Schedule at a Glance

Friday, May 5, 2017
Welcome Reception
Light appetizers and cash bar
7:30 pm

Saturday, May 6, 2017
Begins at 8:15 am

9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Lunch and breaks included 

Optional Dinner
5:30 pm 


Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport
10 Century Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37214

Driving Directions 


National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association



The National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association invites you to attend the 2017 NSDA Symposium on Saturday, May 6th, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton at the Nashville Airport. 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?

  • 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;
  • Updates on the latest developments, including research, on spasmodic dysphonia from experts in the fields of laryngology and speech and language pathology;
  • Your questions answered during panel discussions with the medical presenters;
  • Hearing keynote speaker, Kevin Hancock, talk about his experience with spasmodic dysphonia.

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.

And since we will be in Music City, we will hear from one of NSDA's own! Greater Memphis Support Group Leader Wendy Garrison has been playing slide guitar since making Mississippi her home in 1987. She is a member of the 4-piece Oxford band “Maybelle’s Lovers” playing their original ghostly country, and new takes on cover songs. Wendy has had abductor spasmodic dysphonia since 2005. Wendy will play for us on Friday evening and during the breaks on Saturday.



The Symposium will take place on Saturday, May 6th. Confirmed speakers include (in alphabetical order): 

  • Christie Bates, LPC
  • Gerald Berke, M.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA
  • David Francis, M.D., Vanderbilt Voice Center, Nashville, TN
  • Gaelyn Garrett, M.D., Vanderbilt Voice Center, Nashville, TN
  • Melissa Kirby, MS, CCC-SLP, St. Thomas Health System
  • Teresa Kimberley, PT, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Keynote Speaker: Kevin Hancock
As president of Hancock Lumber Company, Kevin Hancock leads a sixth-generation family business that has operated since 1848. Kevin will share about his journey with spasmodic dysphonia along with how a visit to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota helped him to find his own true voice.

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

Hotel Information
The meeting will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport located at 10 Century Boulevard in Nashville, TN. A hot breakfast and wifi is included in the special rate of $179 plus tax. To make reservations, please click here or use the Group Code NSD on the Hilton app. The rate is available until April 8, or until the group block is sold-out, 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 Embassy Suite Nashville Airport Hotel is located 5 minutes from Nashville International Airport and 10 minutes from the entertainment and business district of downtown Nashville. It is a perfect base to access top Nashville attractions such as the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame. A shuttle from the hotel to downtown is available for a nominal fee. 

The closest airport is the Nashville International Airport (BNA). The hotel is about 2 miles from the airport. A free airport shuttle is available from the Embassy Suites. Once you have collected your luggage, call the hotel at 615-871-0033, press 3, and you will be instructed where to meet the shuttle. A taxi is about $15 each way. Rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, are also available at the airport. Look for "rideshare’ signs for the specific pick-up areas. Self-parking at the hotel is free for both hotel guests and attendees of the conference. 

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.

Optional Walking Tour of Nashville on Sunday Morning
Join us for a private guided 90-minute walking tour of downtown Nashville on Sunday, May 7, 2017. We will meet in the lobby of the Embassy Suites at 9:30 a.m. and then depart together to the meeting spot for the tour. Depending on the number of people, we will either take a shuttle or cabs. The walking tour will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude around 11:30 a.m.

The guide will personally take you back into Nashville's past and walk you to many historic locations. The tour begins in front of the Nashville Visitor Center located on Nashville's Lower Broadway. From there, you will travel about a mile & a half around downtown Music City taking in the sights and stories that made the city what you see today. We can guarantee you will experience the echoes of Nashville through old buildings, historic photographs, and great stories. 

Tour Highlights:

  • Walk the historic honky tonks along Broadway and see the history of this world famous street before the music began
  • Visit Riverfront Park and learn about the early settlers of Nashville
  • Uncover how the story of the Civil Rights Movement unfolded at some iconic places in the city
  • See three National Historic Landmarks including the Tennessee State Capital, Downtown Presbyterian Church, and Ryman Auditorium
  • Learn how Nashville became Music City

The cost of the walking tour is $30 per person which include transportation with the group from the Embassy Suites Hotel and the walking tour. You are welcome to stay and explore downtown Nashville after the walking tour but return transportation to the hotel would be on your own. 

We hope you join us for the exciting meeting in Music City!