Company employs people with unique computer skills

January 17, 2012 10:40:16 AM PST
Created two years ago, Aspiritech employs people with Asperger's syndrome who have unique computer skills.

This is the only company in the United States that offers this kind of opportunity. They are hoping to grow locally and nationwide.

Located in Highland Park, staff at Aspiritech are working on different computer contracts.

"Software development is contingent on testing to ensure quality control and a lot of the software testing is outsourced overseas, but we have a domestic workforce of people with high functioning autism that are very capable of doing this work, and they do am exceptional job," said Brenda Weitzberg.

Weitzberg and her husband Moshe started this not-for-profit company because their 32-year-old son has Asperger's syndrome.

"I combined the terms Asperger's, Technology and spirit. When I tried to put Asperger's, technology, spirit together, Aspiritech came out. It has to do with will and fortitude and courage and determination," said Weitzberg.

Aspiritech has a staff of 12 with more than five in training. This includes some staff who are not disabled. Many people with Asperger's syndrome are great software testers.

"Because quality assurance of software testing, especially regression testing, requires comfort with computers and technology," Weitzberg said. "You don't really have to deal with people...step by step instruction is what we call monochromic work, very detail-oriented. They are able to follow test cases step by step, testing scripts. Even if something passes 50 times, they will continue to test it, but they also can think outside the box."

Katie Levin has a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois.

"My degree is in interdisciplinary studies, so it's not a specialty field, so after that happened and I wasn't sure as to what I was going to do, I heard about Aspiritech," Levin said.

Levin has been working at Aspiritech for a year.

"Our biggest challenge is that we don't have enough contractual work to keep our current testers fully employed," said Levin. "That is the No. 1 goal, is getting enough contractual, because they do the work here in the office...but it's PR and it's sales, and as more and more companies realize the quality of what we provide, they are jumping on. In the last two years of operation, we've had nine very satisfied customers and many more in the works."