. In the Spring of 2015, Sue assumed the leadership of the CRTCs vision to build a video relay service for Deaf Canadians, transforming a start-up organization to a fully operationalized telecommunications relay service which launched in the Fall of 2016.  Prior to becoming CAV’s Executive Director, Sue managed AT&T’s Accessible Communications Services business which included Text and VRS Relay Services. In her 20 years of service with AT&T she developed extensive experience in product development and providing telecommunications services for people who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Post AT&T, she served as a consultant to other VRS companies located throughout U.S. and Europe, making her one of the foremost VRS experts in the world.

J. Scott Fletcher

Board Secretary​

Scott Fletcher is a senior partner in Gowling WLG’s Ottawa office, practising in general corporate and commercial law with significant emphasis on telecommunications, technology, energy and government relations.

He is one of the firm’s authorities in providing corporate and commercial advice relating to commercial alliances, strategic and policy board advice and privatizations, as well as in general corporate and commercial matters. Scott also provides advice on a number of regulatory matters in the telecommunications, energy and gaming/lotteries industries. In addition, he routinely provides strategic counsel to corporate clients on telecommunications industry-based matters, the divestiture of government departments and programs into the private sector, and other corporate and commercial issues.

Scott is the firm client team leader for several major firm clients in the telecommunications and energy sectors. He has served as a director of a number of federal Canadian corporations and has represented numerous federal Crown corporations. Scott also serves as an executive team member for a number of firm clients.

Tony D’Onofrio, CFA, ICD.D

Independent Director

Tony gained extensive advisory and capital markets experience over a 20-year career in finance and investment banking. He has been working with the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) since 2010.  He is responsible for leading CCGG’s board engagement efforts and he regularly meets with the directors of leading public companies to discuss governance matters on behalf of Canada’s largest institutional investors.  He has been a frequent guest speaker and advises independently on governance matters and shareholder engagement.  Tony holds a Masters in Business Administration (Schulich School) and the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and a faculty member of The Directors College.

Renu Sangha, CPA, CGA (Resigned October 2020)

DHH ASL/LSQ Director

Renu has 10 years of experience in accounting, finance, information technology, and change management. Renu has been working as a Business Analyst at HSBC Bank Canada since 2014. She is responsible for gathering, analyzing, and documenting business needs and requirements as well as liaising between business and technical stakeholders to ensure that final solutions meet business objectives and add to the bottom line. Renu holds a Bachelor’s degrees in Information Technology and Business Administration and the Chartered Professional Accountant designation. She is also AgileBA Foundation certified and a certified Scrum Product Owner.

Dr. Marty Taylor

ASL Interpreter Permanent Invitee

Marty Taylor is an interpreter, educator and a nationally certified interpreter in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Taylor has been involved in video relay interpreting research for over ten years and has been a CAV Board Member since its inception. Marty has written two seminal books in the interpreting field: Interpretation Skills: English to American Sign Language and Interpretation Skill: American Sign Language to English which are used in over 100 interpreter education programs. Her current projects involve research on interpreting in educational settings, spoken language skills of native-English speakers, creating and supporting distance education, and developing materials to enhance interpreter skills development.

Jonathan Daniels

TSP Director

Jonathan Daniels, B.A. (McGill) 1990, J.D. (Toronto) 1994, is Vice President Regulatory Law at Bell. He has worked with Bell in various capacities since 2004.  His primary focus is on major telecommunications regulatory policy issues.  Previously he served as VP Regulatory for Cable & Wireless Caribbean, VP of Regulatory and Carrier Relations for C1 Communications in Toronto, Director of Regulatory for Covad Communications and Director of Regulatory Affairs for Sprint Canada.  After law school, Mr. Daniels articled and was an associate with the law firm Stikeman, Elliott.  In his various roles, Mr. Daniels has appeared before committees of the House of Commons, the Senate, the CRTC and numerous regulators in the Caribbean.  Mr. Daniels taught telecommunications law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and telecommunications market dynamics at Ryerson University.

Dr. Jessica Dunkley, MD, MHSc, CCFP

DHH ASL Director​

Dr. Dunkley is a family physician and resident physician in dermatology at the University of BC with a 16-year career in healthcare, including clinical medicine, health program evaluations and delivering professional development workshops.  She is involved in clinical research in dermatology, having presented at numerous conferences in North America.  She is a frequent speaker for various conferences related to accessibility and health care and provides mentorship to aspiring Deaf and hard of hearing health professionals.  Dr. Dunkley holds a Bachelor of Physical Therapy & Masters of Clinical Epidemiology from UBC and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Ottawa.   

Gwen Beauchemin

Independent Director

Gwen is an independent board member and an owner and cybersecurity consultant at Tillet Consulting. She engages with organizations that aim to improve citizen access and security to telecommunications and data networks in Canada. Gwen holds board positions with the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV), Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA), Quantum Safe Canada (QSC), and the Human-Centric Cybersecurity Partnership (HC2P). With a career spanning more than 35 years, including roles at Bell Northern Networks, Nortel, the Government of Canada, and Payments Canada, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Her extensive experience encompasses executive and management roles in IT development, IT operations, product-release management, operational and strategic policy, and security. Gwen has a Bachelor of Computer Science, with Honours, from Carleton University in Management & Information Systems. She is an accomplished leader, with certificates from the Council of Canadian Innovators (iGP L2), ICD (Governance Essentials Program), EC-Council (C|CISO), Canadian Forces Staff College (Executive Leaders’ Programme), Government of Canada School of Public Service (Direxion program), Queen’s University (Strategy Programs), and ITIL and PMBOK programs.

Kate Southwell

TSP Director

Kate joined Bell Canada’s legal and regulatory department in 2019 and currently holds the role of Senior Legal Counsel. She provides legal and regulatory guidance regarding compliance with accessibility-related legislation, regulations, and regulatory obligations. She also supports the establishment of associated policies, procedures, and best practices. Kate develops policy positions on regulatory issues, including accessibility, and is actively involved in internal accessibility and inclusion initiatives, including membership in accessibility steering committees and working groups. Kate is a lawyer and has been a member of the Law Society of Ontario since 2013. She has a Juris Doctor from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto and a B.F.A., with Distinction, from the University of Windsor. Prior to joining Bell, Kate managed a broad corporate/commercial litigation practice at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, on whose behalf she appeared at the Supreme Court of Canada and all court levels in Ontario.

David Joseph

DHH LSQ Director and Board Chair

David currently works as a Financial Analyst at Health Canada.  With his 11 years tenure in the Federal Government, he has acquired experience in various divisions such as accounting operations, financial system, financial policy and corporate accounting. He is an analytical and critical thinking person that loves to be involved in various non-profit organizations.  In addition to CAV, he is the Treasurer for the Canadian Deaf Sports Association (CDSA).  David is fluent in 4 languages:  LSQ, ASL, French and English.  His first languages are LSQ and French.  He also teaches American Sign Language (ASL) at Carleton University for the past 10 years. 

Anne Missud

LSQ Interpreter Permanent Invitee

Anne Missud is a permanent invitee, representing the French-LSQ interpreters at the CAV board. She acquired long standing and wide interpreting experience over a 20-year career in various public and private settings. She is actively involved in the training of interpreters as a teacher at the University of Quebec in Montreal. She is currently completing her Ph.D./Psy. D in community psychology, her research focuses on the wellbeing of the deaf community. She is a certified member of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec.

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