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Bell IP relay

Bell IP Relay 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.

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

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

Placing a Bell IP Relay data-to-voice call

  1. Go to bell.ca/iprelay
  2. Log in using your My Bell username and password.
  3. Type in the area code and number you would like to call.
  4. Type in any special instructions for the operator.
    • Although this is not mandatory, providing relevant information will help the operator assist you as efficiently as possible.
  5. Click the Call button.
  6. You will be greeted by the operator as soon as a connection is made.
  7. The operator will dial the number. There may be a pause, or the operator may ask you to hold, as the call is placed.
  8. The operator will let you know when someone answers the call (i.e. "John is on the line, GA").

When you make a call, your 10-digit Bell Home phone number will be displayed on the other person’s caller ID screen.

View a list of common relay abbreviations.

Answering an incoming voice-to-data call

You must be logged in to the Bell IP Relay portal to receive calls. A visual notification will appear on your screen indicating that an operator is trying to reach you.

If you are not logged in, or if you choose to ignore an incoming call, the voice caller will be able to leave a text message. Messages will be displayed on your Make a call page.

You can be logged in for 12 hours at a time without interruption. After 12 hours, you will have to log in again. If you are in the middle of a call, you will not be interrupted, but you will have to log in again once the call ends.

Placing emergency (9-1-1) calls

Important: Bell IP Relay is not an emergency service. It is strongly recommended that you use other traditional methods of placing an emergency call, if available, instead of using Bell IP Relay. This will ensure the fastest possible emergency response.

Should Bell IP Relay be your only means of signalling an emergency, follow these steps:

  1. Go to bell.ca/iprelay
  2. Log in using your My Bell username and password.
  3. Click the Emergency button. You will be connected to a Bell IP Relay operator.
  4. The operator will ask you to provide information about your location and situation.
    • If you become unresponsive or cannot type, your registered emergency address will be used as a last resort. Please keep it updated at all times.
  5. The operator will then relay the call to the appropriate emergency response service.

Other important information:

  • Only use the Emergency button in case of a real emergency.
  • A 9-1-1 or emergency call can be made using Bell IP Relay only if the call is initiated within Canada.
  • Bell IP Relay offers Basic 9-1-1 service. This means the operator will always ask for information about your location and situation before completing the emergency call.
  • The emergency address on file will only be used as a last resort..

Placing Voice Carry Over or Hearing Carry Over calls

  • Voice Carry Over (VCO) lets you speak for yourself, while a Bell IP Relay operator types what the other person says to you.
  • Hearing Carry Over (HCO) allows you to hear what the other person is saying, while a Bell IP Relay operator speaks for you by reading what you type.

You will need the Three-Way Calling feature on your Bell Home phone to use VCO or HCO.

To make a VCO or HCO call using Bell IP Relay:

  • Go to bell.ca/iprelay
  • Log in using your My Bell username and password.
  • Type in the area code and number you would like to call.
  • Using the Instructions for operator field, inform the operator that you would like to make a VCO or HCO call. Include a phone number where the operator can reach you.
  • Click the Call button.
  • You will be greeted by the operator as soon as a connection is made.
  • The operator will call you on the phone number you provided (or ask you to provide one if you have not done so yet).
  • The operator will ask you to activate three-way calling and dial the number you would like to reach. Normal long distance rates and any other charges related to three-way calling will apply.
  • The operator will let you know when someone answers the call (i.e. "John is on the line, GA"). Please allow for a brief pause as the operator may need to explain Bell IP Relay, VCO or HCO to the other person.
  • The operator will let you know when the other person is ready by typing "GA".

Receiving Voice Carry Over or Hearing Carry Over calls

To receive a VCO or HCO call, the voice user initiating the call must have three-way calling.

  1. Answer the Bell IP Relay communication request. The operator will inform you that you are receiving a VCO or HCO call.
  2. The operator will ask for a phone number where you can be reached.
    • If you are not able to receive a phone call, the conversation can continue without VCO or HCO.
  3. The operator will provide your phone number to the other person, who will then call you using three-way calling.
  4. The operator will let you know when the caller is ready by typing "GA".

General tips for Bell IP Relay users

  • When calling a large corporation or placing a food order, provide details in the Instructions for operator field in the pre-call web form. For example, provide the extension of the person you are calling.
  • If the person you are calling is already familiar with Bell IP Relay, inform the operator at the beginning of the call or type it in the pre-call web form.
  • You can leave messages on answering machines and voicemail systems with Bell IP Relay. For your call to be returned, mention that you have called using Bell IP Relay and leave the Bell IP Relay phone number (1 888 735-2921) along with your 9-digit access number.
  • Keep your online Bell IP Relay address book updated so you can easily find contact information.
  • Save a copy of your Bell IP Relay registration confirmation email. It contains important information like your access number.
  • Carefully read the Bell IP Relay Service Limitations. Bell IP Relay is similar to Bell Relay service but has important differences which may affect the way you use it.
  • To make a call in a language other than your default language, please tell the operator at the beginning of the call or type it in the pre-call web form. This will ensure you are able to complete your call, in the language of your choice, as quickly as possible.
  • Keep your emergency address updated at all times.

Need more info? Speak with one of our experts.

Accessibility services centre hours of operation
Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (eastern)
By phone
1 866 310-BELL (2355) and ask for the Accessibility services centre
To contact the Accessibility services centre using a TTY
1 800 268-9242
By mail
Accessibility
P.O. Box 8787
Downtown Station
Montreal, Quebec
H3C 4R5
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