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Lives and Landscapes Across Many Wests


The Western History Association is taking more steps to improve accessibility services offered at the annual conference. This is work that needs to and will continue beyond the year 2023, especially with the establishment of the new WHA COMMITTEE ON ACCESSIBILITY. The items the WHA will be able to accomplish this year merely serve as a foundation upon which to build in the future. Please contact the individuals listed below if you are interested in accessibility advocacy. They are currently drafting the WHA's first Accessibility Statement, which the association hopes to approve in 2024. 

The WHA is grateful for the advocacy, dedication, and work of our members who bring these issues to the forefront of the WHA's short and long-term initiatives. Thank you for your patience as we make an institutional shift to become a more accessible--and therefore inclusive--organization.

Conference registrants may notify the WHA office at any time to discuss accessibility needs for the conference. You may also note these requests on the physical and/or online registration form. To ensure that our staff is able to meet everyone's needs in a timely manner, we ask that all requests reach our office by September 12 (pre-registration deadline). Email or call us at 785-864-0860. If you have any immediate needs or requests during the conference, please stop at the registration desk on the Second Floor and we will have staff onsite to assist you.

If you have any immediate needs or requests during the conference, please stop at the registration desk and we will have staff onsite to assist you.


"The Standing Committee on Accessibility aims to increase the presence and participation of disabled scholars as well as the presence of scholarship on disability within the WHA. It is our goal to make the WHA an inclusive and accessible environment for disabled scholars at every level and be an organization that embraces many different historical perspectives on the history of the American West. The committee supports all WHA organizations to achieve inclusion."

Alida Boorn, Independent Historian, Co-Chair

James Boorn, Independent Researcher and Accessibility Advocate, Co-Chair

Juliet Larkin-Gilmore, Penn State Abington, Co-Chair
Samantha Smith, Michigan State University
Ellie Kaplan, University of California, Davis
Miguel Juarez, University of Texas at El Paso

The Western History Association is committed to making our conference accessible for all members. Please continue to visit this page to review details about accessibility in Los Angeles, at the Westin Bonaventure, and during the WHA Conference.



Planning for the Conference


Programs will be available to download in PDF format. The program is word searchable and supports screen readers. Please visit the 2023 Conference Program page.


Large-Print programs (for the inset *Program of Sessions* only) will be available on a limited basis by request only. Please send your request to our office before September 12 and make plans to pick it up at the registration desk in L.A. (This is for requests for a printed inset of the program of sessions only, not the entire program).


A best practices guide will be provided to presenters in August.


Due to the nature of the tours, they each have their own level of accessibility. Please review this information in the program or at Contact the WHA if you have any questions before booking the tour. 


If you have any immediate needs or requests during the conference, please stop at the registration desk and we will have staff onsite to assist you.


Any personal assistants or interpreters needed for accessibility purposes will receive complimentary conference registration. Out of courtesy to the staff, please make these requests by September 12. The WHA will have a registration packet and name badge ready at the desk on the second floor of the hotel.

Planning Your Trip


Out-of-state visitors to the conference will fly into Los Angeles International Airport. You can find the accessibility guide for the airport HERE.


Planning on exploring the city during your trip? Los Angeles provides a resource guide for accessibility that you can visit HERE.


The L.A. Metro is accessible to all wheelchair riders. Please consult the Metro's Accessibility website for more information:


The WHA is closely monitoring the ongoing public health situation and recommends getting fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the conference. Complimentary masks will be available at the registration desk for those who wish to wear one. Marriott hotels nationwide upgraded their air purification systems in recent years and you can learn more about their standards at

The Westin Bonaventure


The ADA Elevator is located behind the hotel's check-in desk on the lobby level (first floor). This is the only elevator that goes to the second and fourth floors. The second floor is the location of the WHA's Registration Desk. Escalators and stair cases also reach the second and fourth floors. Please note that the main elevators do not go to the second/fourth floors.


The WHA has reserved a dedicated nursing room on the lobby level for conference attendees. It is located right outside of the lower lobby meeting rooms and the Westin refers to it as the Mother's Room.


All-Gender bathrooms will be located on the second floor outside the California Ballroom (close to the WHA Registration desk). There are two sets of bathrooms (one on each side of the ballroom).


All Marriott hotels have updated their air filtration system within the past three years. The WHA staff has requested more information regarding specifics on air filtration, and this page will be updated as that information is collected.


The Westin Bonaventure is a fully ADA compliant hotel. Please note that there is only one elevator that goes to the second floor due to the unique architecture of the hotel, found behind the desk in the lobby.


Service animals are welcome at the Westin Bonaventure and the pet relief area is off the fourth floor, accessible via ADA elevator, staircase, or escalator.


Please inform the hotel that you require an accessible hotel room when you book your room; the Bonaventure staff will be happy to help!

Western History Association

University of Kansas | History Department

1445 Jayhawk Blvd. | 3650 Wescoe Hall

Lawrence, KS 66045 | 785-864-0860 

The WHA is located in the Department of History at the University of Kansas. The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!