What should I consider when I plan my trip?
Whether you are a first-timer or a veteran attendee, this travel information will help you plan your trip to Phoenix. Getting to the Convention can be costly so be sure to check out the travel discounts especially for NDSC attendees. The Convention-at-a-Glance is a great resource to review before making plans. It will guide you in selecting your arrival and departure dates so you can take advantage of everything the convention has to offer. Read on for more details on what’s in store for your family in Phoenix this June.
See the Convention at a Glance for a detailed breakdown of the schedule.
- Hotel Information
Convention Hotel & Headquarters
JW Marriott Desert Ridge
5350 E. Marriott Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85054
The NDSC Room Block at the JW Marriott is currently full. Click here to make a reservation on the WAIT LIST. Please read the following policies below including the NDSC cancellation policy before reserving your room at the JW Marriott.
- The NDSC Convention rate is $145 per night; with taxes the total amount per night comes to $167. This is more than a 50% discount from their regular rate, and the JW has agreed to waive the resort fee for our families! Please note: The resort fee automatically shows up on the Marriott confirmation; however, it has not been charged. It will only show that it is included with the charges.
- One night deposit is required at the time of booking.
- Only one room can be booked at a time online.
- The NDSC convention rate is only available to those who register to attend the convention.
This includes speakers, registered exhibitors and registered volunteers. All rooms will be cross-checked with the NDSC registration list. If a registration does not exist, your sleeping room rate will increase to the JW published rate for those dates. This policy will be strictly enforced due to the high demand for the hotel.
NDSC Cancellation Policy – The last day that you can cancel your room reservation is June 10. Rooms cancelled after June 10 will lose their one night deposit of $167. No exceptions.
Residence Inn Desert View
5665 East Mayo Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85054
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phoenix North-Scottsdale
4575 East Irma Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85050
Springhill Suites By Marriott
17020 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
- Dining Options
With more than 3,500 people attending the convention, hotel outlets get overcrowded at peak meal times. Attendees can register for the meal plan and avoid long lines and high prices at the hotel outlets. The meal plan includes four meals throughout the weekend – dinner Friday evening, breakfast and lunch Saturday, and breakfast Sunday. Menus have been pre-selected (gluten-free is available). Meals cannot be ordered separately and will not be available to purchase on-site. Check out the menus below and other important details about the meal plan. If you are interested, please order during convention registration.
The JW Marriott does have refrigerators in each guest room and 5 restaurants on-site, plus a few smaller grab-and-go outlets. The Desert Ridge Marketplace is across the street from the hotel and offers several food outlets that will fit into every budget (see “Dining Around Options” below). A shuttle is provided to the marketplace, but there will be high demand so plan accordingly.Meal Plan Facts and Menu Dining Around Options
- Travel Information and Discounts
Parking at the Convention
Self-park at the JW Marriott Hotel is complimentary for NDSC attendees and volunteers in the Convention Center lot. Valet parking is available for $27.Parking Map
Shuttle Fare – $23 per person each way between Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and the JW Marriott. You must reserve your seat in advance at www.shuttlefare.com
Avis Car Rental Discount
- Avis Worldwide Discount or AWD number is J944711.
- The AWD will be effective from seven days prior to the event until seven days after the event.
- Call Avis at 1 (800) 331-1600
Delta Airline Discount
The ticket designator for the domestic passengers is NMLEJ.
The ticket designator for the International Inbound passengers is NMLEK.
- Fill in ticket designator to purchase your tickets and your negotiated discount may be applied.
- Reservations and ticketing are available via www.delta.com or by calling our Delta Meeting Network Reservations at 800-328-1111. Please note that a Direct Ticketing Charge will apply for booking by phone.
- When booking online, select Book A Trip, click on Advanced Search and enter the meeting code in the box provided on the Search Flights page.
- Things to do
Wednesday – Circus Extreme
Ringling Brothers & Barnum Bailey Circles is in town Wednesday, June 24 at 7:00pm.
Discounted pricing for NDSC members. Deadline to purchase tickets is June 18th.
Thursday – Happy Hour at the Blue Martini
Join us for a Happy Hour on Thursday, June 25th from 4:30 – 7:30pm at the Blue Martini.
All Proceeds go to the NDSC
Blue Martini Flier
- About Phoenix
According to legend, Phoenix gets its name from Cambridge-educated pioneer Darrell Duppa, who saw the ruins and prehistoric canals of the Hohokam and believed another civilization would rise from the ashes. Rising to an elevation of 1,117 feet, greater Phoenix is located in the Sonoran Desert, which is one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America, thanks to 3-15 inches of annual rainfall. Phoenix has museums to suit nearly every taste. The Heard Museum (Native American); Desert Botanical Garden (the world’s largest collection of desert plants); Taliesin West (home of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation); the Phoenix Art Museum (the Southwest’s largest art museum); the Arizona Science Center; the Hall of Flame (featuring the world’s largest collection of fire-fighting equipment); Pueblo Grande Museum and Cultural Park (Native American) and the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) are among the cultural hot spots. Arizona is home to 22 American Indian tribes. The Heard Museum has an extensive collection of American Indian artifacts, including the largest kachina doll collection of any museum in the country. Greater Phoenix is home to more than 200 golf courses and is one of only 13 U.S. cities with franchises in all four major professional sports leagues: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Arizona Cardinals (NFL) and Arizona Coyotes (NHL). America’s sixth-largest city still has real cowboys and rugged mountains and the kind of cactus most people see only in cartoons. Phoenix is the gateway to the Grand Canyon, and its history is a testament to the spirit of puebloans, ranchers, miners and visionaries. This is Greater Phoenix — Arizona’s urban heart and America’s sunniest metropolis.
Find out more about what is hot in Phoenix.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is childcare provided during the convention?Due to insurance provisions, the NDSC does not provide childcare during the convention.
- What should I do with my kids while I attend the convention?Children 6 months to 11 years (14 years for individuals with DS) are eligible to register for the Kids’ Camp. There are 5 separate camp sessions offered during the convention. The cost for each session is $30 per child. There is a 10% discount for families registering multiple children.
- Are children allowed in the workshops?While it is not ideal or recommended, children are permitted into workshops. Parents who attend with their small children are asked to be respectful of the audience by keeping noise and distractions to a minimum. Also in workshops where space is limited, children must sit on their parents lap or on the floor to allow registered attendees a seat.
- Can relatives coming to help with child care attend the convention?Yes, if they register to attend the convention.
- Is there something planned for my self-advocate while I attend a pre-conference?The Youth and Adults Conference does not begin until late afternoon; however, the Friendship Club Open House is held from 9-12 and 1-2:30 on Friday. This is an opportunity for individuals with DS ages 15 and up to stop by and meet new friends. This is not a volunteer-supported event so individuals with high support needs must be accompanied by an adult.
- Can I bring my baby to the banquet?Yes. If your baby will require a highchair, seat or space at the table then you must purchase a child ticket.
- What is the dress code for the banquet?Actually, there’s not one. Some attendees will come in suits and dresses, while others prefer something a bit more casual, such as slacks for men and sun dresses for women.
- Can I bring my whole family to the dance on Friday night?All registered attendees are invited to the dance and opening reception.
- Why can't my very mature 14-year-old attend the Y&A conference?The minimum age to participate in the Y& A Conference is 15. From past experience, we have found this to be the cut off that allows the most attendees to benefit from our program.
- Why can't we register our self-advocate for the Y&A conference onsite?Registration is not accepted onsite for the Youth & Adults Conference due to the extensive planning required to support the needs of each individual attendee.
- Can I register for the Brothers and Sisters conference at the convention?No, due to space, logistics and the off-site trip all attendees must register prior to the deadline.
- Can you make an exception for my 3rd grader to attend the B&S Conference?No, the minimum grade level to attend the B & S Conference is students entering the 4th grade. From past experience, we have found this to be the cut off that allows the most attendees to benefit from our program.
- Why are the Friday pre-conference sessions not included in the general registration?There are additional costs to bring in the high level speakers for a 4.5 hour session. Those additional costs are not absorbed by the general registration fee; therefore, an additional charge is applied to only the individuals interested in participating.
- How can I get copies of the information presented in the pre-conference sessions?Only those registered for the pre-conference session are eligible to receive the handouts.
- Can I attend more than one pre-conference?No, all pre-conferences take place at the same time; therefore, you can only register for one session.
- I want to attend 2 pre-conferences. How do I decide?A description of the pre-conference sessions, as well as the biography for each presenter, is available on the NDSC website to help you decide which pre-conference is the best for you.
- Can I switch pre-conferences after I have registered?Yes, you can switch to another pre-conference session as long as it is prior to the registration deadline and there is space available. Changes are not permitted after the registration deadline or onsite.
- Are the pre-conference sessions included in the conference recordings? No. Why not? Pre-conferences require separate registration; therefore, all materials and recordings are the sole benefit of attending.
- What time should I arrive on Friday if I am not attending a pre-conference?We recommend arriving before or around noon so you will be able to register, explore the exhibit floor, take in a Sharing Session and eat dinner prior to the Opening General Session.
- Can I buy a banquet ticket during the convention?No. Tickets must be purchased before the registration deadline to accommodate the banquet management deadline.
- When will I get access to the conference recordings?Conference recordings will be available to view approximately two weeks after the convention. You will access the recordings from your user account on the convention registration system. The recordings will be active until July 2017.
- Can speakers see or evaluate my child?Families interested in professional evaluations and therapeutic services should make arrangements directly with the professional prior to or after the conference.
- How can I get CEU credits?The NDSC provides a packet of materials that you can submit to your local accrediting organization. These packets are available at the NDSC table in the registration area.
- Can we register as a group?No.
- Do I have to pay membership dues if I am already a member of my local DSA?Yes. The NDSC and your local affiliate are separate organizations and require separate membership dues.
- Is childcare provided during the convention?