2017 Annual Ataxia Conference

2017 Annual Ataxia Conference

The National Ataxia Foundation (NAF) Board of Directors and the National Ataxia Foundation Southcentral Region invite you to join us for the NAF’s 60th Anniversary at the NAF 2017 Annual Ataxia Conference (AAC). The AAC is being held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, TX.

The 2017 AAC will bring together the Ataxia community to not only meet and learn from world-leading Ataxia researchers and clinicians, but also to build new friendships and reunite with old friends. Come and be part of the largest Ataxia gathering in the world to learn, share, network, have fun, and observe NAF’s 60th Anniversary!

Thank You Sponsors

Hotel Reservations

The Grand Hyatt San Antonio is the official conference hotel of the 2017 NAF Annual Ataxia Conference. The Grand Hyatt San Antonio is located 9 miles from the San Antonio International Airport (SAT) in the heart of downtown San Antonio at 600 E. Market St., San Antonio, TX 78205. For your stay and planning purposes at the Grand Hyatt, the following information is provided.

  • All ADA rooms must be reserved through the NAF office starting on November 2 at noon Central Time by contacting 763-553-0020 or lori@ataxia.org. ADA rooms cannot be reserved through the hotel. Availability of ADA room types are limited. If you need ADA equipment you are encouraged to bring those items with you or make arrangements to rent equipment locally.
  • The NAF is unable to provide ADA equipment however the Grand Hyatt may have a limited number of shower chairs, grab bars, or detachable shower heads available. Be sure and request these items when making your reservation if needed.
  • Starting on November 2 standard room reservations at the Grand Hyatt can be made online at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/2017AnnualConference. For guests who prefer to phone in their reservation call Hotel Reservations at 888-421-1442 and ask for the National Ataxia Foundation’s group rate which is under the group name, “2017 Annual Ataxia Conference.” Reservations at the group rate will be available until February 13, 2017. The NAF group rate starts at only $169+tax for Standard Rooms. The width of the bathroom door in the standard sleeping rooms is 33″.
  • Self-parking and valet parking are available. The Grand Hyatt San Antonio has extended a discounted parking rate of $10 per day for our conference attendees staying at the Grand Hyatt for self-parking and overnight attendees. The NAF does not have a group rate for valet parking which is $33 per day for overnight guests or day parking for those not staying at the Grand Hyatt which is up to 10 hours for $29. Overnight guests use their room key for unlimited discounted in and out access. There is a height restriction of 6’ 8’’ into the parking ramp. There are a few parking spots available at ground level for oversize parking.
  • Internet is complimentary in guest rooms for AAC attendees. A password to access the complimentary internet will be supplied to guests at check in by the hotel.
  • Hotel will offer a 15% discount in Bar Rojo and PERKS Coffee for AAC attendees that show their name badge.
  • Service Dog Areas are located on the Riverwalk level on the grassy areas outside of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Please pick up after your service animal.
  • Please visit the Grand Hyatt San Antonio website for more information http://grandsanantonio.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/.
  • The National Ataxia Foundation has an additional group block at the Hyatt Regency. The Hyatt Regency is a short distance from the Grand Hyatt. The National Ataxia Foundation group rate at the Hyatt Regency is $169 per night. To inquire about a room reservation at the Hyatt Regency please contact NAF at naf@ataxia.org.
  • The Grand Hyatt San Antonio is within walking distance to other hotels. If you are unable to get a guest room that you require at the Grand Hyatt or Hyatt Regency you may wish to contact a reservations manager at the other hotels that are nearby. Some nearby hotels include the Hilton Palacio del Rio, Marriott Riverwalk, Marriott Rivercenter, La Quinta Inn & Suites Convention Center, Best Western Sunset Suites Riverwalk, Fairfield Inn & Suites San Antonio Downtown/Alamo Plaza, Springhill Suites San Antonio Downtown/Alamo Plaza, Residence Inn Alamo Plaza, Comfort Suites Alamo/Riverwalk, Red Roof Inn Downtown, Emily Morgan Hotel, and Hampton Inn San Antonio Downtown.

Conference Registration

The conference registration is available online starting November 2 and in the Winter 2016-2017 issue of Generations. Please fill out the registration form completely, including your travel information, as we need all the information to finalize plans. When registration opens, you are encouraged to register before January 30, 2017 to receive the discounted early registration rate. General registration rates apply after January 30, 2017. Registrations after March 3 will only be accepted on-site at the conference. (Additional “on-site” registration fee will apply) If you are bringing an attendant, please register together on the same registration form. Each person who is planning on attending daily sessions, the reception, or banquet needs to register. Event entry will be allowed only with properly registered name badges. The conference registration fee includes attendance at all the sessions, light appetizers at the Friday evening Meet & Greet Reception and a plated meal at the Saturday evening Banquet.

Registration Fees

Before January 30th
NAF Member $125
Non-Member $180
January 30th to March 3rd
NAF Member $150
Non-Member $205
After March 3rd – On Site
NAF Member $200
Non-Member $255

No refunds of registration fees for cancellations received after February 24th. Registration at the door is not recommended.

Member Registration Discount

Being a member of the National Ataxia Foundation has its benefits – one benefit is paying a lower registration fee for the Annual Ataxia Conference. If you are not currently a member of the Foundation or if your membership renewal is coming soon visit www.ataxia.org to become a member or renew your membership online. If you are uncertain of your membership status, please inquire by contacting the office at (763) 553-0020 or joan@ataxia.org. This will prevent unnecessary extra fees or errors in your membership status when you register for the 2017 Annual Ataxia Conference. Thank you for taking the time to renew or become a member of the National Ataxia Foundation.

Volunteer Information

Volunteers donating their time contribute greatly to the success of each NAF AAC. We need volunteers for the 2017 AAC! To sign up as a volunteer at the 2017 AAC or to get more information about the volunteer opportunities please contact Dianne Williamson at (256) 520-4858 or diannedw@aol.com.

Conference Deductions by attendees

Rev. Rul. 2000–24, page 963 (In part)

Rev. Rul. 2000–24, page 963 (In part) Medical expenses

Amounts paid by an individual for expenses of admission and transportation to a medical conference relating to the chronic disease of the individual’s dependent are deductible as medical expenses under section 213 of the Code (subject to the limitations of that section), if the costs are primarily for and essential to the medical care of the dependent. The cost of meals and lodging while attending the conference are not deductible as medical expenses under Code section 213.

Travel Grant Program

Because of the generosity of several donors, the National Ataxia Foundation is able to offer Travel Grants to help with a portion of the travel costs associated with attending the conference. Adults or children with Ataxia are eligible to apply for a travel grant. Individuals interested in the program are required to submit a Travel Grant application. Applications will be accepted until Jan. 6. Travel Grant applicants will be notified of the status of their application after the application deadline and after all applications have been reviewed. Visit the NAF website www.ataxia.org to download the application. If you would like an application sent to you in the mail, contact Lori Shogren at 763-553-0020 or Lori@ataxia.org to request one.



By attending the 2016 NAF Annual Ataxia Conference you give your consent, unless you notify us otherwise, to use your image captured during the conference through video, photographs, or digital imagery, to be used by the National Ataxia  Foundation in promotional materials, publications, and web site and waive any and all rights to these images.


The recording of any audio/or videotaping of conference sessions, or at any venue of the NAF Annual Ataxia Conference is forbidden, without prior approval in writing by the NAF. PowerPoint presentations will be available on the NAF website after the completion of the Annual Ataxia Conference. Attendants at the Annual Ataxia Conference expect, and deserve, the right to privacy. The NAF does photograph and record at the AAC, and will make photographs and other media available for news, educational, and promotional purposes.


Soliciting funds for organizations other than the National Ataxia Foundation or for individual benefit is prohibited at NAF events. Any materials distributed seeking funds for other organizations or for individual benefit will be removed.


About San Antonio

San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States of America and the second-largest city within the state of Texas, with a population of 1.33 million. The city was named for San Antonio de Padua, whose feast day is on June 13, when a Spanish expedition stopped in the area in 1691. Famous for Spanish missions, the Alamo, the River Walk, the Tower of the Americas, the Alamo Bowl, Marriage Island and host to SeaWorld and Six Flags Fiesta Texas theme parks, the city is visited by approximately 26 million tourists per year according to the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. San Antonio River Walk Map Downtown and Metro Area Maps

Morgan’s Wonderland was built in the true spirit of inclusion to provide a place where all ages and abilities can come together and play in a fun and safe environment. Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park, encompasses 25 acres of rides, attractions and activities for everyone and all are welcome!

“People, pride, passion, and promise have long been the pillars of San Antonio and these are the reasons you don’t just visit our city. You are welcomed, enchanted, inspired, moved, and renewed – deeply” (San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau). To start planning you trip visit www.visitsanantonio.com. At participating establishments, present your “Official Ataxia Conference Name Badge” and receive discount offers www.VisitSanAntonio.com/SUYB.

VIA Metropolitan Transit – VIA’s streetcar service offers stops to or near most hotels, restaurants, the convention center and many visitors hot spots. For added convenience, VIA offers $2.75 Day Pass for purchase online and in advance of your trip. A Day Pass is good for unlimited rides on all regular bus and streetcar service for the one day indicated on the pass. The Day Pass will be activated the first time boarding the bus or streetcar. For more details, visit www.viainfo.net or call 1-866-362-2020. Accessible services provided by VIA can be found at http://www.viainfo.net/Service/AccessibleServiceMain.aspx.
Weather – The month of March is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs ranging from 72°F to 78°F over the course of the month.

The following information can be used as a guide as you plan your stay and transportation needs in San Antonio. The National Ataxia Foundation does not endorse products, services, or manufacturers. Those mentioned are included for your information only. The NAF assumes no liability for the use or contents of any product or service mentioned.

Transportation and Getting There

To help you with planning, NAF encourages you to access the links to important websites that will inform you of your rights and your responsibilities when traveling by air. Go to NAF’s website at www.ataxia.org and select the Links tab at the top of the home page. You will be directed to a list of links. Select the category Accessible Travel to find websites such as Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Passengers requiring any in-flight assistance should contact their airline before traveling. Airlines will generally work with passengers to try to meet their particular in-flight needs. Also, visit the TSA Cares website https://www.tsa.gov/travel/passenger-support for contact information to request screening assistance, scooter assistance, service animal assistance, and any other accessible services that you may need at the airports you utilize during your travels. For your safety and for the safety of other travelers please do not leave your baggage unattended at any airport you visit during your travels. Video: How To Navigate an Airport in a Wheelchair

San Antonio International Airport works hard to make the travel experience easy and safe for all of its passengers. The airport is fully accessible to individuals with physical challenges, those traveling with infants and small children, the elderly and others with special needs. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make your experience at SAT more comfortable. Note: Too much collateral packed in your checked luggage may flag your bag(s) and delay your flight. Please carry large amounts of collateral in your carry-on luggage. For more information and resources visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/SAT/AttheAirport/Accessibility.aspx.


San Antonio International Airport Ground Transportation

Super Shuttle –Super Shuttle is San Antonio International Airport’s authorized and single shared- ride shuttle service. Shuttles depart from 7 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily to downtown hotels every 15 minutes. Passengers may purchase tickets at the airport’s baggage claim area. Travelers who will need transportation in wheelchair accessible vehicles should make arrangements in advance. Tickets are $19 per person to downtown hotels or $34 for a round-trip ticket if booked online. Visit http://saairportshuttle.hudsonltd.net/res or call 210-281-9900 for additional information.

Taxis – From: SAT Airport: Taxi cabs are available at the lower level curbside, outside of baggage claim, at Terminal A & B.  For assistance, please contact the Airport Ground Transportation Agent wearing an airport badge.  Fares to the San Antonio downtown areas start at $29 (U.S.) per taxicab. For a list of taxi cab companies please visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/Aviation/taxicabs.asp.

Travelers who will need ground transportation in wheelchair accessible vehicles from the Airport should make arrangements in advance of their arrival. The following Taxi Cab companies offer ADA services.


Approved rideshare services (or ride-hailing or ride-booking service companies) meet customers curbside lower level Terminal B. The following rideshare service companies are approved for operations at SAT:

Public Buses and Street Car Service – VIA Metropolitan Transit is San Antonio’s public transportation agency offering service throughout the city including streetcar service within the downtown area. To get downtown from the airport, go to the Lower Roadway (Arrivals/Baggage Level in Terminal A and B), across the marked crosswalk to the outer curb. VIA’s stop will be halfway between Terminals A & B, clearly marked. You will catch VIA bus route 5, which operates every day, and can get to beautiful downtown San Antonio in about 30 minutes for only $1.30. Once in the downtown area, VIA’s streetcar service offers stops to or near most hotels, restaurants, the convention center and many visitors hot spots. For added convenience, VIA offers $2.75 Day Pass for purchase online and in advance of your trip. A Day Pass is good for unlimited rides on all regular bus and streetcar service for the one day indicated on the pass. The Day Pass will be activated the first time boarding the bus or streetcar.

For more details, visit www.viainfo.net or call 1-866-362-2020. Accessible services provided by VIA can be found at http://www.viainfo.net/Service/AccessibleServiceMain.aspx.

Paratransit Services – VIA Metropolitan Transit / VIATrans Accessible Services – Provides transportation for mobility-impaired persons who are unable to use regular VIA bus service as a result of their disability. Must meet eligibility criteria to be certified for the service. ** VIAtrans now also has a Taxi Subsidy Service for people with disabilities who cannot use the regular bus service. Information Line: 210-362-2020 / Reservation Line: 210-362-2140 http://bexar.tx.networkofcare.org/aging/services/agency.aspx?pid=VIAMetropolitanTransitVIATransAccessibleServices_687_1_0

Car Rentals – There are several companies to choose from when renting a car at San Antonio International Airport. Please contact the company of your choice for more information. Car rental counters are located in Terminal A. Passengers can use the courtesy phones provided in the baggage claim area of Terminal A to request shuttle transport to the car rental company of their choice after hours or can proceed to the shuttle pick up area located outside the baggage claim area. To find the rental company that best suits your needs please visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/SAT/GroundTransportation/RentalCar.aspx.

Accessible Van Services

Premier Accessible Van Rental

ALAMO Mobility, Inc.
1-888-442-5266 or (210) 697-8884

ams vans
1-866-459-6066 or (281) 220-6720

AA Vans

San Antonio Area Services & Resources
The following may be used as a helpful guide for your convenience.

Accessible Equipment
Primo Medical Supplies

Wheelchair & Scooter Rentals & Repair
The following may be used as a helpful guide for your convenience.

Tom’s Wheelchair Rental

Ability Scooters


Personal Care Attendants
Please note that NAF is unable to provide attendant care services. Due to liabilities and health concerns, NAF and hotel employees are not able to provide this service. Please do not attend without making arrangements for an attendant if you need one. The following may be used as a helpful guide for your convenience.

The Attendant Network

Pharmacy Options
The following may be used as a helpful guide for your convenience.

CVS Pharmacy


Print Friendly, PDF & Email