Rogers Wireless has announced it will now be offering the Nokia E71 mobile phone with Nuance's TALKS software for consumers who are blind or living with vision loss. TALKS is Nuance's assistive technology that converts displayed text into speech.

The stainless steel E71 is a thin smartphone with full QWERTY keyboard along with dedicated keys for home, calendar, email and contacts. The E71 has a built-in FM radio, multimedia player and supports Video and Radio on demand services.

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.

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 thanks to text-to-speech (TTS) software.

"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.

The grey Nokia E71 with TALKS software is available online or by calling 1-888-ROGERS2. The Nokia E71 retails for $450 or $100 with a three year voice and data term.