Friday, 21 November 2014

Letter from Canadian Administrator of VRS for Interested Parties!

CANADIAN ADMINISTRATOR OF VRS


Nov. 21, 2014


To:       Interested Parties

Subject:     Canadian Administrator of VRS – Call for Stakeholders

Dear Sir or Madame,

This letter is being sent to you by the Interim Board of Directors of the Canadian Administrator of VRS (CAV) Inc., a new organization that is currently being established to oversee the delivery of video relay service (VRS) in Canada.  We would like to provide you with information about this new organization and to inquire whether your group may be interested in becoming a Stakeholder of the CAV in order to participate in the selection process to determine the individuals associated with the CAV's permanent Board of Directors.  There is no fee for being a Stakeholder.  If your group is interested in becoming a Stakeholder, we invite you to contact us to express your interest at the contact information below.

We are currently preparing videos of this letter in American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécois (LSQ).  These videos will be distributed once available.


The Canadian Administrator of VRS:  Bringing VRS to Canadians

The CAV is a not-for-profit organization that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) recently determined would be established to oversee the delivery of VRS in Canada.  The CAV will engage independent VRS service providers to deliver services to Canadians across the country in both ASL and LSQ, and ensure that VRS is provided in accordance with CRTC requirements.  The CRTC has provided that VRS in Canada will receive funding of up to $30 million each year, to be paid by contributions from telecommunications service providers (TSPs).

A number of steps need to take place before the CAV can launch VRS in Canada:

1)            Determine the Corporate Structure of the CAV:  The first step toward launching VRS involves determining the corporate structure of the CAV.  The Interim Board of Directors has designed a proposal for the corporate structure of the CAV that is currently being considered by the CRTC.  We expect that the CRTC will issue a decision on the proposal in the near future.  Once the corporate structure of the CAV has been approved, further steps can be taken to set up the CAV.

2)            Establish a permanent Board of Directors for the CAV:  Once the corporate structure of the CAV has been determined, the Interim Board of Directors will run processes to select individuals associated with the CAV's permanent Board of Directors (see the section below, Selecting the Permanent Board of Directors:  The Role of Stakeholders).

3)            Set up VRS:  The permanent Board of Directors of the CAV will then take steps to contract with independent VRS service provider(s) to provide VRS in both ASL and LSQ across the country.

It is the goal of the Interim Board of Directors to establish the permanent Board of Directors as soon as possible after the CRTC issues its decision with respect to the corporate structure of the CAV.  Once the permanent Board of Directors is in place, a number of months will be needed before VRS can become operational.


Selecting the Permanent Board of Directors:  The Role of Stakeholders

The permanent Board of Directors of the CAV will be structured to benefit from perspectives of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) community, sign language interpreters, TSPs and the Canadian public.

Stakeholders will play an important role in selecting the individuals who will bring these perspectives to the CAV Board of Directors.  Groups that register with the CAV as Stakeholders will be entitled to nominate and vote for candidates to serve in roles that align with their interests.  For example, the Board of Directors will include individuals who provide perspectives from the DHH community.  These individuals will be selected by Stakeholders groups that represent the interests of DHH users.  These groups will register as DHH Stakeholders of the CAV, and as DHH Stakeholders, they will be eligible to nominate and vote for candidates who will sit on the Board of Directors to provide the perspective of DHH users.

Similarly, individuals who will bring the perspectives of TSPs and sign language interpreters to the Board of Directors will be selected by telecommunications companies and interpreter groups, respectively.  TSPs will register as TSP Stakeholders of the CAV to participate in the election of individuals who will bring TSP perspectives to the Board of Directors, and sign language interpreter groups will register as Interpreter Stakeholders of the CAV to participate in the appointment of individuals who will bring the perspectives of sign language interpreters to the Board of Directors.

In order to register as a DHH Stakeholder, a TSP Stakeholder, or an Interpreter Stakeholder, DHH groups, TSPs and sign language interpreter groups will need to meet specific eligibility criteria.  These criteria are still being considered by the CRTC and have not yet been finalized.


The Process for Becoming a Stakeholder of CAV

If your group represents the interests of DHH users, sign language interpreters, or is a TSP, and is interested in becoming a Stakeholder of the CAV, we would invite you to let us know by sending a short message to info@cav-acs.ca.

In your message, please indicate the following information:

-               The name of your group;
-               The name and contact information (phone number/email) of the appropriate person at your group for us to contact; and
-               Identify which type of Stakeholder your group would like to register as, whether as a:
·                     DHH Stakeholder;
·                     TSP Stakeholder; or
·                     Interpreter Stakeholder.

Once the corporate structure of the CAV is approved by the CRTC (as discussed above), we will formally register Stakeholders to participate in the election of individuals to be associated with the permanent Board of Directors.  By expressing your interest now, we will automatically send your group a Stakeholder Registration Form to complete once the registration period begins.

Please feel free to share this letter with other groups that you believe may be interested in becoming a Stakeholder of the CAV.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them to "info@cav-acs.ca"

We hope you will consider becoming a Stakeholder of the CAV and we look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,

[ Original signed by F. Folino ]

[ Original signed by J. Daniels ]

[ Original signed by G. Birch ]
Frank Folino, BA (Hons.)
Director, Interim Board
CAV
Jonathan Daniels
Director, Interim Board
CAV
Gary Birch, O.C., Ph.D., P.Eng
Director, Interim Board
CAV


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