Logan Christy is a natural athlete who enjoys bowling, basketball, hockey and baseball in his free time. He has participated for many years in Special Olympics. Logan is a member, along with his father Dan Christy, of a unified softball team (people with and without disabilities).
Logan’s tightknit family includes grandparents John and Sharon Spiess, father Dan Christy and mother Rita Christy. Rita said she was told when her son was born that he would never walk or talk. He experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury during birth.
“To be honest, we didn’t have a lot of hopes for Logan when he was born,” she said. “Then he started to make progress. He crawled and walked the same month. We started to become hopeful.”
With his open and friendly manner, Rita said her son won friends and advocates everywhere he went.
“At school, he just made friends,” she said. “We started to see that no matter what he does in life, he will have advocates on his side.”
After high school, Logan was not sure what he wanted to do, but he wanted to work like his parents. Today, at age 23, Logan works 30 hours per week making more than $10 per hour at Alsco, a family-owned linen and uniform service with more than 170 branches worldwide. Logan is responsible for keeping the building in Medford, which has about 85 employees, clean.
Logan works alongside his job coach, Debbie Cordeiro of Pathway Enterprises. Because of his memory loss, Logan needs help at work remembering his schedule and going through his list of tasks.
“Even though we joke and give each other a hard time, I really like Debbie,” Logan said, smiling. “She’s awesome.”
Ali Brown, employment manager of Pathway Enterprises, said because Logan’s job is so detailed, Debbie was able to create a visual schedule to help him with his work duties. He also uses some technology assistance, with reminders on his cell phone.
“He has been able to grow leaps and bounds,” Ali said. “He will remember certain parts and sometimes it becomes part of routine. But there’s no way to know if information will transfer to long-term memory.”
Logan lives with his family but would like to live independently someday. He said his job has given him more confidence.
“It makes me feel good to come to work,” he said. “It makes me feel appreciated when I work hard.”
Debbie said some days are tougher than others for Logan as he works through his daily list of tasks.
“The schedule varies on different days, so we have to work on creating lists and finding a routine to help him get through the work,” she said. “But you know, he doesn’t give up. He perseveres. And if he is tired, he lets me know.”
Val Gibboney, general manager of Alsco, transferred to the Medford branch from Portland. She worked with an individual with I/DD in her former position, and was open to the idea of hiring someone with a disability in Medford.
“He was much more introverted when he started here in September 2015,” Val said. “He has strengthened the team here and brought unity.”
Jason Grijalva, Alsco plant manager and Logan’s supervisor, said having Debbie as Logan’s job coach has helped.
“She knows how he learns best, and she works with him to learn the tasks for his learning style,” Jason said.
Val said that for a busy company like Alsco, which processes more than 55,000 pounds of linens and uniforms daily from the service industry, having a job coach to assist Logan has been helpful to ensuring his success on the job.
Logan said he spends some of paychecks on video games and equipment for his sports activities, such as a new bowling ball. Ultimately, he would like to get an apartment in Medford. Because he works 30 hours, he went through benefits counseling to keep his benefits in place.
“I am working towards that goal of being on my own,” he said. “I would like to get my own groceries. I am practicing safety right now, making sure I am safe and not talking to strangers.”
Logan’s mother Rita said she did not think her son would move out until he was much older. She said seeing him at age 23 working at a job and working towards independence has been “surreal.”
“He is a different kid than before he started working,” she said. “He is so mature now. I think he is learning more about himself; what he wants for his life. And he is learning what employment is about.”
Logan’s personal agent is Sandy Wunische with Creative Supports (Rikki Miller was his PA during the employment search). His VR counselor was Brad Haller and his job developer was Becky Simpson with Pathway Enterprises. Debbie Cordeiro from Pathway Enterprises continues to do Logan’s job coaching. Denys Austin from the Work Incentives Network provided benefits counseling.
You can view a video of Rita Christy discussing her son working in the community.
You can also view a photo slideshow of Logan at work.