When/where is this year’s Conference?
The Conference is being held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown June 28 - July 1, 2012. Conference sessions will be held in the hotel. Read more »
When should I plan to arrive?
The Conference kicks off with an Opening Reception in the evening of Thursday, June 28. If you are attending any of the pre-Conference programs such as Adult Day, these will be held during the day on Thursday, June 28 so you may want to arrive on Wednesday, June 27.
Conference programming concludes around 5 pm on Sunday, July 1. There are some additional events, such as the Town Hall, which are held that night.
Do I need to stay in the Conference hotel?
It is strongly recommended that you stay in the Conference hotel. Your sense of community and really being a part of the Conference is heightened tremendously by being at the center of the action. SBA works to secure competitive rates with the host hotel to provide this opportunity to you. These reduced rates are in part contingent on attendees filling a certain number of rooms. If our Conference is unable to fill our agreed upon number of rooms, it can make placing our Conference in future locations very difficult and compromise SBA’s ability to have a cost effective event.
Will there be Adult Night? What will we being doing?
This year’s Conference will host an Adult Night for those 18 years or older. Please check back for details.
When will I know what sessions are being held at the Conference?
Due to the very busy schedules of our outstanding conference faculty, the final schedule for the Conference is often not available until just prior to the event. In the meantime, we recommend you review the previous Conference’s 2011 Schedule at a Glance. Many of our sessions will be back by popular demand and this can give you a good idea of the type of material covered.
Why is the Conference so expensive?
SBA’s Board requires that the conference breaks even and is never held at a loss which could hurt other programs and services of the organization.
Each year our Conference is attended by about 1,000 people varying from adults and children with Spina Bifida and their families to leading clinicians and health care professionals. It is always our goal to offer an informative and effective conference that is as cost manageable for our community as possible.
In order to put on a successful conference of this size, it costs on average $450,000 each year plus numerous in-kind donations such as materials donated by partner companies, the time of volunteers and faculty and even our own staff time. Paid registration only covers about half that amount. Thus, SBA spends the year leading up to Conference raising the difference from donations by individuals and companies.
I have an adult child who has Spina Bifida. What programs are offered for them?
The main Conference has six tracts of programming including an entire tract dedicated towards topics for our adult community. In addition to this, Adult Day is held as part of our pre-Conference programming during the day on Thursday, June 28.
Adult day offers sessions that focus on the issues that concern adults with Spina Bifida - from health challenges associated with aging to employment, relationships, advocacy and more. It is open to adults with Spina Bifida ONLY and is free with a paid registration for the full Conference. It can also be purchased as a one-day only registration.
I have never attended the Conference before and I’m nervous about leaving my child at Kids!Camp.
Kids!Camp offers programming for kids with Spina Bifida and their siblings. All of the participants in the program learn valuable skills while having fun. Kids are placed in the program by age group and counselors lead age appropriate activities. Nurses are available to help with cathing throughout the day and parents may stop in anytime to check on children. A parent orientation meeting is held prior to the start of the conference so parents can ask questions and become comfortable with the program.
Kids!Camp teaches self-reliance, confidence, socialization skills, and independence. It helps attendees to feel empowered as individuals and become valuable team players while engaging in activities such as swimming, rock climbing (walls), and more.
The feedback from previous attendees is always positive and repeat attendance remains at consistent high. All year long children with Spina Bifida from all over the country, and the world, look forward to that one week when they won't be "the kid with Spina Bifida...the kid in the wheelchair...the kid who's different." They know at Kids!Camp they will just be a kid.
There will be a parent orientation for Kids!Camp being held on Thursday, June 28 from 4:30pm – 5:30pm.
What if I need assistance while at the conference?
For on-site questions or assistance, please visit the Registration table. Registration hours and location can be found in your Conference program.
What is the weather like?
The average high and low temperatures for Indianapolis in late June are 81 and 61 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotel meeting rooms are invariably chilly. Attendees are advised to wear a sweater or jacket to sessions and events held indoors.