Asperger’s Teacher Launches Proofreader Startup to Help Other Autistic Individuals

Instaproofer is a new startup that focuses on proofreading micro-content. The small project size enables proofreaders to provide a fast turnaround time so writers can meet their deadlines. 

“We focus on micro-content and save customers precious time and money,” says Carmen Ganser, founder of Instaproofer.com. “Most of what people are producing as public consumable writing is under 1000 words. We got rid of the bells and whistles you see on all the other proofreading websites and have it really dialed in and are helping to define what people are actually creating, which is micro-content.”

And it is the rise of the micro-task web economy, where professionals displaced by COVID-19 are turning to remote ways to delivery their products and services. Instaproofer got its start because Ganser kept seeing tiny mistakes all over news articles and websites. As a former English teacher and a perfectionist, Ganser’s many years of spotting flaws in student essays set her up perfectly to provide this type of service. Being autistic certainly helps as well. 

“We’re a small startup right now,” says Ms. Ganser, “but once we gain traction and begin to scale up, our mission is to hire a freelance staff of people with Asperger’s.” Ganser has worked in a handful of different industries and held about 30 different jobs, so she understands first hand the workplace challenges people with ASD face, who experience extremely high unemployment rates. From sensory issues to awkward interactions and misunderstandings, people on the spectrum have a radically different work experience from their neurotypical peers. 

Self-diagnosed, Ganser, now 43, had no idea she herself has Asperger’s syndrome until she was almost 38. “Growing up, I could tell that I was different from everyone else and intuitively learned how to mask my differences,” she says. “But it wasn’t until a few individuals explained to me that all of my ‘quirks’ are a result of having Asperger’s that it began to really sink in. Now I just live comfortably as an autistic person. It really helps me understand myself more deeply and authentically.” 

Holding a master’s degree and teaching middle and high school for a decade, Ganser has also worked at one time as a river guide on the Rio Grande through Big Bend National Park, and another time managing one of the best and busiest brunch spots in Houston, Texas. But once her teaching contract ended in May, Ganser decided that she had had enough jobs. And, due to fallout from the pandemic, she felt working from home was her best option. 

Ganser thinks that hiring people with Asperger’s is a smart choice. “We are especially skilled at hyper-focusing, finding anomalies, and micro-tasking and are well-suited to this type of work, especially as software testers and proofreaders. And, by providing a remote freelance platform, other autistic people can avoid overwhelming office environments and work in a comfortable, productive space where they can thrive.”

When Instaproofer takes off, and she knows it will, Ganser is poised to start working with other autistic individuals who have a strong penchant for proofreading and a deep passion for polishing the web until it shines.

If you are interested in using Instaproofer’s fast proofreading services for micro-content, visit their website here: https://www.instaproofer.com.

If you are interested in becoming an Instaproofer editor and you have Asperger’s syndrome, please contact Carmen Ganser here: [email protected].

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