Did you know? Deaf, hard of hearing and DeafBlind individuals in Canada and other parts of the world can use a Video Relay Service to make phone calls and communicate with people that can hear? Deaf, hard of hearing and DeafBlind individuals connect with a sign language interpreter/operator via webcam or mobile phone video. The interpreter then connects to the individual that can hear through the phone. The interpreter facilitates communication between the two individuals,acting as a neutral party for the communication to flow through. If you receive a relay call, don’t hang up, it is likely a Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind individual looking to contact you.
You or the people in your office may experience VRS if a student calls to book an appointment or has questions about their education or access accommodations. Many students who use ASL as their first language prefer to call through the VRS service and express themselves in their native language rather than communicating through email or other written text media such as letters. You can also check with the students if they have a VRS number where they can be contacted should your office have phone appropriate communication needs.
infographic photo credit by Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission