The software testers at Aspiritech constitute the unusual workforce of a U.S. startup that specializes in finding software bugs by harnessing the talents of young adults with autism.
Aspiritech, a nonprofit in Highland Park, Ill., nurtures these skills while forgiving the quirks that could make adults with autism unemployable.
“They exceeded my expectations,” said Dan Tedesco of Shelton, Conn.-based HandHold Adaptive, which took a chance on Aspiritech to test an iPhone application. “There is a pride in their product you don’t usually see in this type of work.”
Aspiritech was founded by Moshe and Brenda Weitzberg after their son, Oran, now 32, was fired from a job bagging groceries. Oran was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome when he was 14. He now works at Aspiritech.
“He went from failing at bagging groceries to being one of the best software testers on our team,” said Brenda Weitzberg.
“There have been a couple of attempts in the U.S. and Aspiritech is the one that’s making it,” said Scott Standifer of the University of Missouri’s Disability Policy and Studies office and the organizer of a national conference on adults with autism and employment.