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By analyzing examples of language, media and design, we will problematize the dominant narrative on disability and identify prevalent stereotypes that contribute to ableist policy, practice, and attitudes. Borrowing from disability studies, we will explore the models used to frame disability as well as emerging thinking that challenges the idea that disability is a personal tragedy or problem, but rather a phenomenon created by the design of our environments with far-reaching political, social, and economic implications. We will end with a discussion of practical strategies to create more inclusive and welcoming spaces, processes, and experiences for all.


Dr. Amanda Kraus is Assistant Vice President for Campus Life at the University of Arizona. In this role she serves Executive Director of the Disability Resource Center and Housing & Residential Life. One the largest Disability Resource Centers (DRC) in the nation, the UA’s DRC is an international model of progressive service delivery. Dr. Kraus is also Assistant Professor of Practice in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at UA, where she coordinates the M.A. program and instructs courses on student services and disability in higher education. Dr. Kraus is President of the board of directors for the Association on Higher Education and Disability. She has had the privilege to work with institutions such as Singapore Management University, Duke University, Purdue University, and Wake Forest University and in 2016 participated in a delegation convened by the U.S. State Department 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 and serves on the board of director for the United States Tennis Association – Southwest Section. She was recently recognized as one of Tucson’s Top 40 Under 40. Dr. Amanda Kraus received her M.A. and Ph. D. from UA in Higher Education.

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