Christopher Soukup: CEO, Communication Service for the Deaf

“In the collective mind the intellectual aptitudes of the individuals, and consequence their individuality are weakened.”–Gustav Le Bon, La Psycholgie des Foules, 1895

Dear Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) CEO Christopher Soukup:

Since you are the Mighty Chief of CSD Social Venture Fund (SFV) and the majority stakeholder for National Deaf Therapy (NDT) to invest in business owned by members of the Deaf community, you control the information, using misinformation to shield, and in consequence, as you wrote in June 2016:

“As a not for profit organization, we remain committed to pushing out our resources into the community—in the form of tangible action and new products, programs, and services that make our world a better place for everyone. Careful and responsible management of our resources is an absolute reflection of our integrity and our commitment to you.”

The reflection of integrity and commitment is nothing to replace better than this. Since you put (NDT) in your power, misleading the Deaf community that the message: “Hate is not a mental health issue” is greatly problematic. The hardest part what you wrote: “Careful and responsible management”

There are plenty of valid-proven academic articles by well-versed professors and experts that hate is a mental health issue. Unlock the power of hate and action. For one, NDT argue that it is not a mental health issue differs from, and Deaf citizens punished more severely; because it betrays the expression of ignorance.

On the surface, this appears to be a problematic with significance: Deaf citizens do experience hate, derives from truth, in the same manner as all of us. The language deprivation of “hate”, although intentional, is no less truth.

Deaf people has a deep-longing to live as powerful people, to share their stories within our Deaf community and to make connections because they have suffered an inordinate amount of language deprivation that has left them deeply wounded.

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”–Maya Angelou

Hate: Crime, speech, literature and culture. For example:

Dr. Merzenich in his own reference with the print from American Psychological Association: “The simple fact is that if [American Deaf culture] could be reliably wiped out, it would be a good thing to wipe out. (Fischer & Lane, 1993)

As wiping out the culture, language, souls, and stories is very much part of hate in the broadest sense of mental health issue. The deprivation of truth will affect Deaf people’s usability, life security, and stability, would also affect in higher education. It would take the high road–boldness and healing.

The denial of hate leads to a societal taboo that would reject Deaf people in general. The sociological and punishment as punishing hate articles have plenty of merit that hate is indeed, recognized as mental health issue.

The rule of law whether it lacks the most where it represents the moral view of the Deaf community, is it accurate enough for NDT under your leadership to formally announce that hate is not a mental health issue as it is powerfully damaged, misleading the information and seeing the statement in print is even more painful.

Deaf citizens illustrates the fact they struggle in their own values or liberty that cannot easily reconcile with the community and becomes a difficult time to value their own individualism and self-constructed to begin their journey as survivors of dealing with hate, whether the forms of hate, through self-destructive in attempting to grasp its own path to escape oppressive judgement of systematic oppression to curb their struggles.

Being told by NDT in the direction of your leadership such as careful and responsible management, Mr. Soukup, the only freedom Deaf survivors of hate could reasonably negotiate in their lives was suffering enough pain. The denial of hate as a mental health issue abides by the society customs for the refusal, or flippancy towards, the mental state is severe enough.

Yet, you approved the idea that hate is not a mental health issue clearly a decision making table and decide the best for the Deaf community is questionably concerned lacking compassion and leave the results on the benefits of politics and power. As to put this:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”-Jedi Master Yoda

-Jason “JT” Tozier

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including copyright message.

 

 

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Is Hate a Mental Health Issue in the Deaf Community?

Written English transcript:

 

This is a video response for National Deaf Therapy (NDT)—

Hate is a form of oppression that a countless number of Deaf people encounter. Normally, we think of “hate” is referred to, even invisible number of Deaf people are being swept under the rug.

However, National Deaf Therapy claimed that ‘Hate is not mental health issue.”

The forms of hate can be found in: bullying, Audism, discrimination, taunting, making offensive comments, judging, power of abuse, public shaming and forth where Deaf people experience every day. Can we admit the truth that there are lots of Deaf people has experienced some type of bullying? Compassion? The chain reaction of shaming, could bullying lead to hate? Will National Deaf Therapy resist this?

Is there some kind of close connection between the right to stand up against hate and separation from power-struggle in the spirit of Deaf people?

Behind it all, of course, was most neglected problem Deaf people face that was thought to be under attack and why it would allow this to happen.

The American Psychological Association (APA) and The Psychology of Hate Crimes at APA Public Interest Government Relations Office in 2017 has stated:

“Hate crimes are a public mental health issue.” Will National Deaf Therapy agree with APA?

In 2016, Huff Post published a powerful article: Hate Is a Mental Health Issue by Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen writes:

“We need to recognize this type of hatred for what it is, a sign of severe emotional disturbance. And we need to take more responsibility for those around us who seem to be suffering—before their pain becomes unbearable and is turned inward against themselves or outward……. This type of overwhelming, all-consuming hatred cannot exist within an emotionally healthy human being.”

“Further tragedies can be prevented if we pay attention to the signs of emotional suffering—in ourselves and those we love—and, if we take responsibility for reaching out to those in need, to those who are falling through cracks.” In 2018, James M. Shultz, Tanya L. Zakrison, Sandro Galea in Hate and the Health of Populations,

“Against this backdrop, there should be little question at this point that hate is a powerful motivator of harm against others. The direct consequences of hate—including violence, discrimination, and marginalization of out-groups—are associated with poor health. Apart from the direct physical harm they inflict, hate-induced actions are associated with substantial mental illness effects.”—

“Recognizing that hate is a determinant of health puts the issue squarely within the remit of the population health community, pushing us to consider what we can do to address hate.”—Shultz, Zakrison, Galea.

Hate is indeed, a mental health issue. It is normal for Deaf individuals like yourself to have this kind of reaction, and it is important to understand that hate is not a joke. Yet, National Deaf Therapy questions the cause and effect to describe Deaf people not to experience hate, as a mental health issue is questionable.

In 2007: My essay was written for hate crimes and bias class,
Negative Perceptions of Deaf Individuals in Relation to Knowledge of American Sign Language:

“Yet this most stigmatized group is not often viewed through the lens of compassion and understanding, only modern forms of old ignorance. The Deaf community has gone through considerable evolution, but hate crime remains invisible in face of society.” (Tozier, 2007)

“As I have been told again and again, the experience of Deaf victims of hate crime has been traumatic. Life has been hard for them. Deaf people have toiled and fought on behalf of the society that has violated their human rights, dealing with manipulation, ignorance, denial of basic civil and language rights, among many other injustices. Deaf people struggled with the land and the lawless nature of American society. Hate crimes against them have been largely under-reported, under-investigated, and under-prosecuted.” (Tozier, 2007)

Either pin down truth or denial. In those experiences, hate incidents that truly happened, like the making final decision of hate, as non-mental health issue is questionable. As the Deaf community become objective in their own experience, they separate it from themselves.

Yes, hate should be a mental health issue in the Deaf community. There is no place for hate in the Deaf community. Should hate as emotionally, psychologically, and sociologically denial for the Deaf community? Why or Why not?

Please visit jasontozier.net

-JT

Copyright © 2019 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including copyright message.

REFERENCES:

Hate and the Health of Populations

https://www.psychologynj.org/njpa-s-public-statement-on-acts-of-hate-and-violence

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hate-is-a-mental-health-i_b_7653430

Response to Gallaudet University P.R.

Dear ambassadors of Gallaudet community,

I would like to thank the (Gallaudet) University Communications Team, which is a public relations-appointed team to represent Gallaudet University. The communication is to represent the ambassadors of Gallaudet community with truth. It is extremely important to be aware about the truth.

Freudian slip.

“The difference between truth and fact is that fact is something that cannot be combated with reasoning, for it is logic itself. But truth is something which depends on a person’s perspective and experience”

It is important to seek healthy resolutions for the Deaf. There are plenty of Deaf alumni and alumnus experience being oppressed at Gallaudet. This brings to the question: How do we converse Gallaudet University into a new university so that we can embrace higher learning that best reflects our own intellectual freedom?

The University Communications Team writes:

“Gallaudet University is primarily for deaf and hard of hearing students, and has been since 1864. It has always welcomed hearing students who are bilingual and committed to learning in a signing environment. From time to time, there are challenges to this very notion, on social media and elsewhere. We recognize that these pieces represent a broader struggle that our community has faced for years in regards to discrimination, exclusion, or audism. As a community of Deaf people, it is important that we recognize this while a the same time separating facts from fiction.”

The thoughts to the oppression: discrimination, exclusion, or Audism, is much more serious ideological more than its own generosity. Gallaudet Deaf students had been the subject of the most serious oppressed group, and its ambition to weaken ASL and Deaf culture.

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In Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking by H-Dirksen L. Bauman:

“The dynamics of audism principally take the form of colonial relations. Ladd and Lane have both explored parallels between colonization and the Deaf experience, through the eradication of indigenous language, education, values and history…..The history of deaf people comes to light, we see that it is bound up in the historical practices of normalization…”

In 2000, I believe that the survey asking Deaf students: Have they seen the word, “Audism” before? Very few Deaf students recognized the term, two years later in 2002, more Deaf students were aware about Audism.

That is what it is the core of the problem on the Gallaudet campus, not delivering enough awareness about Audism even today, the signing environment on the campus is not exactly ASL-centered enough, and the ideological had created bigger problems.

For example, the approval of cochlear implant center in 2006. Why cannot Gallaudet admit that the fact that it is creating the consequences of this misinformation are disastrous, not only for Deaf people, but for the entire world, especially social media?

Always with old habit and inertia, fear has much to do with keeping reality the same as it always was: status quo. The beloved ship we call Gallaudet, opening the way to unknown is hard for many of us to accept, yet it is only avenue into ASL and Deaf culture, our own world. We are aware that in a world of change that we are currently witnessing at Gallaudet University, there must be gain and loss. Our society judges gain to be good and loss to be bad.

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Undergraduate Enrollment of Deaf Studies in the United States: Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Jeffrey Levi Palmer, and Stephanie Cawthon did a research sponsored by National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes:

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“Postsecondary enrollment rates for deaf people have increased since the 1980s, in large part due to legislative action and increased accessibility of educational environments (Newman et al; 2011) Despite increased access to postsecondary education, fewer deaf people complete college degrees than their hearing peers (Gaberoglio, Palmer, Cawthon, & Sales, 2019a) National data show that only 5% of deaf people were currently enrolled in postsecondary institutions of any type, compared to 11% of hearing people (Garberoglio et al; 2019a)

Key Findings:

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-Among all currently enrolled college students, 1.3% are deaf (Garberoglio, Palmer, and Cawthon)

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-Deaf college students are older than their hearing counterparts, with an average of 31. (Garberoglio, Palmer, and Cawthon)

Why small number? The number of hearing student applications are increasingly more and faster, more power to meet the requirements as Deaf students which is much harder for them to meet the requirements, and hearing fare better in academics, writing, and such than the Deaf students in today’s Deaf Education. Not only that, but today’s Deaf Education around the country is Educational Bankruptcy.

The loss of Gallaudet Preparatory was the biggest hurt. For the pilot program in 2000 was the turning mistake. Before prior to 2000, Gallaudet University was home for Deaf students, before what happened, there were many minor losses along the way, and if we take a moment to think about these losses, we could easily see the pattern of gain and loss that ran throughout the university which was full of adversity, small or large. The gain goes to HUGS and the loss goes to the Deaf.

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In 2008:

“PEPNet (Postsecondary Education Programs Network): Educational testing, test developers, language and communication researchers, academicians, K-12 educators and administrators; health professionals; and clinicians. Test Equity Summit—Test Equity for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.”

I understand that there were some group of faculty from Gallaudet gave some presentations.

The admittance of hearing students, the communication speculations have been misused to defend educational bankruptcy at Gallaudet, which shall admit that there is a linguistic and cultural colonialism; Think about it, prior to 2000, the power dynamics of Audism had been hidden in the Administration and Operations Manual. The perception of Audism in the signing environment, we shall examine how Audism socialization, uncertainty, and discrimination experiences influence the trust. Is this accurate or inaccurate?

Institutional Audism. Educational Audism. Systematic Audism.

As much as the liberty that CODAs (Children of Deaf Adults) had been highly motivated, to support Deaf community is no question at all, as Edward Miner Gallaudet was all these years, Gallaudet University is just more than a university; it is unique in that its products are scholars of the Deaf. At the same time, there are some CODAs who are also much struggling as Deaf students struggling because they also see the product of language oppression from hearing students who were not enough exposed to Deaf studies.

Gallaudet University is a well-known reference to the attitude of honest acceptance of Deaf people where the celebration of Deaf people for their achievements. That is the most valued community norm to embrace ASL and Deaf culture first.

The “facts” from the last two academic years: what is it that stands between the fact and truth such a state of confusion would loose in the mind and body of a person who believed it? Would you believe that Gallaudet University is renowned university for the Deaf? The content showing numbers is the quest of its public relations–is not important thing, is it not?

Even though there is no question the shortage of brilliant minds in Deaf community, oppression is still practiced at Gallaudet University.

Public relations, the University Communications Team, and campus of Gallaudet, and most importantly, the ambassadors of Gallaudet community, is it often argued that beliefs are somehow distinct from other claims to knowledge social justice of the Deaf? An analogy could influence the case of human memory, while Deaf people are dealing with the systematic Audis; decades of oppression have shown that it comes in many forms today at Gallaudet University.

The University Communications Team on the behalf of Gallaudet University, Audism is the biggest core problem; we were lied to, and even, being exploited. Today’s Deaf Education had failed Deaf students, and to keep Deaf intellectual life–who are worth fighting for, and living for. For example, democracy had been amplified the pursuit of happiness.

The idea of creating a pilot program for HUGs is the collection of message, problematic, and the blueprint for the privatization of Gallaudet University is the main focus of core problem. Nothing to do with hearing people, it is about systematic Audism being granted permanent on a private property, to decide what services to offer, what technical standards to create, or whether instead to sell Deaf souls. It is not a fiction. It is a fact.

“The forces of normalization seem to be the gaining ground, particularly in cases like Australia, where one researcher predicts the death of Australian Sign Language (Auslan) within the next few generations due to high rates of mainstreaming, cochlear implantation, and genetic testing and counseling that discourages parents from carrying deaf babies to birth”–Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking

Gallaudet University today: high rates of mainstreaming, cochlear implantation, genetic testing, counseling, and increase number of hearing privileges. We must embrace ASL and Deaf Studies more than ever. Remember the documentary, The End?

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The instructions for the life of Deaf on Earth, shall not deal with linguistic and cultural colonialism. The Gallaudet’s mission, vision, core values, and strategic goals supporting the education and empowerment of Deaf, is falling into the wrong path. The core of the systematic oppression is so infinitely.

The facts had been shared accordingly. I refuse to be called a fiction or a fool.

Thank you,

-Jason “JT” Tozier

P.S. As we understand that the Gallaudet P.R. made a video statement that BAI students were not counted under the eight percent cap–only shown in 2018 figures and did not show any figures on year 2020 either. How come we could not able to see the projected 2020 figures in both fields: online students and BAI students, but they only show the HUGs figures projected for 2020 already and why is that?

YouTube Link:

REFERENCES:

https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/8053/what-is-the-difference-between-fact-and-truth

https://www.nationaldeafcenter.org/sites/default/files/99DTest%20Equity%20Considerations%20-%20Report%20Summary.pdf

https://www.nationaldeafcenter.org/sites/default/files/Undergraduate%20Enrollment%20%20of%20Deaf%20Students%20in%20the%20United%20States.pdf

 

 

Deafhood Foundation: A Criminal Record Shouldn’t Define Your Entire Existence

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Deafhood Foundation writes, Your donation will help end the economic exploitation of Deaf people, support anti-audism work, and create a society where everyone experiences full humanity and celebrates American Sign Language and Deaf culture.”

I have had been thinking about this for a while. For the last eight years, I have had invested a lot of heart and believability in Deafhood Foundation after reading Understanding Deaf Culture: In Search of Deafhood written by Paddy Ladd. The book arrived at my apartment in Portland, Oregon in April 2010 and I finished that book on the same day. It was mind-blowing experience. As soon as I finished that book, I remember calling up a friend who was one of certified Deafhood presenters and had brief discussion about it. I understood the magnitude of healing. That was the goal.

Two weeks after finishing that book, I was walking on Hawthorne Street in Portland, one of the famous streets, most laid-back streets, and there was a tattoo shop, and I decided to walk in and asked them to give me a tattoo, ‘Deafhood’ on my left arm where it ends up being first Deaf person to have ‘Deafhood’ in America. I was very proud of it.

Fast forward. June 2011. I was awarded with three degrees with honors. I worked very hard as Deaf returnee. I remember that day when I was released from jail in 1996, I told myself; I will never look back and make a huge difference in future. Day after day, year after year, I had no guidance, no space to call my own, or where to go. It was very difficult to deal with. I was separated from friends and Deaf community. I refused to be the scapegoat.

Couple of years later, a Deaf person informed me that the board position was open on the same day, and I immediately became interested in board position. I contacted one of the founding board members for Deafhood Foundation, and the board member said to me that I would not be welcomed on the board and I was devastated more than anything in my life all because I am a Deaf returnee. WITHOUT due process or screened—nothing just like that. Just right on spot right there. I was completely surprised and hurt, too.

It was a major discriminatory. I was surprised that the founding board member signed to me that I’d be “frustrated” and knew that it was discriminating against its own Deaf member in Deaf community. It was a huge blow. It shows that Deafhood Foundation does not support recidivism in Deaf community.

When I had to re-read the book by Paddy Ladd, I realized that the book does not support Deaf returnees either. If less than 0.00000005 percent of Deaf returnees suffering today—the truth supported by lack of awareness, the support matters, and goes a long way, How can we improve this conscious?

Think about emotional and physical impact that has gone deep enough to deal with struggles, with the capacity to think strong that has stored enough. Thought-provoking adventures. I live by reading books doing everything I can to make a living on the streets, and effectively deal with a world that most of us would never understand would never understand what it is like or known about. I often wonder about discovering the origin of life.

It will make a big impact of the overall quality of life. Can we articulate the specific needs of empowerment by building bridges to Deaf community? Maya Angelou once said, “When people show you who they are, believe them”—that’s where it starts right there.

So, why not Deafhood Foundation supports Deaf returnees? The “philosophy” of Deafhood Foundation in the broadest sense, ignoring a barrier repertoire—stories, literacy expressions and the like—against Deaf returnees whose forms of expressions exert upon them.

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Where are the tears of joy—and tears of pride? Having being “incarcerated” since my early teen years, I had ever experienced a pursuit of happiness before and never thought I would have that opportunity, my young adulthood forever lost. Deaf returnees do not given a second chance as “productive contributor” to Deaf community.

Deafhood Foundation, where is the compassion and willingness about Deaf returnees to put their lives on the line for others is deeply rooted in their own struggles for being given the opportunity for redemption and for being welcomed back into society?

In Paddy’s Corner: Dr. Ladd coined the word “Deafhood” to describe positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression, and to present a framework to understand our past, work within the present, and plan for the future.”

What about the positive framework to understand Deaf returnees’ past, work with the present, and plan for the future to focus on positive ways of being Deaf in spite of the discrimination and oppression every day?

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Few months ago, when I attended as lone Deaf attendee for ACLU National Conference in Washington, D.C.—I saw a powerful image that says I believe a criminal record shouldn’t define your entire existence”—sadly, Deafhood Foundation does not see that way that it would always define your entire existence forever because Deaf community is small–and quickly judged by its looks and books.

-JT

Copyright © 2018 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely copied in its entirely only, including this copyright message.

 

 

 

Dwight Benedict: Stop the Practice of Discrimination, Shaming, and Cruel Punishment

My Letter for Graduate School

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My mother and my father were proud of me graduating that day! June 2011. 

=======================================================================

[It was written in 2011]

Gallaudet University
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

ATTENTION: Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce myself and to express my interest in attending your graduate program in Deaf Studies.

It has been my experience in life that the process of development requires baby-steps and growth from a place that is firmly grounded. For example, before I became a student at an university, I had no intention to attend college. It was not because I was incapable of achieving success at the university, but my immediate environment did not expect it of me. I was told then that I was incapable of succeeding at a university. Over time, my resilient nature, positive attitude and motivation helped me to rise above that expectation.

I am both a first-generation college student. My long path to intellectual freedom and academic achievement has not easy, yet it has been worthwhile I have found it to be immeasurable in the personal and academic growth that I have experienced on that path. I gave up a debt-free life for a college degree. I have balanced my job and schoolwork while subsisting on Mac and Cheese because I believe my education and personal development are worth the liberating value that comes from academia.

To me, achieving this degree is not about getting a piece of paper, rather, it is about fully absorbing what the entire Deaf world has to offer the people who compose it. It is also about informing the hearing world about its continual struggles and the diversity of Deaf culture. It is about change.

The most meaningful change in my life has been that transition from the boy I was 15 years ago to the man that I am today. My perception of myself has altered radically from a quiet, isolated adolescent to an extroverted, involved, and socially active person. I attribute this transformation of my academic skills, personal relationships and intellectual insights to provide to an university experience.

Currently, I do not have a simple answer for my purpose and long-term goals within your program, but I do know that I have a longing to express my experience as a Deaf person. I also have a conviction that at the heart with in addition to the foundation of belief, I am aware of my ability to offer my unique perspective on life. I am a human, with Deaf desires.

The Deaf are an underrepresented group in society that requires appropriate representation at the university level. Historically, Deaf persons could not attend university because of the lack of infrastructure that impeded their mere existence on a campus.

However, there are only few numbers of Deaf professors teaching at the university level, which significantly impairs the diversity and representatives that universities, in general, strive to attain. More credentialed Deaf people are needed at this level to facilitate an understanding and acceptance of Deaf people and our culture.

As an undergraduate Sociology major, my sociological perspective will help bridge the gap between Deaf and Hearing communities in order to broaden cultural acceptance. My study of Sociology has provided me within the opportunity to explore my intellectual curiosity of how people create, maintain, and am by social influences.

I have found that the study of sociology requires critical thinking, problem solving, written and signed communication and interpersonal skills. I can also say that the program at an university has cultivated my skills in these areas. I am very excited about the opportunities that sociology offers me to explore the world through a sociological perspective and look forward to expanding my knowledge with the discipline.

A Master of Deaf Studies degree with a concentration in Cultural Studies will allow me to continue my path to achieving my career goal of being a university professor teaching Deaf Studies. With this degree, I strive the reduce the stigma and discrimination that Deaf people and other individuals with disabilities encounter, which I believe is masked by “political correctness,” lack of information, and a perceived insensitivity from the non-Deaf, non-disabled community. I want to help both Deaf individuals understand their unique place in the world while also broadening the experience and understanding of those who are non-Deaf.

I believe that your program would not only help me to build a stronger foundation of knowledge and skills applicable to Deaf Studies, it will also to continue to build towards my personal and professional goals. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

Cordially,

Jason Tozier

-JT

Copyright © 2017 Jason Tozier

This text may be freely coped in its entirely only, including this copyright message.