- How do I register for the conference?
Use our Online Registration Form to register for the conference and contact the hotel directly to book your room. You may reserve a room online at www.mydisneygroup.com/ffl2018.
- How do I register for childcare at the conference? What do the kids do in childcare? How will the staff take care of my child's diabetes?
To register for childcare, download, print, and send in the Childcare Registration Form. Childcare is limited to the first 100 children who apply because of space limitations, so register as early as possible. Childcare is for full days only and for children age 5 and under. Childcare is coordinated by Mary Babin, RN, CDE. Mary has coordinated the FFL childcare for the past decade and is quite good at it! Children will be in age and socially-appropriate rooms.
- Can my child participate in childcare for partial days?
Childcare is for full days only. We need to do this for staffing reasons. Childcare will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. Parents need to pick up their child right after morning sessions for lunch (90 minute lunch break). Childcare will close at 4:45 pm on Thursday and at 5:00 pm on Friday.
- What do I do about snacks in childcare?
You may leave a snack at childcare, in a container marked with your child's name on it. Otherwise, child-friendly snacks will be available in the refreshment area outside the childcare rooms. When you come to check on your child during the break times, you will need to get them snack (we will not allow them to graze in the snack area without you being there!) and bring it into the childcare room. We will have beverages with and without sugar, as well as water. We'll also have a supply of glucose tabs and juice boxes in each room to treat lows. If you bring a snack, please, NO NUTS of any kind.
- Is there youth programming on Wednesday?
We have youth programming on Wednesday. See the Wednesday schedule for details.
- Can you accommodate special dietary needs, such as celiac or peanut allergies?
Yes. As with past Friends for Life® conferences, we take great care in trying to accommodate the special dietary needs of our conference participants. Please note that all food served at our conference will have portion size and carb counts listed in tent cards on the buffet tables (including the snack area by childcare). If you need special dietary accommodations (food allergies, kosher, gluten-free, etc.), there is a place on the registration form for you to note that. Note that you must alert us to allergies prior to the conference in order for us to ensure meals and snacks that work for you. Please note that all meals and snacks at FFL are nut-free.
- Will my kids who don't have diabetes participate?
Friends for Life® is for your entire family. Kids who don't have diabetes, whether they have a sibling or parent with type 1, participate in their age group sessions. There's much to learn and share for them too.
- What is the dress code?
Orlando in July is hot and humid. Dress comfortably. For most people, this means short pants and a t-shirt or collared golf shirt. There are a couple of events where nicer dress is a good idea. For Thursday's Family and Friends Banquet, most people wear something a bit dressy. This year's theme is "FFL Island," so feel free to come in your favorite island theme. Teens and Tweens should also dress up for their Saturday evening events (Tween Social and Teen Dance). Teens should think of their dance like a Homecoming Dance, not a Prom. On Friday evening, adults with type 1 may want to bring something nice for the adult event. Also, it rains almost every day in Orlando in July. Plan accordingly. The youth program includes sessions which can be quite active. Please make sure your kids wear appropriate shoes for these activities.
- I want to volunteer. How do I sign up to help?
Laura Billetdeaux is in charge of the volunteer schedule. We have over 200 volunteers each summer. We couldn't put on a conference without the help of these folks! Some jobs are quite big (coordinators of different areas, such as AV or room moderators), others require less time (help out at the name badge decorating or first timers hospitality desk). Laura posts a Call for Volunteers on the conference email list around mid-May, and potential volunteers should email their interest back to her.
- My child has special needs. Will she be able to participate in the regular youth programming?
Our Youth Staff are skilled at type 1 diabetes care, but are not trained to take care of a child with special needs. If your child has special needs, please contact Laura Billetdeaux via email ([email protected]) before you register to ensure that your child will be able to join in their age group programming.
- I read about the Tween Program. My son is 13. Will he be a Tween or a Teen?
We must be very strict about kids staying within their particular age groups. This year we will have childcare (ages 0-5), elementary group (ages 6-8), a young tween group (ages 9-10), and older tween group (ages 11-12), a young teen group (ages 13-15) an older teen group (ages 16-17). Those who are 18 are part of the young adult group, not teens.
- I see that the teens are scheduled to go off-site on Friday. Will other age groups be doing this as well?
This is a special event just for the teens. Note that teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday in order to participate in the off-site event on Friday. The only exception is for teens who have retinal screening scheduled during a teen session.
- Can children come into the adult sessions?
Unless otherwise noted, they may, although we strongly encourage kids to be in their age-appropriate sessions. The material presented in adult sessions is on an adult level. Often, some of these same topics are discussed with the children within the context of some of their other learning activities - and the material is at an age-appropriate level for their group. Be aware that some adult and parents sessions include topics that are not appropriate for kids and kids will not be permitted in those sessions. Also note that teens must attend their teen sessions to be permitted to join in the Park Day on Friday and attend the Teen Dance on Saturday. Note that some sessions are for adults only and the room captain will not allow children into those sessions.
- Can you share any tips for traveling with diabetes?
See our page about Traveling with Diabetes and Flying with Diabetes for suggestions.
- I'm confused about where all the meals and sessions are. Can you please explain?
All of the sessions and all of the meals are held right on site. Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is a large resort with a big convention center attached. The main meals will be held in the Coronado Ballrooms. Snack and beverage breaks will be held in the PreFunction area in front of Veracruz (Exhibit Hall).
- I received a registration confirmation form. Do I need to keep this?
The confirmation form verifies what you paid for. You should have received this from RegOnline right after you completed payment. Please print out your registration confirmation and bring it with you to the conference. When you pick up your registration materials on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can double check that everything is correct. At the registration desk (South Registration), we will hand you name badges, conference t-shirts (the sizes you indicated on the registration form), and the printed program. Nothing is mailed ahead of time.
- Our family is planning to arrive a few days early, stay at the hotel, and visit some local theme parks. Is there a way for us to hook up with other CWD families ahead of time?
There are usually hundreds of FFL participants at the hotel from Sunday on. CWD families are pretty easy to recognize pool-side: we're the ones with the diabetes t-shirts, the glucose tabs and juice sitting out, the blood glucose meters on the pool chairs, and pump tubing hanging out of swim trunks! Also, there is an email list for all families participating in the conference. When you provide an email address on your registration form, you are automatically added to the list. As a list member, you may send a message to all other participants. You might ask, for instance, if other families with a 7 year old would like to go to a theme park with you on Monday. Or if anyone with preschoolers would like to meet at the kiddie pool at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. Note that this year, we have organized >Meet Ups for moms, dads, adults with type 1, and significant others.
- Is there a Facebook Group for Friends for Life Orlando
Yes, we have a private Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/FFLOrlando. You must ask to be admitted to the group. If your Facebook profile doesn't immediately convey that you are part of the type 1 diabetes community, please email Jeff Hitchcock ([email protected]) and ask him to approve your request to join the group.
- What is a focus group? Do I have to sign up for them?
Focus groups are offered on Wednesday only. These are small group discussions or presentations, hosted by the sponsors of the conference or an academic institution. It is their opportunity to interact with you on a more personal level, to get your ideas and insights, present some of their new concepts, and perhaps get your feedback on new products they are developing. The groups are small - some have only a few people and others have up to 40. But they are not large like the regular conference sessions on Thursday or Friday which may have several hundred people in each. You do not need to sign up for focus groups unless specifically requested by the company leading the session.
- We cannot afford the conference. Are there scholarships available?
The Diabetes Scholars Foundation offers conference scholarships each year. Please refer to the Diabetes Scholars Foundation website for more information. Note that the Diabetes Scholars Foundation is an entirely separate organization from CWD, so you do need to contact them directly in order to discuss scholarship questions.
- Do I sign up ahead of time for the sessions on Thursday and Friday?
No, you do not sign up for the Thursday and Friday sessions. Just go to them. Please be on time, as the seats do fill up.
- I'm coming from outside the US. Can CWD help me get a visa?
CWD is unable to provide any assistance with obtaining a visa. Visitors from outside the US are encouraged to submit a visa application well in advance of their anticipated travel date. Note that you will also need to make your own hotel reservations using a credit card. CWD cannot help with that either.
- I work with a non-profit diabetes organization in my community and was wondering if it's ok for me to hand out information about it at the conference.
CWD receives hundreds of requests from organizations such as yours. The only companies and organizations which are allowed to hand out literature and demonstrate their products at CWD conferences are the ones who are in the Exhibit Hall. There are a number of lower-cost exhibitor tables in the exhibit hall that are specifically reserved for smaller organizations.
- Are we required to stay at the conference hotel?
You are not required to stay at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, although most people choose to do so for convenience and the sense of community, which often extends into the evenings and down time, by the pool and in the common areas.
- Our family is larger than four people. What do we do about a hotel room?
Per Fire Marshal regulations, the rooms at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort accommodate up to 4 people (a few rooms accommodate 5 with a crib). If your family is larger, you may wish to reserve two rooms and request adjacent or connecting. You may also wish to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, which can accommodate larger families. CWD has a block of rooms reserved there, and it can be accessed via our room reservations link.
- What is the best way to get from the airport to Disney's Coronado Springs Resort?
Disney's Magical Express offers free transportation to the resort and back to the Orlando International Airport (MCO). You may book Disney’s Magical Express reservations by visiting www.disneyconventiontickets.com/disneyworld/transportation/ or by calling (407) 827-6777 with your flight information AFTER your hotel reservation has been entered into the system and you have received the Resort Confirmation email.
- May I bring my diabetes alert dog to Friends for Life?
The staff at FFL is well aware of the positive impact Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs) have on children and adults who live with type 1 diabetes. While we do not want to disturb these relationships, we want to ensure that the presence of DADs do not interfere with the positive experiences of all our attendees. While DADs are welcome, we discourage conference participants from bringing their DADs to FFL. We have learned from past experience that DADs have a tendency to become overwhelmed and stressed by being in a closed environment for several days with hundreds of individuals who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We have seen DADs become overly aggressive and exhibit signs of anxiety because of their situation at FFL. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will ask that a DAD be removed from FFL if the DAD exhibits any unacceptable behavior that is disruptive to conference attendees.
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