To view speaker presentations from this conference please click here.


Please join the Spina Bifida Association (SBA) for the 41st National Conference to be held in Bloomington, Minnesota. Children and adults with Spina Bifida, their families, physicians, nurses, and other clinicians will have the unique opportunity to gain information on the latest medical care and network on various topics which affect their lives and professions.

  • Learn up-to-the-minute information about urology, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery treatment, adult specific care, and much more!
  • Attend practical workshops and special programs that address your own interest areas.
  • Network with various groups – from others living with Spina Bifida to health professionals and product manufacturers.
  • Find out how researchers are paving the way for more knowledge about Spina Bifida.
  • Hear from leading Spina Bifida partners about the important role advocacy plays in our Community’s success.

Register today and find out why the SBA National Conference has earned its place as the world’s premier educational event for the Spina Bifida Community.

Adult Day – Saturday, June 25

Focus on the issues that concern adults with Spina Bifida – from health challenges associated with aging to employment, relationships, advocacy, and more.

Health Care Professionals Day – Saturday, June 25

Health Care Professionals Day is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to network, share resources, and earn continuing education contact hours.

Opening Night Reception – Saturday, June 25

Meet other attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors at this very popular kick-off event. Entertainment, food, and beverages add to the festivities.

Kids!Camp – Sunday, June 26 – Tuesday, June 28

Instilling self-reliance, inspiring confidence, building socialization skills, promoting a sense of belonging, and encouraging independence, this life-changing experience is a “can’t miss.” This is a great experience for children newborn to 18 years of age.

Plenary Session – Sunday, June 26

Opening session – topic to be announced soon.

Educational Sessions – Sunday, June 26 – Tuesday, June 28

Multiple educational tracks to choose from with content that is different for our various audience types.

Adult Night – Sunday, June 26

A night of fun and fellowship for Adults with SB and their spouses/partners.

Celebration Luncheon – Tuesday, June 28

Come celebrate with this year’s keynote speaker (TBA) and the best of the best as the SBA Awards are presented at this closing luncheon. (Additional charge of $50 applies).

Welcome! We are thrilled that you are considering attending your first Spina Bifida Association (SBA) National Conference. Below is a general outline of how the Conference works as well as frequently asked questions we receive.

If you are interested in information about Kids!Camp for your children, click here.

Conference Basics

The Conference unofficially starts Saturday morning with Adult Day and Healthcare Professionals Day. The official kick-off is Saturday night with an Opening Reception in our Exhibit Hall. The Opening Reception provides you with a time to meet other attendees, speak with vendors and visit service providers who specialize in Spina Bifida, and enjoy great food and entertainment.

Conference sessions begin on Sunday morning with the Opening Plenary session. This session is most frequently set up as a panel presentation and offers a question and answer period. Following the Opening Plenary is a luncheon in the Exhibit Hall which is open to all paid Conference attendees. During the afternoon, sessions that feature informal roundtable discussions are offered. Each discussion is specific to a particular audience, and they are great ways to connect with other people who experience similar challenges. You can make wonderful, often lifetime, connections with new friends!

Sunday afternoon through the close of the Conference on Tuesday offers a series of breakout sessions on a range of topics from which attendees can choose.

Tuesday features a special Celebration Luncheon. This event is offered at an additional cost of $50 and includes a plated lunch in which awards are given to SBA Chapters and volunteers. Also, a special keynote speaker will give a motivational presentation. If you are interested in attending the Celebration Luncheon, you can purchase tickets as part of your registration process or at the registration desk during the Conference.


I’m worried I won’t know anyone during the Conference. What can I do to meet people?
The SBA National Conference offers many opportunities – both educational and social – for you to engage with your peers. From orientation meetings to specific group events (such as Adult Day, Adult Night or Parent discussions), the opportunities to meet and make new acquaintances are endless.

What meals are provided with my registration?
During the Conference, breakfast is provided each day in the Exhibit Hall for paid children and adults. Lunch is provided on both Sunday and Monday as part of your registration fee. Lunch will be served in Kids!Camp and lunch for adults will be served in the Exhibit Hall.

What is Adult Day? Is there an extra cost to attend?
Adult Day is a pre-conference session offered to adults with Spina Bifida focused on issues important to them. It is held on Saturday prior to the Conference – breakfast and lunch provided.

The cost is included with a complete registration to the entire Conference; we do ask that you indicate at the time of registration if you will attend Adult Day. You also have the option to attend Adult Day only by paying for the one-day Conference registration.

Do I need to book a hotel room or is that taken care of when I register for the Conference?
You will need to book your hotel accommodations directly with the DoubleTree by Hilton-Bloomington. For more information visit the Travel tab at the top of the page.

Is there any type of financial assistance provided to help me attend the Conference?
Many Chapters offer partial scholarships to those who want to attend the Conference but may not be able to cover all of the expenses on their own. Please contact your local Chapter to see what scholarships are available.

Have other questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we will be happy to help.
You can call 800-621-3141 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. JavaScript must be enabled to view it.

Adults with SB

Adults with Spina Bifida can gain vital information about making the most of their life and health.

Parents of Children with SB

Parents of children with Spina Bifida can learn innovative ways to help their children grow into independent and active adults. Additionally, parents can register the entire family to attend the Conference.

Children with SB

Children with Spina Bifida can experience the fun of Kids!Camp. Discover how much they can accomplish with other kids while having the time of their lives.

Medical Professionals

Medical professionals can sharpen clinical skills and gain insight into cutting edge therapies.

Corporate Partners

Corporate partners of SBA can show their support and showcase new products or services by signing up to sponsor and/or exhibit.

Location: Bloomington, Minnesota

Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South
7800 Normandale Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55439  (952)-835-7800

When and where is the 2016 National Conference

The National Conference is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South.  All conference sessions will be held in the hotel.

DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South
7800 Normandale Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55439
Tel: (952) 835-7800

When should I plan to arrive?

The Conference kicks off with an Opening Reception the evening of Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 6:30pm. If you are attending any of the pre-conference programs such as Adult Day or Health Care Professionals Day, these will be held during the day on Saturday, June 25, 2016 starting at 8:00am so you will want to arrive on Friday, June 24, 2016. Conference programming concludes at Noon on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

Do I need to stay in the Conference hotel?

It is strongly recommended that you stay in the Conference hotel. You will experience a heightened sense of community being in the center of the action. Transportation time dramatically drops when you stay at the conference hotel. SBA works each year 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 National Conference is unable to fill our agreed upon number of rooms, it can jeopardize SBA’s ability to secure discounted rates and have a cost effective event in the future.

Does the Conference hotel have ADA Accessible rooms?

All ADA accessible rooms are reserved for the Spina Bifida Association however there are a limited number of ADA guestrooms and they are available on a first come first served basis. The standard hotel guest room’s bathroom is spacious and the doorframe is 29.5″ wide. If you require additional room the hotel is able to remove the bathroom door upon request.

If you are unable to reserve a room with a roll-in shower and require one, the Spina Bifida Association has a room available for all attendees’ use from Saturday, June 25 to Tuesday, June 28. This room can be reserved by the hour and will be managed by the hotel’s front desk during the conference.

Will there be Adult Night? What will we be doing?

Yes, an Adult Night will take place on Sunday night.  Stay tuned for more information on what this night entails.

When will I know what sessions are being held at the Conference?

We are choosing the sessions now and hope to post a schedule-at-a-glance in April. In the meantime, we recommend you review the previous Conference-at-a-Glance.

2014 Conference-at-a-Glance

How is the Conference registration price determined and what does it include?

SBA’s National Conference is provided as a service to the Spina Bifida community. It is not a fundraising event for the organization. To put on a successful multi-day National Conference, it typically costs SBA an average of $450,000. SBA spends the year leading up to the Conference raising as much money as possible from individuals, corporate sponsors, and exhibitors, but those funds only cover a portion of the event costs. Paid registrations also only cover a portion.

Each year, SBA looks at the rising costs of putting on a Conference of our size and the associated expenses and benefits for attendees and comes up with a per person registration fee. The  registration fee includes unlimited access to Conference sessions, the Exhibit Hall, and some special events as well as most meals, snacks, beverages, and a bag of conference materials. Affordable registration is always a priority for the organization as is conference sustainability.

I have an adult child who has Spina Bifida. What programs are offered for adults with Spina Bifida?

The main Conference has multiple tracks of programming including an entire track focused on topics for our adult community. In addition, Adult Day will be held as part of our pre-conference programming during the day on Saturday, June 25th.

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. These sessions are open to adults with Spina Bifida ONLY and are free with a paid registration for the full Conference. One-day only registration is also available.

I have never attended the National 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 at any time to check on their children. A parent orientation meeting is held prior to the start of the Conference so parents can ask questions, become comfortable with the program, and meet the directors.

The feedback from previous attendees is always positive and repeat attendance remains at a 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 meeting for parents of all Kids!Camp attendees on Saturday, June 25, 2016, from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm in Atrium 4, located on the 2nd level of the hotel.

For more information look at the Kids!Camp tab.

All children registered for Kids!Camp, under the age of 18 years old, must be attending the Conference with a registered adult.

What if I have questions while at the Conference?

For on-site questions or assistance, please visit the Registration table on the second floor in the Grand Ballroom foyer.

Friday, June 24: 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Saturday, June 25: 7:00 am – 11:00 am; 3:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Sunday, June 26: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, June 27: 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, June 28: 7:30 am – 10:30 am

What is the weather like in Minnesota during this time of year?

The average high and low temperatures for Minneapolis, MN in late June are 82 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit with a very low chance of rain. Hotel meeting rooms are customarily chilly. Attendees are advised to bring a sweater or jacket to sessions and events held indoors.