AAHD Scholarship Program

The mission of the American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is to contribute to national, state, and local efforts to promote health and wellness in people with disabilities and identify effective intervention strategies that reduce health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population. AAHD accomplishes its mission through research, education and advocacy at the national, state and community level. As part of our work, we are pleased to offer an annual scholarship to students with disabilities majoring in public health, disability studies, health promotion or a field related to disability and health.

About the AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability (2023-2024)

The long and distinguished career in disability advocacy and service of Frederick J. Krause began in 1954 when he served as a special education teacher for the Illinois Department of Education. He created a model educational and training curriculum for school aged children with severe intellectual disabilities which became a model for the nation. Following that, Fred became a Supervising Therapist at the Illinois State School for the Mentally Retarded from 1955-56. Recognizing his leadership abilities, he was promoted to become the Rehabilitation Director of the Illinois Department of Health from 1956-61. From 1961-1969, Fred became the Executive Director of the California Council for Retarded Children, Inc., working to improve the lives of all Californians with intellectual disorders through coordinating the Council’s goals and concerns with the State Government Departments of Rehabilitation, Mental Hygiene, Social Welfare and Youth Authority, and Employment.

In recognition of his leadership and administrative skills, Fred was appointed Executive Director of the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation and served with great distinction from 1969 – 1983. Among his many contributions as Executive Director, Fred is distinguished as advocating for improving the health and quality of life of individuals with intellectual disabilities through health promotion and disease prevention programs.  From 1983 until 1987, Fred held leadership positions in the President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped (1983-1985), Inspire ’85, Federal Interagency Task Force on Disabled Persons (1985-1986), and the Office of Policy and Legislation, OHDS, Department of Health and Human Services (1986-1987).

In 1987, he joined the professional staff as Director of Health and Rehabilitation Affairs, National Association of Partners of the Americas, becoming Director of Rehabilitation Programs from 1990 to 1994.  In 1989, he and Dr. Michael Marge founded the American Association on Health and Disability and incorporated the organization as a non-profit dedicated to research, service and advocacy for better health and quality of life for all individuals with disabilities.

Fred became the Chief Operating Officer of the National Head Injury Foundation (later called the Brain Injury Association) in 1994 and served as its Acting President and Chief Executive Officer from 1999- 2000. In 2000, Fred created a nonprofit agency to provide funds and grants to professionals and volunteers to travel and conduct studies for the advancement of the field of developmental disabilities.  Even at his community level, Fred continued to make significant contributions to improve the health and quality of life for persons with intellectual disorders.  According to the President of the Adams County, PA, The Arc, Fred was an “answer to a prayer.”  For a number of years, The Arc had not been very active and children and adults with intellectual disorders in Adams County were not receiving a number of needed services.  But he volunteered to work closely with The Arc and reactivate it outreach programs and services to the community during a period of eight years. His awards and honors in recognition of his years of distinctive service and contributions are numerous. His lifetime of dedication to all people with disabilities at the national, state and local level is extraordinary and worthy of recognition by this Scholarship in his Honor!

Scholarship Program Criteria

The AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability is awarded annually to  deserving  students with a disability who are pursuing undergraduate/graduate studies (must be at least enrolled as a sophomore in college) in an accredited university and who are pursuing studies related to the health and disability, to include, but not limited to public health, health promotion, disability studies, disability research, rehabilitation engineering, audiology, disability policy, special education and majors that will impact quality of life of persons with disabilities.

  • Applicant must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and must have completed one full year of college or more. In other words, the applicant must have sophomore or greater status in a program at a college or university pursuing an undergraduate degree as of fall 2024; or enrolled part-time or full-time in a graduate school, pursuing a post graduate degree as of fall 2024.
  • Important: applicants who have not yet graduated from high school will not be considered. High school students entering college, for the first time, in the fall of 2024 are NOT eligible to apply. The only exception would be for high school students who have achieved sophomore status via high school AP course credits.
  • Applicant must have a disability as defined by the American with Disabilities Act and must provide documentation to verify this.
  • Preference will be given to students majoring in public health, disability studies, health promotion or a field related to disability and health.
  • Preference will be given to students with a history of community service and/or volunteer activities.
  • Applicant must be a US citizen or legal resident living in the United States and enrolled in an accredited United States university.
  • Those who serve on the Disability and Health Journal Editorial Board are not eligible for the AAHD Scholarship.

Funding Information and Application Requirements

Scholarships are generally for $1,000 but amounts are at the discretion of the AAHD Board of Directors Scholarship Committee and based on availability of funds. The Scholarship Committee will evaluate each of the applicants and will determine how many scholarships will be awarded each year and the amount of each scholarship. The final date for application submissions is March 1, 2024. Scholarships will be awarded by June 2024, at which time recipients will be notified by email and/or US mail.

Interested applicants must:

  • Provide a Personal Statement (maximum 2 pages, double spaced), including a brief personal history, educational/career goals, extra-curricular activities, and reasons why they should be selected by the AAHD Scholarship Committee. This statement must be written solely by the applicant.
  • Provide two (2) Letters of Recommendation (One must be from a faculty member or academic advisor). Letters of recommendation should be in PDF format and include the signature of the individual who wrote the letter. Both letters should be uploaded via google forms application or sent by email (scholarship@aahd.us) as an attachment. If emailed, the name of student should appear in the subject line of the email.
  • Provide an official or unofficial copy of their most recent college transcript, which should be mailed to AAHD (Attn: Scholarship Committee, American Association on Health and Disability, 110 N. Washington Street, Suite 407, Rockville, MD 20850) in a sealed envelope or uploaded on the application website.
  • Verify their disability status by providing documentation of their disability from a specialist (physician, educator, et. al).
  • Agree to allow AAHD to use his/her name, photo and/or story in future scholarship materials.


Application period opens October 1, 2023.

Only completed applications will be considered and must be  received no later than March 1, 2024.

Click here to access application.


The AAHD Scholarship Committee and AAHD Board of Directors are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022-2023 AAHD Scholarship Program.

On behalf of the board and staff of AAHD, we congratulate the winners and wish them the best of luck in their studies. The 2022-2023 Scholarship Recipients are:

  • Nicole Mallas, Nova Southeastern University
  • Robert Read, Gordon State College

There were numerous applicants for the scholarships this year, reflecting many fine candidates. AAHD would like to thank the applicants who submitted their applications to the AAHD Scholarship Program. We encourage those that were not selected to apply again and wish all of them the best of luck in their studies.

Please note: The language found on this webpage can be understood within the historical context. See our disclaimer on the use of historical terminology.