Schedule at a Glance

Friday, May 15, 2015
Welcome Party
7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 16, 2015
Begins at 8:00 a.m.'

Ambassador Program Check-In
(optional program)
8:15 a.m.

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Dinner (optional)
6:30 pm

Sunday, May 17, 2015
San Francisco City Tour (optional):
10:30 am - 3:00 pm

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Embassy Suites Airport - South San Francisco
250 Gateway Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080

Driving Directions 


National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association


Join us for the 2015 NSDA Symposium

The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association invites you to attend the 2015 Symposium on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in South San Francisco, CA. Join us for fellowship, education, and fun. The event will host some of the leading experts in the field of spasmodic dysphonia while providing the opportunity to meet others who share a similar experience.

What can you expect if you attend this meeting?

  • Updates on the latest developments on spasmodic dysphonia from experts in the fields of laryngology, neurology, and speech and language pathology;

  • Your questions answered during panel discussions with the medical presenters;
  • Hearing keynote speaker, Dilbert creator Scott Adams, a member of the NSDA Honorary Board of Directors, talk about his experience with spasmodic dysphonia;
  • Meeting others and sharing YOUR story about living with spasmodic dysphonia at the Welcome Party on Friday evening prior to the symposium, and, if a first-time attendee, sign up for the SD Ambassador Program.

Keynote Speaker: Dilbert creator Scott Adams

Dilbert creator Scott Adams (pictured left) will deliver the keynote address at th e NSDA symposium. Having struggled with spasmodic dysphonia since 2005, the popular cartoonist is now helping to spread the word about SD and to support  others who are living with the challenge of this neurological voice disorder. Scott speaks to the importance of resilience in his book How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life. While addressing how to embrace and learn from failure in order to achieve success, Scott discusses his struggle with spasmodic dysphonia as a central theme in  a lifetime of experience in overcoming adversity.  

Welcome Party and Symposium
On Friday evening, there will be a Welcome Party at 7:30 p.m. for all attendees. It is a wonderful opportunity to socialize and meet many new friends and share your story. This event will be hosted by the members of the three local Northern California Support Group Members.

The Symposium will take place on Saturday, May 16. Speakers include (in alphabetical order):

- Gerald Berke, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles
- Joanna Cazden, MFA, MS-CCC, Burbank, CA
- Dinesh K. Chhetri, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles
- Mark S. Courey, M.D., University of California, San Francisco
- Edward J. Damrose, M.D., Stanford University Medical Center
- Herbert H. Dedo, M.D., Professor Emeritus at University of California,
- Elizabeth DiRenzo, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Stanford University Medical Center
- John Houde, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
- Jan Potter Reed, MS, CCC-SLP, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Sarah L. Schneider, MS, CCC-SLP, University of California, San Francisco
- Carlie Tanner, M.D., Ph.D., Parkinson's Disease Institute, Sunnyvale, CA
- Kenneth Tom, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, California State University Fullerton

After a day of learning, relax with us on Saturday evening for an optional dinner after the symposium.

Optional Tour of San Francisco
On Sunday, May 17, enjoy the sights of the beautiful city of San Francisco with an optional day tour from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The tour will make visits to Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, Lombard Street (the Crookedest Street in the World) and Telegraph Hill; and from afar, Fisherman's Wharf, the Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, and other sights. The tour includes a box lunch. Please note: The Bay to Breakers, a 7-mile run across the city east to west, takes place on the Sunday morning, so the tour bus will be somewhat constrained in getting to certain parts of the city. The race is a sight to behold, but tour will be planned around trying to avoid some of the delays.

Hotel and Transportation
The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport - South San Francisco located at 250 Gateway Boulevard in South San Francisco. Please note there are two Embassy Suites near the airport and the meeting is at the South San Francisco Embassy suites, not the Waterfront Embassy Suites.

A limited number of rooms are available at a  special room rate of $169 plus tax is available by clicking here. Please note this rate is sold out for Saturday, May 16. There is a rate of $218 for this night. To make reservations that include, Saturday, May 16, please contact Samantha at the Embassy Suites at 650-246-3164. We apologize for an inconvenience. This rate is available until the room block is sold or April 26, whichever comes first. Enjoy spacious, contemporary accommodations in this all-suite hotel, where a separate living area and bedroom are standard and this rate includes complimentary Wi-Fi. Start the day with a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast, and end with complimentary drinks and snacks at the Evening Reception.

The hotel is located three miles from San Francisco Airport (SFO) and offers a
complimentary shuttle to/from that airport. The shuttle runs every 20-25 minutes and can be picked up on the Departure Level of the airport at the Courtesty Bus Stand. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) riders can take the train to the airport and pick up the shuttle to the hotel.

There is a special event rate of $5 for parking for the day of the Symposium.

For more information on things to do and see in San Francisco, click here for the San Francisco Tourism Page.

Casual attire is appropriate for the symposium. Since the hotel is
air-conditioned, bringing a sweater or jacket is advisable. We cannot control
the temperature in the meeting rooms.

NSDA Ambassador Program
NSDA Symposiums provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with
others living with spasmodic dysphonia. For first-time attendees, we host an
NSDA Ambassador Program. We will try to match people of similar experience with another experienced attendee to help answer questions and be a “point-person” at the symposium. If you have been to a NSDA Symposium or similar type meeting, we encourage you to sign up to be an Ambassador on the registration form. A follow-up survey will be sent to you after you register with additional details.

We hope you join us for the exciting meeting in the "City by the Bay!"