November 2, 2005
Vol. 2 No. 3

Editor: Tom Willard

Deafweekly is an independent news report for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It is mailed to subscribers every Wednesday morning and available to read at For information, contact

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Gallaudet University Provost Jane Fernandes sent an email to the campus community recently about two “very serious incidents” that “are warnings of deeper issues on campus.” In the first, a number of students “became loud and boisterous” at the Hyatt Hotel on Saturday, October 22. When asked to quiet down, the students “refused and instead, made more noise,” said Fernandes. As a result, the hotel had to refund thousands of dollars to upset guests and now wants Gallaudet to reimburse this cost. The second incident occurred when a group of students tore down both goalposts on the football field. Such action is not “a harmless prank or a way to celebrate,” she said, but is instead “vandalism, and is potentially very dangerous.” University officials are aggressively investigating, she said, and “those found guilty will be penalized, and could be suspended or expelled.”


The Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) is accused of diverting money from a deaf fund to pay for Newsline, a news reading phone service for the blind. “They have hustled the deaf program for $260,000,” said Tom Mills, a blind Cullman resident who spoke with the Mobile Register. Mills does not dispute the value of the service but believes paying for it with money earmarked for the deaf fund conflicts with state law. The commission has temporarily halted Newsline’s funding until the situation can be reviewed. The PSC collects 15 cents a month from landline users to run the relay line, which raised over $4 million in 2002. A PSC representative said legislation is being prepared to allow some of the money to be used for programs that serve other disabled people.


Two Pennsylvania hearing aid businesses and their operators are facing a civil lawsuit filed by state Attorney General Tom Corbett. The businesses are accused of refusing to refund thousands of dollars for hearing aids that were defective, did not fit properly or failed to provide the promised benefits. The defendants are Joseph Pannette, Ricky Pape, Bennett Hearing Aid Company and Advanced Hearing Associates. According to, the lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in restitution to 18 consumers and an additional $74,000 in civil penalties. The complaint also seeks an order barring the defendants from conducting business until the money is paid, along with reimbursement for the state’s investigation costs.


A $20 million expansion at the Maryland School for the Deaf is expected to be completed two years from now, reported the Gaithersburg Gazette. Architecture firm Hord Coplan Macht announced last week that it has been awarded a contract by the state to design a family education and early intervention center and an elementary school at the school’s Frederick campus. Construction will begin in January and the entire school is excited about the new buildings. “We need to eventually have all of our facilities acoustic-friendly, energy efficient, ADA-compliant, Internet-wired and equipped with water sprinkler systems,” said Superintendent James Tucker. The new 16,274-square-foot family education building will house the nation’s oldest program for deaf infants and toddlers. The 47,900-square-foot elementary school will accommodate up to 126 students and about 40 faculty and staff, and include a media center, gym and cafeteria with stage.


Dozens of parents and staff protested in front of the Detroit Day School for the Deaf last Wednesday, claiming the school doesn’t meet the needs of students and the woman running the school isn’t fluent in sign language. According to the Detroit Free Press, the protest came after the group got “unsatisfactory answers” from Detroit Public Schools officials at a school board meeting the previous evening. The school has always had its issues, said advocate Deborah Love-Peel, “but there had always been at least a principal here who was sensitive to the deaf community.” Cynthia Patton, who became leader of the school this year, “just screams at people and hopes they can hear her,” she said. Patton was chosen because of her experience with special needs students, explained school spokesman Lekan Oguntoyinbo. “We thought she would be a good fit,” he said. “Now we’re listening to the concerns and we’re trying to be responsive to our customers.”


A deaf man survived being hit by a slow-moving train in Harrah, Washington last Tuesday afternoon. Keith Sampson, 36, was crossing tracks when he was struck by a train going 10 mph. The train crew noticed Sampson but could not stop in time, Sgt. Carl Hendrickson said in a news release. Sampson, who did not respond to the crew’s attempts to warn him, suffered cuts and was treated and released at a Yakima hospital. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the incident, the sheriff’s news release said. The Yakima Herald-Republic noted that Sampson was struck by a train at the same location under similar circumstances five years ago. Authorities at the time said he was deaf and legally blind.


An Ohio woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury in a wire fraud case that took in about $800,000 from 11 people in Minnesota, including some victims who are hearing impaired. The Duluth News Tribune reported that Julie Cooper, 48, lived in Minnesota about 10 years ago and claimed to be a homeless plaintiff in a lawsuit. She told victims she needed money for attorney’s fees, lodging and travel expenses, and said she would share the $102 million judgment she expected to win. The scheme began in 1994 and ran until January of this year.


The word audism is “glaringly omitted from even Webster’s Dictionary,” wrote Jessica Cassady in an editorial in Northeastern News at Boston’s Northeastern University, yet every day audism victimizes deaf and hard-of-hearing people. One example is that “it is considered progress if there is even one captioned movie per month at some obscure theater in the vast city of Boston,” she wrote. To make matters worse, some events are advertised as being interpreted but turn out to have no interpreter. Proper planning means taking into account the needs of the deaf community, said Cassady. “They are our brothers, our sisters, our teachers and our friends,” she said. “It should not be foreign to consider their needs as we would our own.”


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Deaf people are not allowed to obtain driver’s licenses in Japan. That was the surprising news reported by Mainichi Newspapers earlier this week. The Japan Federation of the Deaf is asking the National Police Agency to revise its regulations to allow licenses for deaf motorists. “We need cars in our private lives and for our jobs,” said Yutaka Osugi, a top secretary of the federation. “We would like to take part in society.” Until recently, Japan’s Road Traffic Law totally banned deaf people from obtaining driver’s licenses. In 2001, the ban was partially lifted, requiring people to hear a 90-decibel sound from 10 meters away. But deaf people face no such restrictions in the U.S., Britain, Germany, France or Australia, leaving Osugi to wonder, “Why aren’t deaf people in Japan allowed to get a license?”


A press conference was held in Kiev last Wednesday to protest “violations of the rights of deaf people by Ukrainian TV broadcasting companies,” reported the Ukrainian news source Forum. The media event was led by Irina Tiran, coordinator of the Mediarada Social Protection Council for Freedom of Speech; Marina Makukha, editor of the deaf newspaper “Our Life”; and Irina Chepchina, an attorney. They claimed that Ukrainian broadcasters do not even consider the needs of deaf audience members, and said the country’s TV channels “must exceed the number of gesture-translated [interpreted] programs and improve the quality of creeping line [captioning].” Said Tiran: “The creeping line is very fast and repeated. The deaf person does not get the full information.”


One year after the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act in the U.K., nearly 90 percent of businesses in Yorkshire have failed to take up training to make themselves more accessible to people with hearing and speech difficulties. According to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, the Royal National Institute for the Deaf said that these are “shocking findings.” The charity said all service providers must make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities, or they may face prosecution. About 10.8 million people in the U.K. are deaf or speech impaired, but a large number of companies have failed to provide this population with adequate telephone access.


One hundred twenty South African deaf children from underprivileged backgrounds enjoyed special treatment when they returned from a 10-day trip to Durban, reported the South Africa Star. The captain of their flight had requested permission to fly over the Joburg central business district, something most travelers never experience, before landing at Johannesburg International Airport. The Star Seaside Fund trip was made possible by generous readers of The Star and South African Airways. For most of the children, it was their first flying experience and the first time they saw the sea. Sibulelo Malapela, 13, said her highlights included swimming, the food and meeting new deaf friends.


The School for the Deaf in Antigua (the Eastern Caribbean) has only two functioning computers, reported the Antigua Sun, and principal Gloriagene Edwards says four more are needed to set up an effective program for students. “We really want to see them supporting themselves so that later on they don’t end up depending on other people,” said Edwards. The school has 14 students and is “exploring skill-based training options for its graduates,” the Sun reported. Graduates have done well and most are employed, said Edwards. She hopes to get help from former West Indies cricket great Sir Vivian Richards, who recently visited the school and promised to put the matter before the Sir Viv Richards Foundation at its next board meeting.


The landlord of a U.K. pub in Ladybarn has learned sign language to communicate with an all-deaf pool team that plays on the premises. According to the South Manchester Reporter, David Proctor, landlord of the Brewer’s Arms, was approached by Andy Burton, captain of the deaf team, about having the pub sponsor the team. The all-deaf squad had beaten all comers in the league in which they played the previous six years. Proctor, 42, agreed to sponsor the team, but at first there was some “animosity,” he remembers. “Other teams couldn’t understand what they were saying,” said Proctor. “I was ignorant as well at first, so I actually got them to teach me sign language. It took me about a year to learn.” Burton and his 12 deaf teammates appreciate the effort. “Dave has good signing and is brilliant to deaf people,” said Burton. “It’s a good pub as well.”



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CSDVRS Goes 24/7, Introduces New Services

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - 1 November 2005 - CSDVRS announced today that its national video relay service is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CSD chose to implement around the clock service effective Nov. 1, even though the regulatory requirement to do so is not until Jan. 1, 2006.

As part of the “Switch to CSDVRS” plan, CSDVRS also unveiled additional new features, enhanced voice carry-over (CSDVRS VCO) and sign language to Spanish services.





CNN reported last week on a product design graduate in London who has created a device that allows deaf people to “feel” music with their fingertips. Vibrations can be felt in ordinary speakers but it’s impossible to feel the difference between instruments. Shane Kerwin’s “Vibrato” invention connects to a speaker and uses unique vibrations to relay the various sounds of instruments. Five different finger pads allow the wearer to feel the difference between notes, rhythms and instrument combinations, allowing a “more dramatic and sophisticated way” to listen to music. He hopes his device will prove useful in schools and “encourage deaf children to take up music as much as hearing children.”


Carol Scibelli poked fun at the “strange trend sweeping the country” of teaching sign language to babies in an opinion piece in Newsday this week. There are websites “where parents congratulate each other for having the patience to teach the signs to their babies and brag that their little tot is bilingual,” she wrote. As for her own granddaughter, “All I know is that when Skylar crawls over to me and pulls herself up on my legs, if I wait for her to learn the sign for ‘up,’ she’s going to move on to Grandpa or, worse, the other grandma.” She concludes that “rather than repeating hand motions to a baby, I’d rather kiss and hold that little hand.”


“The silence was thunderous” when 10 deaf members of Canaan Baptist Church performed as a choir for the first time last Sunday, reported the Flint (Mich.) Journal. “It was just awesome,” 52-year-old Flint resident Teri Chambry told the newspaper after watching the men and women sign two hymns while about 200 church members swayed to the booming music. The deaf members and seven interpreters were directed by Melecia Scott, 36, a volunteer minister at Canaan Baptist. Scott said the deaf ministry began after she met Kizzy Pitts while evangelizing April 1, 2003 at the downtown Flint bus station. Pitts launched the deaf ministry at Canaan, but died of a rare cancer in September, 2004 at age 27. “I thank God for Kizzy, because it all started with her,” said Scott.


The Boston Globe reported Sunday on a program at Northern Essex Community College that teaches Spanish-speaking parents how to read to their deaf and hard-of-hearing children. The program has helped more than 20 families in the Greater Lawrence area, said Kathy Vesey, director of the Gallaudet Regional Center in Haverhill and Northern Essex. , Every month, “Shared Reading” classes are conducted in three languages: Spanish, English and sign language. “For me, it’s very important because it’s the only place I can come to learn sign language for my son,” said Rosario Mendoza, 27, an immigrant from Mexico whose 8-year-old son is deaf. The program initially attracted only deaf children and their parents, but lately more uncles, aunts and cousins have begun to attend as well.



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Deaf entrepreneuers Ben Pena and Mitchell Siegel of Phoenix, Ariz. want to sell a pixel. Actually they want to sell a million pixels, at a dollar a pop. It’s part of their new business plan, inspired by Alex Tew’s They’re calling their endeavor and the target is sports retailers. According to a press release, the company’s homepage consists of one million pixels divided into 10,000 boxes that measure 100 pixels (10 x 10) each. Retailers pay $100 for a box where they can display their logo, image or message and a link to their website. “In accord with the company’s founding principles,” the businessmen say, “we will donate some money to the deaf organizations and help our kid’s college funds.”


Deaf firefighter Neil McDevitt has founded The McDevitt Group (TMG) to help organizations “plan for disasters where evacuation or assistance is required, and to include individuals with disabilities in these plans.” Facilities and companies usually have emergency plans in place, but they “forget about people with disabilities,” McDevitt said. “TMG works to alleviate that.” With 54 million Americans with disabilities, the need for advance planning is pressing, a point driven home by a recent Maryland court case that requires businesses to include disabled people in their emergency planning. For more information, visit


CSDVRS announced this week that its national video relay service is now operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. CSD began offering this service November 1, two months before federal regulations will require it to do so. As part of its “Switch to CSDVRS” plan, the company unveiled new features that include enhanced voice carry-over, which allows deaf or hard-of-hearing people to voice for themselves while watching an interpreter sign what the other party is saying, and sign language to Spanish services, designed with an eye toward the nation’s growing Hispanic population of over 41 million people. CSD, with more than 30 years experience, launched CSDVRS in March 2005. For more information, visit


James Moore, a 46-year-old deaf engineer at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, was recently selected for the 2005 Outstanding Department of Defense Employee with a Disability Award. According to the Times Record News, Moore has been with the Air Force since 1985, after becoming the first deaf student to earn an associate’s degree in mechanical engineering technology from Texas State Technical College in Waco. Moore was deafened as an infant and moved around often due to his father’s military career. There were worries about Moore when he first started his job, said engineering supervisor Joseph Mahon, but “he picked up and ran right with everything,” even teaching sign language to colleagues on his lunch hour.


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Marlee Matlin will be sitting down with Bill O’Brien at the Pasadena Playhouse on Monday night for a “Conversation With ... Marlee Matlin.” Matlin won worldwide acclaim for 1987's “Children of a Lesser God,” winning an Academy Award for Best Actress at age 21. Since that time, she has appeared in film and television, and has a recurring role as a poll taker on The West Wing. O’Brien, managing director/producer of Deaf West Theatre and host for the evening, has appeared as her interpreter on the show. Doors open at 7:30 and tickets cost $5. Call 626-356-PLAY or go to for more information.


The Toronto International Deaf Film and Arts Festival has issued a call for film and arts submissions. The May 10-14, 2006 event is being hosted by the Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf. OCSD Cultural Arts Director Karyn Rosner Goldstein said last week that film submissions may be directed to and arts submissions go to Interested sponsors can write to


The theatrical play “for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf,” which made its commercial debut in 1976, will begin a unique run at Gallaudet University next Friday, November 11. The “controversial, explosive and truly seminal work” covers such subject matters as abortion, rape, relationships and commitment. Ntozake Shange’s classic work will now be told in sign language and voice by an interracial deaf and hearing cast. The play will be directed by Jaye Austin Williams, former artistic director of the New York Deaf Theatre and resident director with the Onyx Theatre Company.


Plans have been announced for “Festival of the Silence,” the first International Deaf Dance and Music Festival, to take place July 5-8, 2006 in Paris, France. The Association ChanDanse des Sourds (CDS), founded five years ago by Fanny (Yeh) Corderoy du Tiers, is organizing the festival. The program includes a free one-day exposition on International Deaf Accessibility & Deaf Arts of Deaf Culture, as well as dance performances, music workshops, tours of museums and monuments, a night at a famed nightclub in the heart of Paris, and a gala entertainment dinner with deaf dance and music shows. Additional information may be found at


Last Wednesday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, D.C., Secretary Mike Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave the Secretary’s 2005 Highest Recognition Award to Deaf West Theatre and Sound Associates Inc. Deaf West Theatre, founded by Ed Waterstreet in 1990, was honored for work that “helped awaken America to the reality that ability, not disability, is what matters most.” Sound Associates was awarded for innovations in theatrical interpretation dating back to 1979 that include the Infrared Listening System and the I-Caption system, a handheld wireless unit that displays realtime captions.


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A 10-year-old deaf boy in Hawaii was told by PONY baseball officials that he could not have a sign-language interpreter with him at a state tournament. Justin Kapono Tokioka, “Pono” for short, is a member of the Lihu’e All-Star Mustang Team. He has played PONY baseball for five years with his dad as his sign-language interpreter. During the 2005 Mustang Regional Tournament in Hilo in July, however, Pono’s father was required to remain outside the dugout because only three coaches are allowed in the dugout and the interpreter is considered an additional coach. Local officials and Pono’s parents are now demanding a clear nationwide anti-discrimination policy for the league, reported the Honolulu Advertiser.


The Gallaudet University football team completed its first undefeated season on Saturday by crushing host University of North Carolina-Greensboro, 51-0. The victory came after an exciting 35-21 homecoming victory over SUNY Maritime the previous week that drew 2,000 fans despite rainy weather. Ed Hottle led the Bisons to an 8-0 record in his first season as coach, and the Washington Post reports that he and his players are now campus celebrities. “I’ve got people coming up to me and shaking my hand that I’ve never laid eyes on,” said Hottle, who is not deaf and began learning sign language when he was hired four months ago. With morale up, Hottle already has 100 prospects to visit during the off season.


Members of the Washington Wizards basketball team along with Coach Eddie Jordan met with 75 students of Kendal Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) last Tuesday afternoon. Team members led an interactive reading rally through the Wizards’ “Pick, Roll & Read” program. Players read stories that were interpreted into sign language, while students taught the players how to sign their names and the team’s slogan, “One Team, One Goal.” The program included a special presentation made by the Wizards to Dr. I. King Jordan, who is in his last year as president of Gallaudet University prior to retirement.


Deaf golfer Kevin Hall was scheduled to be featured on the Arete Awards/Courage in Sports show on CBS last Sunday. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Hall recently shot 14-under par for four rounds in Stage 1 of PGA Tour qualifying school and was due to move on to Stage 2 next week. Prior to the event, Hall wasn’t sure what to expect. “I haven’t heard anything other than that Jack Nicklaus and John Cook (fellow Ohio State alumni) are the presenters for my award,” he said.


Mississippi School for the Deaf running back Ro’Derrick Brown rushed for 630 yards last Saturday in a game against Georgia School for the Deaf, earning a place in the 8-man football national record book. Brown, a senior, carried the ball 29 times for the Bulldogs and scored nine touchdowns, just one shy of a second national record. It was Mississippi’s final home game of the season and ‘he told us he wanted to go out with a bang,” said MSD coach Tyrone Haley. “It seemed like every time he got the ball, he scored.” Georgia still managed to win the game by a score of 78-66.



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Vivian F. Sizer of Willoughby, Ohio died Sept. 29 at age 84. She was a retired medical social worker who studied sign language so she could communicate with deaf patients, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “She understood the problems of the hearing-impaired, for her two younger brothers were born deaf,” the newspaper noted. “She conversed with them through lip reading before sign language became commonplace.” Mrs. Sizer was featured in a 1978 photograph in which “she appears to be using sign language to say the title of the book she’s holding, ‘Talk to the Deaf.’


Non-Profit mental health agency in Annapolis, MD has positions available in Deaf Program. BA/BS in Human Services or related field preferred, and/or related work experience. Applicants must be fluent in American Sign Language. Must have valid driver’s license.

Rehabilitation Specialist-Full Time, 3:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Duties include transporting mentally ill adults to appointments, medication monitoring, applying crisis intervention, and providing daily living skills support in a residential setting.

Rehabilitation Specialist- Full Time, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. Duties include transporting mentally ill adults to appointments, medication monitoring, applying crisis intervention and providing daily living skills support in a Day Program setting.

Send resume and cover letter to Arundel Lodge, Human Resources, 2600 Solomon’s Island Road, Edgewater, MD 21037; fax to (410) 841-6045; or email to


New York Society for the Deaf is seeking creative professionals to work with adults who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Deaf Blind.

Excellent benefits. Salary commensurate with experience. Equal opportunity employer.

RESIDENTIAL HABILITATION COUNSELORS: Full time and Per Diem positions available. Responsible for providing habilitation services to individuals who reside in our community residence program. MUST have some of direct care experience or equivalent training/education in working with developmental disabilities and/or mental retardation. High School diploma and fluency in ASL skills are required.

RESIDENTIAL MANAGER: Full time position. Responsible for assisting in the overall operation of the IRA (Individualized Residential Alternative). The Manager must ensure that consumers are receiving quality services to which they are entitled, and maintain program compliance with regulatory requirements as mandated by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD). The Manager will supervise all IRA staff and ensure they are properly trained in the work they are assigned to do. Must have Bachelor’s degree (BA) with two to five years related supervisory experience; or Master's degree (M. A.) with one to two years of supervisory experience.

Send letter of intent and resume to:
New York Society for the Deaf
Human Resources Department
315 Hudson Street, 4th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10013
Fax: (212) 366-0051



GLAD is an Affirmative Action Employer with equal opportunity for men, women and people with disabilities. For more information on the following positions, go to: The status of all positions is: Regular, Full-time, Non-Exempt, Full Fringe Benefits unless otherwise noted. All positions are open until filled.

Brief summary: Under supervision of the Director of Health Education/Services, using the guidelines of the assigned scope of work provided by the California Department of Health Service’s Community Challenge Grant, the Program Assistant/Interpreter will:
Work closely with the Community Health Educators on activities for GLAD’s program including plan and participate in community events and educational workshops as stated in the project scope of work; Provide interpreting services for teleconferencing meetings, collaborative meetings, OFP regional meetings, FamilyPACT clinic meetings, and appointments or any other situations which may arise to facilitate communication for project staff; Make arrangements and schedule with schools, programs and clinics for project educational/prevention activities; Responsible to coordinate Deaf Youth Advocacy Presentation and Mentoring Program; Implement media including articles, publications and GLAD’s website; Prepare Collaborative Alliance meeting minutes; Compile and distribute educational and promotional materials to project staff and community; Compile all documents for filing and prepare monthly progress reports; Clerical duties as well as such tasks and responsibilities as may be delegated

Brief summary: Employment services offered at GLAD assist deaf and hard of hearing individuals with job information, job training, job placement and accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Co-located at 5 Employment Development Department (EDD) Offices and at each local office. The programs under employment services are: Job Readiness Training, Workplace Accessibility, Job Development, Placement and Follow-up

Under the supervision of the Director of Health Services, using the guidelines of the assigned scope of work provided by the California Department of Health Services’ Community Challenge Grant, the Community Health Educator will: Provide teenage pregnancy prevention and education services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing youths, adults and parents in Los Angeles County using the “Be Cool…Sign NO to Sex” curriculum; Plan and implement daily activities; Coordinates Family PACT clinic referrals/linkages; Coordinates Passport to GLOW; Conduct “Young Deaf Parents Village” program; Provide mentoring program; Conduct individual and group sessions and events to target groups; Prepare quarterly progress reports and maintain tracking system; Identify and obtain culturally appropriate materials, including videos, written materials, brochures and other outreach materials; Design flyers to promote project activities; Develop/revise curricula, educational materials and training modules; Attend collaborative meetings; Conduct local and statewide evaluations; Perform some typing and other light office duties as necessary; Driving is required as part of the job; Perform such tasks and responsibilities as may be delegated by the Deputy Director.

If interested then please submit resume and application to:

Jeff Fetterman
Human Resources Specialist
Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc.
2222 Laverna Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90041

V/TDD: (323) 550-4207
Fax #: (323)550-4204


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