A service that helps people who are deaf and hard of hearing make phone calls is being mistaken for a telemarketing service, resulting in slammed down phones and cut lines before the person has a chance to communicate.
VRS, or video relay service, was introduced in September to allow Canadians who are deaf and hard of hearing to communicate in their first language — American Sign Language.
More sign-language interpreters needed as video-relay service launches in Winnipeg. "A lot of people don't know what VRS is. When we phone, sometimes they think it's a telemarketer and they end up hanging up," said Sheila Montney, Deaf Centre Manitoba's executive director.
"I would say there's probably about 30 — there's been many, many [people hung up on]." She said users of the service "come and try to ask me for help and let me know that a lot of people are hanging up on them.