Accessibility Services

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Learn more about how the Internet Code enhances consumer protections for Internet customers. Watch more videos describing terminology commonly used in internet contracts. Videos are presented in American Sign Language (ASL) with English captions and an audio voiceover.

Bell Relay Service (BRS)

Bell Relay Service enables a person using a keyboard-type device (i.e. TTY) to communicate with a hearing person or vice-versa over the telephone network. A specially trained operator assists in the placing or receiving of calls to-from persons using a keyboard-type device.

The BRS operator acts as a communication link over the telephone. When the hearing person speaks, the operator types the message so that it appears on the disabled person’s TTY. When the disabled person responds, the operator voices the message to the hearing person.

Users of Bell Relay Service are eligible for a 50% discount on long-distance calls made within Canada and billed to their phone number.

The Bell Relay Service also gives you access to emergency services such as firefighting, ambulance and police. There is no charge for local calls.

  • TTY’s must be Baudot code capable; Voice Carry Over (VCO) is available.
  • Service is available 7-days a week, 24-hours a day.
  • French or English.
  • Relay service can be reached from business, residence, mobile and pay phones.
  • TTY users can call anywhere in the world (Long-distance charges will be applied where appropriate).
  • Hearing persons may call any compatible TTY device (North America).
  • Users can access similar Relay services everywhere in North America.
  • All communicators have deaf culture training.

If you want to communicate with a TTY/TDD user you can with the help of Bell Relay Operators.

  • 1-800-855-0511 (Voice to TTY).
  • 711 (TTY to Voice).
  • 1-800-855-1155 (TTY to TTY) – For Operator Assistance in billing your long distance call to another TTY.

* TTY Telecommunication devices for deaf/teletype machines only.

IP Relay service (by Internet)

IP Relay service is the next generation of relay service in Canada. It uses the familiarity of online chat applications to make communication easier for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people and those with speech disabilities.

IP Relay users connect to specially trained operators through chat sessions in the IP Relay portal. The operators place phone calls on their behalf and facilitate conversations.

IP Relay service operators are available 24/7. Calls are entirely confidential and operators follow a strict code of ethics. No record of conversation content is retained.

For more information contact customer.service@ontera.ca  or call 1-888-566-8372.

IP Relay service limitations:

Availability Limitations:

  • Availability of IP Relay service is subject to network availability which may be affected by lack of Internet connectivity, power outages, and other interruptions in service.

Important 9-1-1 Limitations:

  • Access to 9-1-1 via IP Relay service has certain limitations relative to Enhanced 9-1-1 service, which is available on most “traditional” telephone services.
  • The 9-1-1 operator may not know where you are calling from unless you provide accurate location information (address) when asked.
  • 9-1-1 emergency calls made using IP Relay service may take longer to be connected to the correct 9-1-1 response centre than calls made from a traditional wireline phone.
  • You should keep your address information current with ONTERA as the operator may assume that you are at the address you submitted upon service registration if you are not able to speak during a 9-1-1 call.
  • When placing a 9-1-1 call, do not disconnect until told to do so by the operator, and place the call again if you are disconnected.
  • Make sure that you and any users of IP Relay service are familiar with the nature and limitations of 9-1-1 calls placed using the service.
  • IP Relay service and 9-1-1 access are subject to a limitation of liability which you can find at Article 16 of the Ontera Regulated Terms of Service.
  • IP Relay service users should contact Bell Canada (310-Bell) with any questions about 9-1-1 access on IP Relay service.

Operator assistance for TTY users     

This service is available to the person with a functional limitation that prevents it from dialing a phone number, but who can dial “0” to reach the operator by mentioning “special”. The operator dials for this person and offers also free the 411 service. If it’s a long distance call, billing for this call is at the same rate as an automatic long distance call.

To benefit from this service, please call free at 1-800-855-0511.

Directory Assistance charge exemption (people unable to use directory)

Customers with disabilities that prevent them from using a directory may be eligible for NorthernTel’s no-charge directory assistance option. This option only applies to directory assistance calls placed from the customer’s residence or business line. To qualify, customers must provide a letter of recommendation from a physician or representative advocacy group indicating that they are not in a position to use a directory.