Autistics find work helping AMA with quality assurance

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 64
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Location: Long Island, New York

16 Nov 2021, 9:40 am

American Medical Association article

To help create career opportunities for adults with autism, the AMA has teamed up with the Chicago-based company Aspiritech on aspects of the AMA’s quality assurance (QA) testing.

“They do high-quality work,” said Dave Sosnow, vice president for product management at the AMA. “It’s very cost-effective, and it’s an opportunity for the AMA to support members of our community” who have disabilities.

“It’s a win for all parties involved” Sosnow said.

With 120 employees in two Chicago-area locations, Aspiritech is a 13-year-old company started by Brenda and Moshe Weitzberg, parents of an adult with autism who had trouble finding work to match their child’s abilities.

“It’s sort of an irony of the disability employment world that people are put into jobs for which they are not suited,” said Brad Cohen, the company’s chief marketing officer. “It could be bagging groceries or working in a restaurant—manual things that have lots of personal interaction.”

A nonprofit entity whose workforce is comprised almost exclusively of adults with autism, Aspiritech’s services largely focus on software and QA testing.

Adults with autism tend to be well-suited for QA testing for a number of reasons. According to Cohen, that includes laser-like focus, attention to detail, superior ability to spot irregularities, and lack of boredom with highly repetitive tasks.

Aspiritech team members typically work at one of their two local offices that have been designed with the needs of their employees in mind, and are supervised by a project manager on the Aspiritech side.

There’s much interaction between AMA and Aspiritech employees, from training through the completion of the work.

“They understand the importance of the systems they are testing, and they understand the use cases, so they know how they are helping patients and doctors,” Dahl said. “They are really dedicated and detail-oriented. They help us out tremendously, and I can’t stress enough how grateful we are with all the work they have done for us.”

There is enthusiasm on the Aspirtech side of the process as well.

"We appreciate being included and trusted to test on such an important process,” said Jake Klein, a QA Lead at Aspiritech.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman