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Vision-Impaired Customers Get Help from Rogers

Vision-Impaired Customers Get Help from Rogers WirelessIt can be challenging figuring out how to use a cell phone when you suffer from vision loss or, even more so, full blindness. The CRTC mandated in July that wireless carriers had to provide at least one handset that could cater to this demographic. Well, Rogers is coming forward with one, but it’s a phone that they already had.

The Nokia E71 is already a pretty powerful phone with its full QWERTY keyboard, smartphone OS, and 3.2-megapixel camera, but the version being developed to help those with vision impairments is getting equipped with TALKS software from Nuance.

This software gives users the ability to have text messages, caller ID, or any other text content on the screen read to them as speech. This way, even if they cannot read the actual words on the screen, they can hear them.

It may seem like a nice gesture, but I’m not so convinced that the E71 is the best phone for the job. The screen can be a little on the cramped side, cramming a lot of information into that QVGA resolution, so reading the text can be even more challenging that it would be on another phone. The smaller buttons of the QWERTY keyboard can make for a challenge too.

Whatever the case, you can find the Nuance TALKS-equipped Nokia E71 through Rogers Wireless for $99.99 with a qualifying three-year voice and data service agreement.

About Michael Kwan

A freelance writer and tech geek from Vancouver. Find me at michaelkwan.com and follow me on Twitter @michaelkwan.

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