An entrepreneur with dyslexia has launched a new website has launched that caters exclusively to people with learning differences. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
Quinn Bradlee has dyslexia. He says he is often surprised by how few people understand what the reading disorder really is.
"The whole theory that we read backward is a myth," he says. "I don't know where that came from. We get words confused more than read backwards."
Dyslexia happens when the brain does not recognize certain letters and symbols and makes reading difficult. Bradlee has launched a new website called FriendsofQuinn.com, which unites a community of people with learning disabilities who need support and resources. A close look shows that it is no ordinary website.
"We also use a font called dyslexie that was designed by a person with dyslexia," says Beka Economopoulos, who works for the website. "The font is designed so that the eye doesn't invert letters or flip them upside down. We're the first website in the world to use it."
The site also frowns upon the term "learning disability." The online community prefers "learning difference."
"People with LDs are not disabled," Economopoulos says. "They learn different. The site really caters to that community."
In addition to a blog and resource page, the one-stop shop website encourages users to submit diaries about their personal experiences without fear of ridicule. Many student advocates, like David Flink of Project Eye to Eye, are especially encouraging young people to log on.
"The stigma is really strong and if we are trying to break down a stigma, we have to create a safe space," Flink says.
After initially struggling in grade school, Quinn Bradlee graduated from college and is an entrepreneur. In his growing online community, he wants to help others celebrate their "differences" and do the same.