Racing to the Finish Line

Trey Quinn fulfilled a dream when he graduated from Georgia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. At the end of the master’s computer science program, he fulfilled another by racing the Ramblin’ Wreck in his powerchair.  

Born with cerebral palsy, Quinn has never let his condition slow him down, and he sees parallels between himself and the Institute’s iconic mascot. 

“I like the Wreck because I am a bit of a Ramblin’ Wreck myself. I self-manage my own team of caretakers who keep me running throughout the day, and I am infamous for speeding around campus in my wheelchair,” he said.  

Quinn always believed he could give the 1930 Ford Model A a run for its money in a race and got the opportunity to prove it. He led the Wreck throughout the race, from the starting line to the finish line at the end of Cherry Street. The speed of Quinn’s chair surprised Ramblin’ Wreck driver Matthew Kistner, but the master’s candidate has always approached life with a full-speed-ahead mentality.  

From the time he taught himself to use a computer in kindergarten, Quinn developed a passion for assistive technology and accessibility engineering. At 7 years old, he began working with Georgia’s Assistive Technology Act Program, Tools for Life, and went on to deliver keynote speeches across the state, including one at the University of Georgia. But he knew he wanted to go to Georgia Tech.  

Quinn was appointed as the youth advocate on the Tools for Life board following its adoption as a public service unit within the College of Design, where he began exploring the integration of artificial intelligence into human-centered design to enhance accessibility — a concept that he has been thinking about for some time.  

“AI will be one of the most important innovations in modern history for people with disabilities. Growing up, the running joke in my house was that I was going to live independently one day with the help of robots and self-driving cars. From autonomous vehicles hopefully making transportation more accessible, to generative AI models assisting with typing speed and productivity, the potential applications of AI for accessibility are truly endless,” he said.  

As an undergraduate, Quinn earned scholarships and awards from multiple organizations for academic achievements and leadership in disability advocacy. As the founding president of the ABLE Alliance (GTABLE), he has worked with Disability Services to advocate for students requiring more advanced accommodations and to secure independent living services through partnerships with state agencies. The alliance also hosted disability-focused professional development events with companies such as Google, Bloomberg, and Georgia Power.  

Quinn and GTABLE’s advocacy led to establishing a part-time dean’s list to honor students who cannot carry a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester due to extenuating life circumstances. 

“I am proud of the legacy of accessibility and inclusion I am leaving on campus,” he said. “My goal coming into Georgia Tech was to help make sure the Institute’s motto of progress and service was actively being practiced with respect to disability accommodations on campus. Through my work in disability advocacy and mentoring other up-and-coming disabled student leaders on campus, I am proud to have done my small part in making Georgia Tech work better for everyone.”  

After Commencement, Quinn will be a software engineer at Bloomberg, where he completed multiple internships. He plans to continue his advocacy work and hopes to one day lead product accessibility and inclusive design programs in the software industry.