Autism’s Quirks Prove Asset For Some Jobs
A Chicago nonprofit is honing in on the repetitive, detail-oriented nature of many individuals with autism by training adults with the disorder for software testing jobs.
At Aspiritech individuals with autism are learning to test for proper communication between computer instant messaging software and cell phones. The repetitive nature of this and other computer testing work builds on the natural tendencies of many with autism and makes the disability an asset in the workplace, according to founder Brenda Weitzberg.
Weitzberg started the nonprofit with $25,000 in private funding after her own son with autism had trouble finding work. Aspiritech has already trained eight people. And, with unemployment among people with disabilities topping 15 percent in January, the idea couldn’t come at a better time.
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The project is modeled after a European company that got worldwide attention for employing people with autism to do computer work. At Denmark-based Specialisterne, autism is considered an advantage and the company’s founder Thorkil Sonne says his unique workforce brings him a competitive edge when it comes to software testing and data entry. Sonne says he hopes companies in more countries will consider the idea, reports NPR. To read more click here.