Quinn Bradlee is the youth engagement associate for the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Quinn has dedicated his adult life to helping others with learning and attention issues. Born with a hole in his heart that required invasive surgery when he was only 3 months old, Quinn suffered from a battery of illnesses—seizures, migraines, fevers—from an early age. But it wasn’t until he was 14 years old that Bradlee was correctly diagnosed with velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS), a little-understood disorder that affects one in 2,000 people and is expressed through a wide range of physical ailments and learning disabilities.
Quinn graduated from the Gow School, a college prep school for students with learning disabilities, with honors. He also attended The Lab School in Washington, DC, The New York Film Academy, and programs at the American University and Landmark College. He is the author of a memoir, A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures, documenting his efforts to navigate life with LD, and a second book, A Life’s Work: Fathers and Sons, which he coauthored with his father. Quinn assisted in the making of HBO’s I Can’t Do This but I Can Do That, a film for families about learning differences.
Quinn is the founder of Friends of Quinn, an online community and resource center for young adults with learning disabilities and their friends and family. The Friends of Quinn website was the first to use the dyslexic-friendly Dyslexie font. The site offers blog posts and video interviews on topics relevant to young adults, such as dating, maintaining friendships, coping with school work, finding employment and gaining independence. One of the video interviews features a conversation between Quinn and film director Steven Spielberg, in which Spielberg announced for the first time that he has dyslexia.