Originally from the suburbs of New York City, Dr. Amanda Kraus has lived in Tucson, AZ and worked at the University of Arizona (UA) for fifteen years. She completed her B.A. at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and earned her M.A. and Ph. D. in Higher Education from the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, AZ. Dr. Kraus currently serves as Director of UA’s Disability Resource Center. One the largest in the nation, the Center is an international model of progressive service delivery, uniquely positioned to approach campus access systemically. Through strategic outreach, the goal is to design campus environments and experiences to be usable and welcoming for a diverse range of individuals, thereby reducing the need for individual accommodations or modifications. Dr. Kraus is highly involved in collaborative efforts with University personnel to foster the development of a seamlessly accessible campus environment and infuse disability into campus initiatives and specifically consults on campus events, policy, and behavioral intervention.
As Assistant Professor of Practice in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the UA, she coordinates the M.A. program and instructs courses on student services, student development and disability in higher education. Borrowing from disability studies, Dr. Kraus studies disability identity, disability dynamics in the student veteran community, and disability-related biases and microaggressions. Through her research and teaching, she challenges the dominant deficit or tragedy narrative on disability and promotes models and tools to increase access and equity and ultimately reframe concepts of difference in higher education. Dr. Kraus serves on the board of directors for the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) and has chaired its standing committee for diversity. She has had the privilege of delivering keynote addresses and facilitating workshops at campuses such as Singapore Management University, Duke University, Wake Forest University, University of Vermont and Western Illinois University, and was recently invited to join a delegation convened by the US Department of State to engage in dialogue on disability access in education and employment in Beijing, China. Outside of work, Dr. Kraus is an avid wheelchair tennis player. As the President of the United States Tennis Association Southern Arizona District board, she works to grow opportunities for disabled players and increase the national visibility of wheelchair tennis. She was recently recognized as one of Tucson’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Kraus is passionate about social justice and access; this is reflected in her work on campus, teaching and community involvement.