CRTC Searches for Sustainable Solution to Telecommunications Needs of Disabled Canadians

The Canadan Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission continues its search for a “sustainable solution” to the telecommunications needs of Canadians with hearing and speech disabilities.

“Text relay services available nationwide meet the needs of the vast majority of people with such disabilities,” the CRTC says. “However, people with disabilities who use a sign language as their first or primary language have submitted that video relay, a sign-language service, would better meet their needs.” So the CRTC has decided that further study is required to better understand the different projections regarding use and cost of the service.

The CRTC recently received final reports from both Telus and Bell Canada on their respective video relay service initiatives.

“Telus conducted an 18-month trial, which provided valuable information on the projected use of the service and associated costs. Bell Canada conducted a study on the feasibility of implementing the service in Canada, which addressed technical and economic issues,” the CRTC noted. “Both studies were undertaken in consultation with organizations representing Canadians with hearing disabilities. Bell and Telus’s reports are available on the CRTC’s website.

The CRTC is reviewing other international initiatives and technological advancements to “further improve the accessibility of communications services” for people with hearing and speech disabilities.