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Closed Captioning and Visual Interpretation

Visual Interpretation

In Canada, deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people account for nearly 10% of the population.

Services provided

The Translation Bureau provides deaf, or hard of hearing federal public servants with the following quality interpretation services:

  • Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ)
  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • English and French oral (lip-reading) interpreting
  • Deaf-blind intervenor (tactile interpreting)

The Bureau can also provide these services for public events organized by the Government of Canada.

Excluded services

When a deaf or hard of hearing citizen requests a meeting with a federal official and requires the services of an interpreter or intervenor, the federal department or agency concerned must provide these services at its own expense, regardless of the schedule of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) in which it is listed. In this case, the Bureau can advise clients and provide them with a list of local agencies or organizations.

Useful advice

It is important to plan the event well before the scheduled date, as it is not always possible to respond to last-minute requests. To facilitate and speed up the processing of their service request, clients are asked to provide the required documentation and information (a form is available on request).

Costs (professional services, cancellation, travel, accommodation)

Agencies listed in Schedule I, Schedule I.1 and Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act:

The Translation Bureau provides professional services (except for excluded services) free of charge to federal departments and agencies listed in Schedules I and II of the FAA. Interpreters' travel and accommodation expenses are recoverable. As of September 1, 2011, an administrative fee of 15% is applicable to the travel and accommodation expenses. In order to keep costs charged to clients to a minimum, the Bureau has access to rosters of interpreters in cities where the demand is strongest and makes every effort to retain the services of local interpreters throughout Canada. However, it cannot always guarantee their availability.

If all or part of the event is cancelled, or the dates or times are changed, the Bureau will invoice the client for the interpreters' fees unless it has been given notice of the change or cancellation at least two full working days before the set date. An administrative fee of 15% applies to late cancellations as of September 1, 2011.

Agencies listed in Schedule III of the Financial Administration Act and agencies not listed:

If the Bureau is able to provide the requested services, agencies listed in Schedule III of the FAA must then defray all costs: interpreters' fees, travel and accommodation. An administrative fee of 15% applies as of September 1, 2011. If the Bureau is unable to meet a client's request, it will advise the client on how to obtain such services from the private sector.

Service request

To submit a request or for any questions pertaining to the services provided, please contact us by:

Closed Captioning

The Translation Bureau currently provides live, simultaneous closed captioning of the House of Commons Question Period on the cable public affairs channel (CPAC). Question Period is carried in English on CC1 and in French on CC3.