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Leading the charge in Bosma's rehabilitation

At the age of 13, Kurt Deichmann was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes a person to lose their eyesight over time. He was told that he would likely lose his vision by the age of 20. As fate would have it, he maintained his sight much longer than anticipated, and was still able to drive at the age of 42. However, he eventually lost his vision. By that time, he had built a successful career in insurance.
Just a couple of months after losing his vision, he came to Bosma Enterprises to learn the skills he needed to continue in his career. He loved his job and wanted to do everything he could to keep working. “I think I hold the record for client participation,” he quipped. “I worked just down the street from Bosma, and as soon as I was trained to travel safely with my cane, I spent a couple hours a day at Bosma for training.”
As an insurance professional, Kurt was consistently the top producer in his office. He enjoyed working with customers and they liked working with him. He consistently had high customer satisfaction ratings. He was humbled by the support of his manager who worked with him at every stage of his vision loss. His company made sure he had everything he needed to maintain his high level of job performance.
Then his longtime manager retired and Kurt noticed a change at the office.  After 22 years with the company, he faced something he thought he would never have to deal with—discrimination. Kurt’s performance never faltered as he lost his vision. Yet he was consistently passed up for promotions. Kurt believed he had no other option than to stand up for himself, so he filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was a two-year process that ended with a settlement out of court that included terminating his employment.
Now Kurt was looking for work. “I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I wasn’t planning on finding a new job.”
Unable to find work, he used his industry expertise to help others by starting his own consulting business.
But he knew he wanted to work at Bosma. He loved Bosma and the people. He had maintained a relationship with many of his instructors and even played Beep Baseball with some of them. One day, he got a call from James Michaels, Vice President for Programs at Bosma, to gauge his interest in running Bosma’s Rehabilitation Center. Kurt was excited at the prospect. “It was a place I knew I had to work,” he said.
A few short weeks later, Kurt was hired as the new rehabilitation center manager. “I love this job,” Kurt said. “I would do it for free. There is an all-star team here and I am just thrilled to be working with them.”
In addition to his work at Bosma, Kurt still maintains his consulting business. He suffers from Non-24 Disorder which causes him to lose sleep during the late hours because his body has trouble knowing it is night since he has no light perception. “I am up late at night, so I continue my consulting as a night job,” Kurt said.
As the rehabilitation center manager, he enjoys checking out all the new accessible technology clients are learning. “I am a gadget freak,” Kurt said.
“We are currently riding a tsunami of accessible technology. I was talking with a group the other day who is working on a pair of sunglasses that has a camera in it that uses facial recognition and Facebook to alert the user of who just walked in the room,” he said. “There are some incredible things going on right now and I am excited we are surfing that wave.”
Kurt has a passion for his work, employees and clients. “On numerous occasions, I’ve heard him tell clients that he is their number one advocate and it shows,” said Nick Leon, a teacher’s aide in the Bosma Rehab Center. “With every decision he makes, he demonstrates that quality of training is his first priority.”

Kurt has started playing golf again. He works with a sighted guide who points him in the right direction and the rest is up to him.