What is SRV Canada VRS?

SRV Canada VRS is a telephone service that connects Deaf or Hard of Hearing and hearing Canadians. It is an internet-based video conferencing service that links sign language callers with voice callers via a sign language interpreter called a “video interpreter or (VI)”. SRV Canada VRS is the first of its kind in Canada. It is enhancing accessibility and increasing opportunity across our country. That is something we can all take great pride in.

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

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 SRV Canada VRS.

Who Uses SRV Canada VRS?

Mature woman and her daughter with hearing aid using modern technology

Many Canadians use SRV 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, SRV Canada VRS is increasing access and opening opportunities for us all.

How Does SRV Canada VRS Work?

SRV Canada VRS is a national video calling service that is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year. To use VRS, Deaf users download a custom app. They are also assigned a 10-digit VRS phone number which they use to make or receive VRS calls anytime night or day, from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, and computer. They can even call 9-1-1.

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 Hearing Canadians.

The History of ASL and LSQ

ASL originated in the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, USA in the early 19th century. Since then ASL use has expanded around the world 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) 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.


Can VRS be used for calls with banks, healthcare and government offices?

Many banks, healthcare facilities and government 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 call. SRV Canada VRS has prepared a form to assist VRS user to give their permission in these situations. Download the form here.

Is there a cost to using SRV Canada VRS?

SRV Canada VRS is a free service. However, you may incur telecom charges based on your calling plan.

Do I need to have the SRV Canada VRS app to receive or place a call?

No, you do not need an app or any special equipment to receive or place a VRS call as SRV Canada VRS facilitates the call. To place a call, simply dial the VRS user’s 10-digit VRS number. And, when you are receiving a call, remember stay on the line - “Don’t Hang Up”.

What languages does SRV Canada VRS support?

SRV Canada VRS is available to those who use ASL or LSQ sign languages and those who speak English or French. Video Interpreters interpret ASL to English or LSQ to French and vice versa.


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 this page with them so you can connect with them any time, night or day.