Frequently Asked Questions

Who is able to use SRV Canada VRS?

SRV Canada VRS is for Deaf or Hard of Hearing people who live in Canada and who wish to communicate over video using sign language. Deaf or Hard of Hearing sign language customers register for the service and receive a 10-digit phone number for making and receiving calls on their chosen Internet device or devices; including Windows, Mac, iOS or Android. Deaf or Hard of Hearing people can be called by anyone in the world via their 10-digit number.

What languages does SRV Canada VRS support?

SRV Canada VRS is for people who live in Canada who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and who use American Sign Language (ASL) and/or langue des signes québécoise (LSQ). The service is also available to those who do not use sign language but use English or French and want to communicate with someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Video Interpreters interpret ASL to English or LSQ to French and vice versa.

Can a Deaf child under the age of majority register to use SRV Canada VRS?

Yes. A Deaf child under the age of majority can register to use SRV Canada VRS with the written authorization of their Parent or Legal Guardian. The Deaf child’s Parent or Legal Guardian must first download and complete a  Parental Consent Form.

Once completed, the form should be scanned and emailed to Customer Service at: support@srvcanadavrs.ca. Alternatively, the Parent or Guardian can mail the form to:

SRV Canada VRS Customer Service C/O Ivès Inc.
7240 rue Waverly,
Suite 205 Montréal,
Québec, H2R 2Y8

Once the signed Parental Consent form has been received, a member of our Customer Service team will contact the Parent or Legal Guardian for confirmation purposes. Once the verification process is complete, the child will be able to download the app of their choice and begin the SRV Canada VRS registration process.

Registration occurs in the app so you must download the app first.

To download an app, go to srvcanadavrs.ca and scroll to bottom of page. To download the PC app, click on the Windows icon (Download the app for Windows). To download the Android app, click on the Google play icon. To download the iOS app, click on the App Store icon. To use the Mac, click on Apple icon (Use the web app on Mac computer with Safari).

As part of the registration process, the child will receive a code via text message on the cell phone number they provided when creating their account. They will be required to return to the account creation web page and insert the code into the code field on the screen and select “Submit”.

Within a business day or two, the child’s 10-digit number will be sent to the email address they provided and they can start using SRV Canada VRS.

How do I register to use SRV Canada VRS?

People who live in Canada and who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing download the app, install it and then register for a 10-digit phone number through the app.  Register for SRV Canada VRS now.

How does SRV Canada VRS protect my privacy?

All customers are required to sign a customer agreement with the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV) which explains rights and responsibilities of SRV Canada VRS customers. The Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV) ensures that strong privacy and fair usage policies are in place which protect the rights and privacy of customers.

What is a 10-digit phone number?

The Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV) assigns a personal 10-digit phone number to each customer. The 10-digit phone number allows SRV Canada VRS customers to make and receive calls using any of the supported Internet-connected device; PC, Mac or Android or iOS smartphones.

YOU MAY NOT CREATE MULTIPLE ACCOUNTS!
You may download and install the SRV Canada VRS app on more than one device and switch between devices, but you will still only have one account and one 10 digit number. Just use the same username and password on all your devices.

Is there a cost to use SRV Canada VRS?

No, the costs associated with providing SRV Canada VRS are funded through Canada’s National Contribution Fund. Certain calls, notably international calls to locations outside of Canada and the Continental US, require the customer to have an international dialing service.

What equipment is required to use SRV Canada VRS?

SRV Canada VRS is an Internet based service. Customers are required to have a broadband Internet connection, and a computer (PC or Mac), smartphone or tablet (Android or iOS). Detailed requirements for equipment and broadband connections can be found here.

Is there a cost for apps?

SRV Canada VRS provides free user apps for downloading to PCs, Android, and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as a browser version of the app for Mac users.

Downloads:

PC / Standalone APP (FR & EN)

MAC / Safari (FR & EN)

Android (EN) / Android (FR)

iOS

Do I have to use an SRV Canada VRS app to use the service?

Yes. To use SRV Canada VRS, you must use one of the downloadable apps on your device of choice. Apps are FREE and available for, PC, iPhone, and Android. For Mac there is a web based portal.

Does SRV Canada VRS offer 9-1-1 support?

SRV Canada VRS provides 9-1-1 service during its hours of operation across Canada. Customers can use sign language using the SRV Canada VRS app and ASL/English or LSQ/French Video Interpreters during 9-1-1 calls.

All 9-1-1 calls are treated as urgent. They go directly to first place in the SRV Canada VRS call centre’s queue, and are answered within 30 seconds. The supervisor in charge, or if a supervisor is not available, another VI is alerted to the 9-1-1 call, and assists as needed.

The VI and emergency answering personnel will attempt to confirm that the customer is at their registered address, or if not there, where they are. Note that 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 the appropriate responder, fire, police or medical.

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

Please note, 9-1-1 service is not available outside of service hours. Emergencies are a primary reason, it is important that SRV Canada VRS customers keep their home address up to date.

Can I use Directory Assistance or 411 to locate a 10-digit number?

SRV Canada VRS 10-digit numbers are not listed with outside directory assistance services or 411. However, SRV Canada VRS offers an in-service 10-digit number directory which allows SRV Canada VRS customers to find other customers who opt-in to make their 10-digit numbers accessible during the registration process.

Can I use SRV Canada VRS to make and receive international calls?

Customers can receive calls from anyplace in the world.

Customers may also place calls to any 10-digit number in Canada, and most locations in the U.S. without charge. However, if an area in the U.S. is not covered, (e.g. Alaska and Hawaii) or in other countries), a system message will be provided and the caller must use a long distance or international calling card to complete and pay for the call.

Long distance or international calling cards generally work by providing a special number, and then the customer is asked to enter the number they want to call, and their calling service PIN. 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.

Can hearing people register for SRV Canada VRS?

Hearing callers cannot register for SRV Canada VRS apps. However, they may call registered customers by dialing their 10-digit number. They are connected with the registered customer via a trained VI in the language, either ASL or LSQ, that is set by the registered customer.

What is a Point-to-Point call?

When a registered SRV Canada VRS customer calls another registered SRV Canada VRS customer, the system automatically connects the two customers directly without involving a VI. This is referred to as a “Point-to-Point” call.

Are SRV Canada VRS apps and U.S. apps interoperable so Deaf customers can make cross-border Point- to-Point calls using their SRV Canada VRS apps?

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

Can I make calls to 900 and other “Pay-for-Service” numbers such as Astrology and Gambling?

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

Is it possible to register a business, organization, government or school for an account and a 10-digit number?

Initially, SRV Canada VRS’s focus is to register individual Deaf customers for their personal and business use with a single account and 10-digit number. Registered VRS customers are free to use the service wherever they want by using their personal account and 10-digit number.

Can I use my 10-digit number when I travel out of Canada?

Yes. If you can access Internet service, you may use your device for outgoing and incoming calls exactly the same way as if you were in Canada. Note that, especially if you are using a mobile device, data roaming charges may be significant. Also, to make “local” calls to where you are, for instance even if you were in London, England, you would need a long distance service (as described in 13.)  to make a call to London, England.

Can I use VRS in the car?

Like texting while driving, using SRV Canada VRS while driving is unsafe and not permitted. However, if you have the right Internet or cell connection, you may be able to use the app as a passenger in a car.

How do I use VRS to communicate with an organization that requires written authorization allowing them to talk with me through a VRS interpreter (VI)?

Many banks, healthcare facilities and government offices requires your 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 you to give your permission in these situations. Download the form here.

If the number I am calling is “Busy”, may I ask the VI to redial?

Yes. The VI will be happy to re-dial up to 3 times. After 3 tries, if the number is still busy, the VI will ask you to hang up and try the call again at another time.

How many calls may I make in a row?

These are referred to as sequential calls. You may make up to 3 sequential calls, but after 3, the VI will ask you to hang up, at which time you may start again or call back at another time.

What should I do if my SRV Canada VRS call disconnects during a conversation?

If a VRS call unexpectedly disconnects during a conversation with the hearing person, please wait until the interpreter promptly reconnects with you while the hearing person is still on the line. Do not call back nor call 9050.