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Rogers Wireless launches Nuance's TALKS Software to aid visually impaired
Posted: 02-Oct-2009 [Source: Rogers Wireless]

[Rogers Wireless announces availability of the Nokia E71 pre-loaded with TALKS, Nuance's assistive technology that converts displayed text into speech. ]

Toronto -- Rogers Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider, today announced the availability of an additional mobile device enabled with Nuance's TALKS(TM) software for consumers who are blind or living with vision loss. The Nokia E71 is pre-loaded with TALKS, Nuance's assistive technology that converts displayed text into speech. According to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), there are more than 836,000 Canadians living with significant vision loss, with that number expected to grow dramatically over the next 10 years due to an aging population.

"As Canada's most reliable network, Rogers Wireless is proud to be a leader in offering an innovative wireless solution for our customers who are blind or have vision loss," said John Boynton, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Rogers Communications. "The ability to communicate is of paramount importance to everyone. Now with the availability of TALKS software on the Nokia E71 from Rogers Wireless, customers with vision loss have more choice when it comes to selecting a device that best suits their needs."

With TALKS, customers with vision loss are able to take advantage of the many features found on today's popular mobile phones, including contact directories, caller ID, text messaging, access to the Web browser, and other screen content. Rogers' customers can also:

Leverage Nuance's trusted ETI-Eloquence text-to-speech (TTS) software to power all updated features

Take advantage of the DAISY2GO text and audio book player to read content from their mobile phone

Use Quickword to retrieve email documents and attachments, and even make edits right from the device. "TALKS has long enabled those who are blind or living with vision loss to stay connected to friends, family and colleagues. This latest version of TALKS, now offered by Rogers, eliminates even more of the challenges posed by traditional phones, providing a productive and inspired mobile experience for all of our end users," said Michael Thompson, senior vice president and general manager, Nuance Mobile.

"Accessible technologies play a critical role in enhancing independence for people who are blind or partially sighted, and enabling them to participate in all the parts of life they choose," said John M. Rafferty, president and CEO of CNIB. "CNIB therefore applauds Rogers' ongoing commitment to making this latest accessible mobile phone available in the Canadian marketplace."

The grey Nokia E71 with TALKS software is available online or by calling 1-888-ROGERS2. The Nokia E71 retails for $99.99 on a three year voice and data term. Some conditions apply. The Nokia E71 smartphone joins the Nokia 6682RVI (launched by Rogers in 2007) in Rogers' line-up of accessibility products.

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