Hearing Community

What is Canada VRS?

Canada VRS is a telecommunication service that allows Deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired Canadians to make telephone calls using internet and cell phone-based technologies. VRS callers are connected with a sign language interpreter who provides real time interpretation for telephone calls.

To register for a Canada VRS account, you must be a Deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired Canadian who uses sign language.

Watch Canada VRS in action!

If you receive a VRS call, remember, “Don’t Hang Up!”

VRS is Available 24/7

When you receive a VRS call the first thing you’ll hear is a VI letting you know that a caller who uses sign language is calling you. Remember, “Don’t Hang Up”. Sometimes there is a short delay while the VI connects you with your caller so please stay on the line.

This is what it sounds like when you receive a call from someone using Canada VRS.

Who uses Canada VRS?

Many Canadians use Canada VRS every day. Whether it’s a doctor seeking advice from a colleague, a parent delivering news of their new baby to a grandparent or a business owner discussing finances with their accountant, Canada VRS is increasing access and opening opportunities for us all.

How does Canada VRS work?

Deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired Canadians who use sign language can download and register for a free Canada VRS app for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac computers with Safari and Waterfox web browsers.

Once registered they are given a VRS number which they use to make and receive calls. The app connects Canada VRS users to a sign language interpreter who relays the call in real time, in ASL and LSQ.

Types of VRS Calls:

Deaf to DeafDeaf to Deaf
Deaf Customer Calls Deaf Customer (Point-to-point)
Deaf To HearingDeaf To Hearing
Deaf Customer Calls Hearing Customer
Hearing To DeafHearing To Deaf
Hearing Customer Calls Deaf Customer

What is ASL and LSQ?

ASL and LSQ are sign languages. ASL stands for ‘American Sign Language’ and is primarily used by English Deaf or hard of hearing Canadians. LSQ stands for ‘Langue des signes Québécoise’ and is used primarily by French Deaf or hard of hearing Canadians.

ASL originated in the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, USA in the early 19th century. Since then, ASL use has expanded in the US and Canada primarily via schools for the Deaf and Deaf community organizations.

LSQ was first developed in Quebec in 1850 as a mixture of French Sign Language (LSF) and American Sign Language (ASL). LSQ is used primarily in Quebec but also in francophone communities across Canada.

ASL and LSQ have their own unique rules of grammar and syntax and as is the case with most spoken languages, individual countries have their own sign languages and dialects that evolve over time.


If you work in a bank, healthcare facility or government office, you may require a personal information consent form.

Many offices require consent or permission to disclose personal information over the phone when a “3rd party” or as in this case, a VRS interpreter (VI) is part of the VRS call. Canada VRS has prepared a form to assist VRS user to give their permission in these situations.

Share Canada VRS with Friends and Family

Now that you know to stay on the line when you receive a VRS call, please share “Don’t Hang Up” with your friends, family and business colleagues.

Do you know someone who uses ASL and LSQ and might benefit from VRS? Share canadavrs.ca with them so you can connect with them any time, night or day.

Live Chat Live Chat is available during customer service hours. Supported on Chrome and Firefox on Windows, and Safari and Waterfox on Mac (desktop only).

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, practicing 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

Interim Board Chair

Tony is an independent board member of CAV.  He 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

DHH ASL/LSQ Director

Renu is a DHH Director of CAV. She 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 final solutions meet business objectives and add to the bottom line. Renu holds Bachelor 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


Marty Taylor is an interpreter educator and a nationally certified interpreter in Canada and the US. 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

DHH ASL Director​

Dr. Dunkley is the American Sign Language (ASL) Board Member of CAV. She 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 University of Ottawa.

Dr. Gary Birch

Independent Director

Gary Birch was appointed Director of Research and Development at the Neil Squire Society in 1988 and then in 1994 was appointed Executive Director. Dr. Birch earned his B.A. Sc. in Electrical Engineering in 1983, and in 1988 received a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering (Biomedical Signal Processing), both from the University of British Columbia. His specific areas of expertise are assistive technologies, direct brain-computer interface, digital signal processing, human-machine interface systems and service delivery programs for persons with disabilities.


In 2008 Dr. Birch was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest civilian honor for lifetime achievement, for his work with the Neil Squire Society. In 2012 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, and in 2017 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia, the Province’s highest form of recognition.

Eric Edora

TSP Director

Since January 2008, Eric has been employed at TELUS Communications Inc. as Director, Regulatory Affairs. Eric leads a team of Regulatory Senior Advisors to develop TELUS’ policy positions on major regulatory issues and to deliver comprehensive sound regulatory advice and advocacy. This role includes responsibility over TELUS’ positions about accessibility of wireline and wireless telecommunications services and compliance with applicable regulatory rules. He has appeared before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for the 2008 Accessibility Policy proceeding and the 2014 proceeding to examine the feasibility of implementation of video relay services.


Previous to his current position, Eric was an advisor in TELUS’ Corporate Strategy department. Prior to that position, Eric was a Senior Policy Advisor in the Corporate Policy and Government Relations department at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.


Eric is a Barrister and Solicitor and has been a member of the British Columbia Law Society since August 1996. Eric attended the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law and obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1995. He also obtained a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University.

David Joseph

LSQ Director​

David currently works as a Financial Analyst at Health Canada. With his 11 years tenure in the Federal Government, he has acquired experiences in various divisions such as accounting operations, financial system, financial policy and corporate accounting. His goal is to continue acquiring more experience so he can get a promotion and manage a team. 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

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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