Laurel Van Horn

Research Director
Open Doors Organization (ODO)


Laurel Van Horn has specialized in accessible travel and hospitality since 1987, working as a writer, educator and access consultant. For the past five years she has been the editor and research director for Open Doors Organization (ODO), the Chicago-based non-profit best known for its nationwide studies of the disability travel market. Laurel's most recent projects include an access guide for Springfield, IL, and a CRO (Complaints Resolution Official) training program and manual for foreign airlines serving the US market. ODO's Easy Access guides are available in print and online (, Learn more about ODO at Formerly the executive director of SATH (Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality), Laurel also was editor of their magazine, Open World for Disability and Mature Travel. She has since written for numerous disability magazines, websites and scholarly journals, reporting on developments in inclusive travel worldwide. Laurel has herself conducted access projects and awareness training in many countries including Thailand, India, Egypt, Dubai, South Africa, Peru, Chile and Panama. She has also served on a variety of transportation-related advisory boards-Greyhound Lines, Northwest Airlines, Project Action and the US Access Board's Passenger Vessel Access Advisory Committee. A long-term resident of New York City, Laurel has an M.A. in Economics from the New School for Social Research and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College in Sociology.