The present article aimed to explore how the development of reading comprehension is affected when its cognitive basis is compromised. The simple view of reading was adopted as the theoretical framework. The study followed 76 children with mild intellectual disabilities (average IQ = 60.38, age 121 months) across a period of 3 years. The children were assessed for level of reading comprehension (outcome variable) and its precursors decoding and listening comprehension, in addition to linguistic skills (foundational literacy skills, rapid naming, phonological short-term memory, verbal working memory, vocabulary, and grammar) and non- linguistic skills (nonverbal reasoning and temporal processing). Reading comprehension was predicted by decoding and listening comprehension but also by foundational literacy skills and nonverbal reasoning. It is con- cluded that intellectual disabilities can affect the development of reading comprehension indirectly via linguistic skills but also directly via nonlinguis- tic nonverbal reasoning ability.
Background: Students with disability show an increasing incidence of school failure. Quality teaching and appropriate support may foster high self-efficacy, a predictive factor for successful school outcomes. Physical Education (PE) can provide students with a context in which self-efficacy and participation are promoted leading to improved academic achievement. The transition into secondary school can be challenging for many students with increased educational demands, developmental changes and individual social identification coinciding. A disability may add to the challenge of success.
Methods: Three groups of students, aged 13 years and enrolled in Swedish mainstream schools were targeted (n=439). Groups included students with 1. A diagnosed disability, 2. Low grades in PE (D–F) and 3. High grades (A–C) in PE. Questionnaires were collected and analyzed from 30/ 439 students with a diagnosed disability (physical, neuro-developmental and intellectual) from 26 classes, their classmates and their PE-teachers (n=25). Relationships between student self-reports and PE-teachers’ self-ratings were investigated. Also examined was the potential to which students’ functional skills could predict elevated general school self- efficacy, PE specific self-efficacy and aptitude to participate in PE. Results were compared with the total sample and between the three target groups (n = 121).
Results: For students with disabilities, better self-rated teaching skills were related to lower student perceived general school self-efficacy, PE specific self-efficacy and aptitude to participate in PE. The impact of classroom climate in PE was more obvious among students with disabilities. Perceived functional skills were associated with elevated general school self-efficacy, PE specific self-efficacy and aptitude to participate in PE. Better socio-cognitive functional skills had an overall positive effect on all outcomes. Students with disabilities reported results similar to the total sample, the D–F group scored lower and the A–C group higher than the total sample and the disability group. Elevated self-efficacy in PE is six times less probable in students with disabilities, compared to the A–C group.
Conclusions: Our findings that better teacher planning and grading skills, are detrimental to students disadvantaged by disability is contradictive. Improving the establishment and communication of adapted learning standards at the transition to secondary school is a crucial and a predictive factor for promoting positive school experiences for students with disability. Students with disabilities need to be assured that the intended learning outcomes can be reached by doing activities differently than their typically functioning peers. Consideration of class composition is suggested as a means of promoting a positive learning climate, which would particularly benefit students with disabilities. Allocation of resources to support student socio-cognitive skills would improve experiences for the D–F group and likely promote a positive learning environment.
Persons living with visual impairments form a major group of people with various types of impairments in African countries. Little has been reported about the means and forms of information they seek to cope with their environment, and studies in Nigeria specifically, have not explored health information-seeking behaviour of visually impaired persons. This paper documents the health information-seeking behaviour of visually impaired persons (VIPs) in Ibadan Metropolis. A standardized questionnaire was administered to 200 VIPs sampled from two health facilities in Ibadan Metropolis. Most (66%) of the VIPs were partially sighted, 43% reported health issues as their most worrying challenge, while 20% reportedly had daily unmet health information needs. VIPs accessed information about medication for ailments from friends (45%), adopted herbal medication (50.5%) and /or indulged in selfmedication (21%). They reportedly had worse health (9.5%) status, while 4.5% reportedly remained worse off emotionally. The study concludes that VIPs considered health challenges and limited access to health information as their major concerns. Care for visually impaired persons should be incorporated in the primary healthcare routine and school health curriculum. Media programmes are also required to sensitise the general public about health information needs of VIPs.
Disability and the Global South, 2018 Vol.5, No. 1
This paper explores the significance of engaging with the lived experiences of disabled people in countries like Burkina Faso in order to implement long-lasting and beneficial development. It looks at the way disability was conceived of in pre-colonial times and how knowledge imported from the colonisers conflicted with, and continues to influence today, indigenous knowledge in Burkina Faso. Although Burkina Faso obtained its independence from European colonisers over fifty years ago, disability as a terrain for intervention continues to be colonised by international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) that frame their approaches in western models, which are not necessarily applicable in countries like Burkina Faso. In a context where the predominant view of disability is that of disabled people being an economic burden, many disabled people in Burkina Faso feel the need to prove themselves as economically independent; and yet development agencies often do not engage with disabled people’s voices when designing and implementing development programmes. This paper argues that there is a need to engage with disabled people’s lived experiences and knowledges through processes such as participatory video which create spaces where marginalised people’s voices can be heard and listened to by the development agencies that influence disabled people’s lives.
Disability and the Global South, 2018, Vol.5, No. 2
Aim: Good practices have been documented by International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) to promote disability inclusive development and encourage the replication or scaling up of good practices that use rights based approaches. This study aimed to investigate the extent to which Core Concepts of human rights are illustrated in disability inclusive development good practices related to health.
Methods: This study analysed case studies of disability inclusive development good practices focusing on health that are available in the public domain using EquiFrame, an established content analysis framework in benchmarking health and social policies.
Results: A total of 42 health related good practices were identified from 3 different INGOs working in the field of disability inclusive development. The highest occurring human rights Core Concepts were; access 55%, individualised services 48%, capacity building 45% and participation 38%. The Core Concepts with the lowest levels of commitment were; autonomy 3%, cultural responsiveness 3%, accountability 3%, and efficiency 3%. Privacy and autonomy were not mentioned at all. The quality of reporting of the core concepts of human rights was low as they did not state specific programme actions or intentions to monitor Core Concepts.
Conclusion: Level of commitment to Core Concept coverage and quality of reporting was low. EquiFrame was successfully extended to analyse disability inclusive development good practices focusing on health. Its use in further analysis of inclusive good practice is advised.
Implications: These results can be used for advocacy in disability inclusive development and to guide programme staff training and documentation of disability inclusive development good practices.
Purpose: This study attempts to ascertain if adaptive behaviour complies with the characteristics of a normal distribution.
Methods: Adaptive behaviour data collected from two large state samples of 2900 were reviewed to determine the shape of their distributions. A smaller convenience sample of 37 adults without intellectual disability was similarly reviewed.
Results: Findings suggest that the shape of the distribution of adaptive behaviour increasingly deviates from normal as cognitive abilities increase.
Conclusions/Implications: It does not appear that adaptive behaviour is normally distributed. This will impact the diagnosis of intellectual disability because while IQ scores two standard deviations below the mean reliably cut off about 2% of the population, a similar cut-off cannot be assumed for adaptive behaviour.
Purpose: To develop a scale for the assessment of gross and fine motor skills of the children with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities so that their skills could be assessed and accordingly interventions in physical activities could be specifically designed for them.
Method: Thirty-eight items for the Test of Motor Proficiency scale was developed after initial try out, pilot study and final try-out by the researchers. Fifty children with mild intellectual disabilities (n = 26), and moderate intellectual disabilities (n = 24) aged between 6 to 17 years fulfilling inclusion and exclusion criteria were selected from special schools in Jammu district, J&K (India).The Test of Motor Proficiency was administered on the selected sample.
Results: Internal consistency as calculated through Cronbach's Alpha was .906, indicating very good reliability. There was a highly significant correlation between the two independent assessments in inter-rater reliability r (48) = .95, p< .05 and also within the domains of motor proficiency, Visual-Motor control r (48) =.728, p< .05, Upper limb speed and dexterity r (48) = .98, p< .05 , Running speed and agility r (48) =.99, p< .05, Bilateral coordination r (48) =.96, p< .05, Strength r (48) =.95, p<.05, upper limb coordination r (48) =.62, p< .05. Concurrent validity of Test of Motor Proficiency was established against BASIC- MR; the correlation of BASIC-MR (M = 151.92, SD = 18.08, N = 50) and Test of Motor Proficiency (M = 49.22, SD = 12.23, N = 50) was highly significant r (48) = .76, p< .05. The construct validity assessed through test retest was r (48) =.97, p< .05.
Implications: The Scale can be used in the assessment of gross and fine motor skills of children with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities for clinical and research purposes.
Purpose: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability characterised by difficulties in social interaction and social communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Despite its prevalence the world over, there is a paucity of research in some areas such as education, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper attempts to address the gap by exploring teachers’ understanding of ASD in Nigeria.
Method: Using an adapted version of the Knowledge About Childhood Autism Among Health Workers (KCAHW) questionnaire (Bakare et al, 2008), a survey was conducted among 177 mainstream primary teachers from Lagos State (112 from eleven urban schools and 65 from four rural schools).
Results: The total mean score on the Adapted KCAHW questionnaire among all the participating teachers was 10.81 ± 4.13 out of a possible total of 16. The mean score for urban teachers was 11.21 ± 4.31, while the mean score for rural teachers was 10.11 ± 3.75. In total, 46% of the urban teachers and 31% of the rural teachers demonstrated a generally accurate knowledge of ASD, with 15% (23 urban teachers and 4 rural teachers) of the sample answering all questions correctly. Over 50% of urban teachers and almost 70% of rural teachers surveyed had only a low or moderate understanding of ASD.
Conclusions: This research supports previous studies that identified low professional knowledge and understanding of ASD, and a need for improved professional education and training.
Limitations: The focus was on only one state within Nigeria, and only on mainstream primary schools. Further research is necessary across the educational age range as well as different geographical areas in the country.
Background: The World Health Organisation recommends that services accompany wheelchair distribution. This study examined the relationship of wheelchair service provision in Kenya and the Philippines and wheelchair-use–related outcomes.
Method: We surveyed 852 adult basic manual wheelchair users. Participants who had received services and those who had not were sought in equal numbers from wheelchair-distribution entities. Outcomes assessed were daily wheelchair use, falls, unassisted outdoor use and performance of activities of daily living (ADL). Descriptive, bivariate and multivariable regression model results are presented.
Results: Conditions that led to the need for a basic wheelchair were mainly spinal cord injury, polio/post-polio, and congenital conditions. Most Kenyans reported high daily wheelchair use (60%) and ADL performance (80%), while these practices were less frequent in the Philippine sample (42% and 74%, respectively). Having the wheelchair fit assessed while the user propelled the wheelchair was associated with greater odds of high ADL performance in Kenya (odds ratio [OR] 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6, 5.1) and the Philippines (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.8, 4.5). Wheelchair-related training was associated with high ADL performance in Kenya (OR 3.2, 95% CI 1.3, 8.4). In the Philippines, training was associated with greater odds of high versus no daily wheelchair use but also odds of serious versus no falls (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4, 4.5).
Conclusion: Select services that were associated with some better wheelchair use outcomes and should be emphasised in service delivery. Service providers should be aware that increased mobility may lead to serious falls.
Background: People with disabilities are at increased risk of poverty, particularly in low-and middle-income countries. However, recent evidence suggests that this association is more nuanced than previously anticipated and that we need better data to understand the opportunity and out-of-pocket costs that diverse groups of people with disabilities may experience.
Objective: This paper discusses if disability is associated with opportunity cost and loss of income both on the individual and household level in South Africa, and if these costs differ depending on disability type and severity.
Methods: For this purpose, the paper analyses General Household Survey 2011 data (people between 15 and 59) using descriptive statistics disaggregated via disability type and severity. The paper also assesses if social grants counteract these costs and reduce economic vulnerability.
Results: The analysis of the data reveals that people with disabilities are affected by issues relating to multidimensional poverty such as lower educational attainment and fewer employment opportunities. In addition, households of people with disabilities (with the exception of milder visual problems) earn significantly less than households without people with disabilities, and this particularly applies to households with people with severe disabilities. This vulnerability also varies by disability type. The country’s social protection mechanisms, in terms of social grants, counteract economic vulnerability to some extent but do not consider the nuanced economic impact of diverse conditions nor the increased out-of-pocket costs related to disability.
Conclusions: This calls for more equitable social protection mechanisms that include accessible services, livelihood programmes and disability benefits.
Background: The Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test (AWMT) was developed for use in a repeated measures format to provide comparative effectiveness data on mobility facilitated by different wheelchair types. It has been used in preliminary studies to compare the mobility of wheelchairs designed for low-resource areas and is intended to be simple and flexible enough so as to be used in low-technology settings. However, to reliably compare the impact of different types of wheelchairs on the mobility of users, a measure must first be a reliable and valid measure of mobility.
Methods: This study investigated the test–retest reliability and concurrent validity for the AWMT 2.0 as a measure of mobility. For reliability testing, participants in a low-resource setting completed the tests twice in their own wheelchairs at least one week apart. For concurrent validity, participants also completed the Wheelchair Skills Test Questionnaire (WST-Q), a related but not identical validated assessment tool.
Results: Concurrent validity was indicated by a significant positive correlation with an r value of 0.7 between the WST-Q capacity score and the AWMT 2.0 score. Test–retest reliability was confirmed by an intraclass correlation coefficient greater than 0.7 between the two trials.
Conclusion: Results support the preliminary reliability and validity of the AWMT 2.0, supporting its effectiveness in comparing the mobility provided by different wheelchair types. This information can be used to enable effective use of limited funds for wheelchair selection at individual and organisational scales.
Background: Comparative effectiveness research on wheelchairs available in low-resource areas is needed to enable effective use of limited funds. Mobility on commonly encountered rolling environments is a key aspect of function. High variation in capacity among wheelchair users can mask changes in mobility because of wheelchair design. A repeated measures protocol in which the participants use one type of wheelchair and then another minimises the impact of individual variation.
Objectives: The Aspects of Wheelchair Mobility Test (AWMT) was designed to be used in repeated measures studies in low-resource areas. It measures the impact of different wheelchair types on physical performance in commonly encountered rolling environments and provides an opportunity for qualitative and quantitative participant response. This study sought to confirm the ability of the AWMT to discern differences in mobility because of wheelchair design.
Method: Participants were wheelchair users at a boarding school for students with disabilities in a low-resource area. Each participant completed timed tests on measured tracks on rough and smooth surfaces, in tight spaces and over curbs. Four types of wheelchairs designed for use in low-resource areas were included.
Results: The protocol demonstrated the ability to discriminate changes in mobility of individuals because of wheelchair type.
Conclusion: Comparative effectiveness studies with this protocol can enable beneficial change. This is illustrated by design alterations by wheelchair manufacturers in response to results.
Background: An estimated 70 million people with disabilities need wheelchairs. To address this global crisis, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed an eight-step wheelchair service provision model to ensure service quality regardless of resource setting. The International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP) aims to facilitate the integration of the WHO eight-step model into professional rehabilitation programmes.
Objective: To develop an enhanced understanding of the current wheelchair service provision education provided in professional rehabilitation programmes worldwide.
Methods: In a cross-sectional design, an online survey was distributed to ISWP contacts of educational institutions. Quantitative responses were analysed through summary statistics and qualitative answers were analysed by content analyses. When relevant, educational institutions were stratified into resource settings.
Results: Seventy-two representatives of educational institutions in 21 countries completed the survey. Wheelchair content was taught in 79% of represented institutions, of which 75% of respondents reported using original course material, 10% of respondents used WHO Wheelchair Service Training Packages and 15% of respondents used other available resources. The majority of educational institutions teaching with their own wheelchair-related course material taught ≤ 20 hours. Fourteen of the 15 respondents without wheelchair education, expressed an interest in integrating wheelchair education into their academic curricula.
Conclusion: The majority of the educational institutions teach wheelchair education; however, there is great variability in what and how it is taught and evaluated. The results demonstrate the need for more in-depth investigation regarding the integration process of wheelchair education in educational institutions, with the ultimate goal of improving wheelchair service provision worldwide.
Background: Wheelchair research includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, primarily focuses on functionality and skill performance and is often limited to short testing periods. This is the first study to use the combination of a performance test (i.e. wheelchair propulsion test) and a multiple-day mobility assessment to evaluate wheelchair designs in rural areas of a developing country.
Objectives: Test the feasibility of using wheel-mounted accelerometers to document bouts of wheeled mobility data in rural settings and use these data to compare how patients respond to different wheelchair designs.
Methods: A quasi-experimental, pre- and post-test design was used to test the differences between locally manufactured wheelchairs (push rim and tricycle) and an imported intervention product (dual-lever propulsion wheelchair). A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance was used to interpret propulsion and wheeled mobility data.
Results: There were no statistical differences in bouts of mobility between the locally manufactured and intervention product, which was explained by high amounts of variability within the data. With regard to the propulsion test, push rim users were significantly more efficient when using the intervention product compared with tricycle users.
Conclusion: Use of wheel-mounted accelerometers as a means to test user mobility proved to be a feasible methodology in rural settings. Variability in wheeled mobility data could be decreased with longer acclimatisation periods. The data suggest that push rim users experience an easier transition to a dual-lever propulsion system.
Background: Lack of access to mobility for people with disabilities, particularly in less- resourced settings, continues to be widespread. Despite challenges to wheelchair delivery, the benefits to health, employment, social integration and life satisfaction are apparent.
Objectives: Previous studies have explored the impact of receiving a wheelchair on the lives of the users through cross-sectional or short-term longitudinal analysis. The current study was undertaken to evaluate whether previously reported changes were sustained after 30 months of use, and whether results varied between two differing models of a wheelchair.
Method: One hundred and ninety-one subjects from Peru, Uganda and Vietnam received one of two models of wheelchair provided by the Free Wheelchair Mission. Using interviews to record survey results, data were collected at the time the wheelchair was received and following 12 and 30 months of use. Variables of overall health, employment, income and travel were explored through non-parametric analysis.
Results: There was a significant improvement in overall health and distance travelled after 12 months, but these changes were no longer significant by 30 months (Friedman test for overall change, p = 0.000). Employment status showed a small but significant increase at 12 and 30 months (Cochran’s Q, p = 0.000). Reported income increased slowly, becoming significantly different at 30 months (Friedman test, p = 0.033). There was no association between the model of wheelchair received and the incidence of pressure ulcers, pain or maintenance required. There was higher satisfaction with the GEN_2 wheelchair at 12 months (p = 0.004), but this difference was not apparent by 30 months. Overall wheelchair satisfaction and maintenance levels were favourable.
Conclusion: While overall health status, and distance travelled into the community fluctuated over time, receipt of one of two models of a wheelchair in less-resourced settings of the world appears to have a positive sustained impact on employment and income. Further investigations should be carried out to confirm these results and explore the factors responsible for fluctuating variables. This study affirms the importance of long-term follow-up of outcomes associated with wheelchair distribution in less-resourced environments.
Background: Only 2% of people with disabilities in developing countries have access to basic services and rehabilitation.
Objectives: To bridge this gap, Motivation has been running Peer Training activities since 1993 and has identified that there is a growing need for Peer Training. The overall aim of Peer Training is for wheelchair users (Peer Trainers) to provide others (with similar disabilities) with the relevant knowledge on health issues, rights and skills to achieve a basic level of independence and greater quality of life.
Method: To test the impact of Peer Training, Motivation created a knowledge, skills and well-being questionnaire, which has been trialled in two locations: Kenya and Malawi.
Results: Overall, Motivation found that most participants reported an increase in knowledge, skills and well-being, supporting their experience that this training provides vital information and support mechanisms for wheelchair users in low- and middle-income countries. Further work is needed to ensure this tool measures the impact of Peer Training and lessons learnt have been identified to strengthen the methodology.
Conclusion: Although Peer Training is not a replacement for rehabilitation services, Motivation believes it is an effective way to not only increase knowledge and skills of persons with disabilities but also reduce the sense of social isolation that can often be a result of disability.
Background: Because of the adverse environmental conditions present in less-resourced environments (LREs), the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that specialised wheelchair test methods may need to be developed to support product quality standards in these environments. A group of experts identified caster test methods as a high priority because of their common failure in LREs, and the insufficiency of existing test methods described in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Wheelchair Testing Standards (ISO 7176).
Objectives: To develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a caster system test method.
Method: Background literature and expert opinions were collected to identify existing caster test methods, caster failures common in LREs and environmental conditions present in LREs. Several conceptual designs for the caster testing method were developed, and through an iterative process using expert feedback, a final concept and a design were developed and a prototype was fabricated. Feasibility tests were conducted by testing a series of caster systems from wheelchairs used in LREs, and failure modes were recorded and compared to anecdotal reports about field failures.
Results: The new caster testing system was developed and it provides the flexibility to expose caster systems to typical conditions in LREs. Caster failures such as stem bolt fractures, fork fractures, bearing failures and tire cracking occurred during testing trials and are consistent with field failures.
Conclusion: The new caster test system has the capability to incorporate necessary test factors that degrade caster quality in LREs. Future work includes developing and validating a testing protocol that results in failure modes common during wheelchair use in LRE.
Background: Students with disabilities in the tertiary education sector are more than a just a phenomenon, they are a reality. In general, little attention is devoted to their needs despite the fact that they need more care and attention.
Objectives: This paper, through a case study at the University of Mauritius, sought to answer some pertinent questions regarding students with disabilities. Does the University of Mauritius have sufficient facilities to support these students? Are students aware of existing facilities? What additional structures need to be put in place so that students with any form of disability are neither victimised, nor their education undermined? Are there any local laws about students with disabilities in higher education?
Method: To answer these questions and others, an online questionnaire was sent to 500 students and the responses were then analysed and discussed. The response rate was 24.4% which showed that students were not reticent to participate in this study.
Results: Our survey revealed that most students were not aware of existing facilities and were often neglected in terms of supporting structures and resources. ICT facilities were found to be the best support that is provided at the University of Mauritius. The right legal framework for tertiary education was also missing.
Conclusion: Ideally, students with disabilities should have access to special facilities to facilitate their learning experiences at tertiary institutions. Awareness about existing facilities must also be raised in order to offer equal opportunities to them and to enable a seamless inclusion.
Background: As the South African government re-engineers primary healthcare (PHC), the need for additional information on stakeholders involved in the process has emerged. Of these are community health workers (CHWs), who have been identified as central to PHC success.
Objectives: To profile the current CHWs within KwaDabeka and Clermont in KwaZulu-Natal, to describe their roles and to explore the barriers and enablers influencing their service delivery.
Method: A convergent mixed methods design was employed with a sample of CHWs with the use of a survey (n = 53) and two focus groups (n = 10) and semi-structured interviews with four ward councillors (n = 4). Data were analysed statistically and thematically.
Results: The profile of CHWs reflected only women with a mixed age range and a majority of 59% who had not completed formal schooling. General work experience as a CHW varied. There were diverse opinions expressed towards the CHW role which related to their job title and identity, supervision, remuneration, growth pathways and psychological and emotional issues. Whilst the National Community Health Worker Profile Framework was established for the CHW programme, there are several factors lacking in the current CHW programme such as a formal growth pathway or formal training to align the CHWs with the National Qualifications Framework.
Conclusion: The study findings are essential for the monitoring and evaluation as well as development and refinement of policies that will assist in ensuring adequate rollout of PHC with CHWs.
Purpose: In low- and middle-income countries, reliable and disaggregated disability data on prevalence, participation and barriers is often not available. This study aimed to estimate disability prevalence, determine associated socio-demographic factors and compare access in the community between people with and without disability in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, India, using the Rapid Assessment of Disability Survey.
Methods: A cross-sectional population-based survey was conducted on a sample of 2431 adults, selected using a two-stage cluster randomised sampling technique. The survey comprised an interviewer-administered household survey and an individual survey measuring disability, wellbeing and participation. For each person with disability, an age and sex-matched control (without disability) was selected. In addition to prevalence, the difference in participation and barriers faced by people with and without disability were analysed.
Results and Conclusions: The prevalence of disability was 6.8% (95% CI 5.8-7.8) with significant associations with age, sex, economic status, education and employment. Psychosocial distress (4.8%) and mobility impairment (2.7%) were the most common disabilities identified. The study showed that people with disabilities had significantly less access to services than those without disability, and the barriers reported most often were lack of information, transport and physical inaccessibility.
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