Annual Meetings 2016 hosted by SBL & AAR
Disability and Assistance

SBL and AAR members with disabilities or any attendees who may have difficulty getting around the meeting are encouraged to note this during registration, as well as on the housing section of registration if applicable. SBL and AAR will make every reasonable attempt to accommodate you whether by arranging services such as sign language interpreters, assigning accessible hotel room space, or through the SBL & AAR taxi reimbursement policy. 

Please contact Annual Meetings 2016 at if you have any questions.

Getting Around the 2016 Annual Meeting, San Antonio

Primary Meeting Locations

Most SBL and AAR sessions will be held in four locations—the San Antonio Convention Center, Grand Hyatt, Marriott Rivercenter, and the Marriott Riverwalk. The Employment Center will be located at the Convention Center. Additional meetings and receptions will be primarily held at the Hilton Palacio del Rio and Hyatt Regency Riverwalk.

San Antonio is a beautiful, historic city with two levels in the downtown area. There is a typical street level and there is also a Riverwalk that is one story below the street. There are a lot of restaurants and a few shops on it with two pedestrian walkways on either side of the river.

Since the Convention Center is vast, be sure to note the signage indicating where you will want to go. A sign in the main front door entrance (on the east side of the building) will direct you to an elevator leading to the dedicated Persons with Disabilities (PWD) room, 224, or other elevators to additional meeting rooms on the 2nd or 3rd floors.

Although the Grand Hyatt is adjacent to the Convention Center, you must go outside to access the Center. For most locations in the Convention Center, exit the main Grand Hyatt doors (on the east side, by the parking entrance), turn right and walk a long block to the Center’s main entrance. However, if you are going to the Convention Center River Level, take the elevator on the west side of the Grand Hyatt (leading to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) down one level and then outside, turning left. Some 2nd floor Meeting Level rooms are also easily accessed this way. Be sure to check the map to see which side of the Center your meeting room is on.

The Marriott Riverwalk is across the street from the Grand Hyatt. There is a talking crosswalk, accessible for people with visual disabilities.

To get to the Marriott Rivercenter from the Grand Hyatt, travel through the Marriott Riverwalk and cross the street (at another talking crosswalk). You will enter in the side of the hotel. Use the guestroom elevators by the front desk to access the 3rd floor meeting space. If you wish to access the San Antonio Riverwalk, the elevators to go down are at the back of the hotel.

The Hilton is 0.4 miles from the Convention Center. The elevators don’t have standard push buttons. Attendees must use an electronic console to indicate what floor you will travel to. You must know and commit to which floor you need to go to before entering the elevator, as there aren’t standard buttons on the inside. If desired, there is an option to read each of the options aloud. To utilize this, push the large accessibility icon at the top of the console. Once you hear the floor read aloud you’d like to travel to, push the accessibility icon again to select your desired floor.

The Hyatt Regency is 0.5 miles from the Convention Center. It has an open atrium lobby, which generates ambient noise. (If you have booked a sleeping room in the Hyatt Regency and ambient noise presents an accessibility problem, please contact to see if you can be accommodated in a different hotel.) It has a separate elevator to access the meeting space versus the Riverwalk. As you come in the front doors, the meeting space elevator is just ahead, to the right. The Riverwalk elevator is to the left, across from the front desk, by the atrium window.

  • Grand Hyatt #4
  • Marriott Riverwalk #13
  • Marriott Rivercenter #12
  • Hilton #7
  • Hyatt Regency #5

Getting to and Around on the Riverwalk

While the Riverwalk is beautiful and has a lot of restaurants on it, when you’re traveling to meeting space in various hotels, the street level is a lot more efficient to get from point A to B. When exploring the city in the evenings, the Riverwalk is scenic, although it has gentle inclines.

Due to safety concerns, the hotels lock their doors that connect to the Riverwalk during designated hours. If you are staying in that hotel, you can use your sleeping room card key to access the hotel. If you find yourself on the Riverwalk and need to get back to street level to access another hotel past the hours listed below, there are public elevators throughout the Riverwalk that are 24 hours. One of the most convenient public elevators for AAR members is by the Hilton, across from San Antonio’s iconic dark orange “Friendship Torch” sculpture. See here for all of the public elevators:

  • Grand Hyatt – doors outside of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse locked from midnight to 6 am
  • Marriott Riverwalk – doors locked from 10 pm to 6 am
  • Marriott Rivercenter – doors locked from 10 pm to 7 am
  • Hilton – doors locked 24 hours
  • Hyatt Regency – doors locked from 10 pm to 6 am

More materials can be found here:

Taxi Reimbursement

SBL & AAR will reimburse attendees with disabilities for the cost of a private taxi or ride-share service to travel between official meeting locations, if needed. To receive the reimbursement, please submit all receipts with a letter detailing the nature of your disability, your departure point, and your destination. Only travel between official Annual Meeting locations (i.e., hotels and convention center) will be covered. Questions may be directed to

Wheelchair or Electric Scooter Rental

Attendees who wish to rent a wheelchair or electric scooter for use during the Annual Meeting are welcome to contact the following provider to arrange for service:

Tom’s Wheelchair and Scooter Rentals ( is offering attendees a special rate for the Annual Meeting. Please be sure to tell them that you are with the SBL & AAR to get 10% off your reservation. Manual wheelchairs are $25 for 1 day, $40 for 2 days, or $50 for 3 to 7 days. Electric scooters are $50 for 1 day or $200 for 4 to 7 days. Tom’s Wheelchair and Scooter Rentals will deliver and pick up the wheelchair or scooter to your hotel complimentary. Please call Tom’s Wheelchair and Scooter Rentals at 210-223-7878 or email to make individual arrangements. They suggest that you make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Onsite Accessibility Issues

Should you encounter an accessibility issue at the Annual Meeting, please notify the hotel’s front desk so they can get the issue resolved. You may also report the problem at the SBL & AAR Registration Desk (located outside of Hall 1 in the Convention Center) Friday 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday through Monday 8 am to 5:30 pm, and Tuesday 8 to 10 am, or email