Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
Registration occurs in the app, so you must download the app first.
To get started, go to srvcanadavrs.ca and scroll to bottom of page and click on the icon of the app you’d like to install.
As part of the registration process, you must indicate you are registering a Deaf child who is under the age of majority. By doing so, we will automatically email a Parental Consent form to the email address provided.
Once completed, the form should be scanned and emailed to Customer Service at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 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.
Within a business day or two, the child’s 10-digit number will be sent to the email address provided and they can start using SRV Canada VRS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Emergencies are a primary reason, it is important that SRV Canada VRS customers keep their home address up to date.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Calls to 900 and other “Pay-for-Service” numbers including some 800, 888, 877, 866 numbers cannot be made through SRV Canada VRS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Services like 211, 311, 511, and 811 are location based and are not compatible with Voice Over IP (VoIP) technologies like VRS.
To reach one of these services, you must use TTY (that is telephone based, not VoIP based). Some cities, like Ottawa and Gatineau, even have direct TTY lines (from your TTY, you dial 311 then choose *).
Another way of getting access to these services via VRS, is to go on the Internet to find the 10-digit telephone number for the service in your region. For example: if you search “311 for Ottawa”, you’ll find: http://connectingottawa.com/resource/311-ottawa-city-operations where you can find the 10-digit telephone number to use on VRS, and also their direct TTY number. The same is true for many other cities.