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This ToolKit has been prepared to assist all those planning to attend the WPC 2016 in Portland, Oregon; however it is specifically designed for those participants who are living with Parkinson’s disease (PWP). For some of you, this may be the first time that you attend a World Parkinson Congress. It may be the first time you have ever attended a scientific meeting of this size or the first time you have participated alongside researchers, neurologists, scientists and rehabilitation specialists. Whatever your background or experience, our wish is that WPC 2016 will be a positive, empowering and enduring experience for you.

This ToolKit will help you prepare, plan and participate so that your Congress experience will be meaningful and memorable. It will help you understand why you need to be there, how you can effectively prepare yourself to make the most of your days at Congress and how you can participate so that you will feel welcome and connected throughout your time in Portland.

This is a resource for you. As you look through these pages, find those parts that are of value to you and your community and use them in your planning. And please send your comments and suggestions to us so that we can make improvements for future World Parkinson Congresses.

Download ToolKit handouts!

We would like to thank UCB for their support of the WPC 2016 ToolKit.


Download the ToolKit

Website Orientation

Getting Ready

Planning Your Day

Et Cetera

Downloadable & Printable Handouts


Why You Should Attend

WPC offers many opportunities for participation and growth. Here is what some past attendees have said about their experiences and why they think you should attend. 

We have compiled our own list of benefits. Read our Ten Reasons to Attend the WPC in Portland, Oregon. What are your reasons for coming? 

Website Orientation

Browse the WPC website and familiarize yourself with the layout and the contents. Become the expert! Do you know about the Travel Grants program? And when early bird registration closes? What about housing details? Read on for everything you have ever wanted to know about the WPC 2016. 

 WPC eNews

Click here to subscribe to the monthly WPC newsletter & read past issues.  


 WPC Scientific Update

The WPC takes place once every three years, but progress in the world of science and Parkinson's is ongoing. Sometimes, exciting news comes out long before the next WPC will take place. The WPC Scientific Update webcast program gives everyone access to the best scientific news as it happens. It is a six-part webcast, which includes twice daily, live, interactive panels delivered by world-renowned experts. It is offered ONLINE only and is FREE. The WPC Scientific Update 2015 was presented on October 6-8, 2015; archived sessions are available online and on DVD for free. 

 Portland Countdown 

To educate the community and encourage people to attend the 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland in 2016, Dave Iverson and Jon Palfreman, two highly experienced journalists (who are also living with Parkinson's) survey the landscape of Parkinson's disease research and treatment by interviewing neuroscientists, neurologists, and people with Parkinson's (PwP). These 15 thirty-minute podcasts not only address common questions asked by PwP but also serve as a primer on the biomedical research currently underway. Click here to listen to these FREE educational podcasts. 


 WPC 2016 Buddies Program

Would you like to attend Congress with a friend but don’t know of anyone else who is going? Sign up for the WPC 2016 Buddies Program and connect with another registrant from anywhere in the world for dialogue and companionship before Congress even begins. Click here to learn more about the Buddies Program. 


 WPC 2016 Video Competition

The World Parkinson Coalition understands the power of video messages. We launched the first video competition for the WPC 2010 and were surprised by its outstanding success. We once again opened the video competition for the WPC 2013 and received almost double the number of submissions from all over the world. 

You can watch the WPC 2016 video submissions on YouTube here. The WPC People's Choice Award will be chosen by the community in a voting process to take place in July 2016. Learn more here. 


 Abstracts for Poster Presentation

Perhaps you have a project or program you’d like to tell us about. Whether you are a health care professional or a person living with Parkinson’s, or both, send in a poster abstract between December 7, 2015, and April 25, 2016, outlining your project or program. Late breaking abstract submission will open from June 29 - July 13, 2016. Click here to learn more about abstract submission. 


 Send Us Your Photo

Send us your photo with a sign telling us you’ll be there. Seeing your photo scroll through on the WPC website home page will surely connect you to WPC. Let the world know you’ll be in Portland in 2016! Submit your photo here. 


 Parkinson Pledge

Sign the Parkinson Pledge, initiated at the WPC 2010. Join the global Parkinson’s movement to make Parkinson’s a priority health, social and economic issue and to advance research to find a cure. The goal is 1,000,000 signatures!!

 Book Nook 

The WPC Book Nook is NEW to the WPC and will be a space where delegates will be able to thumb through recently published books about Parkinson's. The Book Nook will give delegates a chance to learn about, connect with, and be inspired by authors and publications. This space will be open during exhibit hall hours.

 Parkinson Power Through Project (PTP) 

Using the interactive PTP digital web-based platform, participants will sign up for the Project by creating a profile that virtually positions them in Montreal, site of the 3rd World Parkinson Congress. Users will log any form of physical activity that will be converted into miles, and measured in distance. As participants progress along the journey to the West Coast, they will constantly receive new chapters of the PTP exercise and nutrition curriculum, unlock special rewards, achieve milestone badges, and socially connect with a global community that will soon become family. The Parkinson Power Through Project is a new initiative this year. Power your way to Portland -- virtually !! Walk, run, cycle from Montreal to Portland. Register now.

 Care Partner Lounge 

Because care partners need support of their own, we are creating a space dedicated to this group of delegates who give endless time and care to their loved one. The Care Partner Lounge will be a safe place for care partners to meet and greet each other and will be used both as a support group space and for a formal talk each day geared to care partners. View the full schedule here. 

 WPC Art Walk  

The WPC will host a series of art exhibits where artists from around the world will show their work in the WPC Art Walk.

  • The Forging Resilience Art Installation brings together inspiring quotes, stories, texts, wordplay and photography to share many journeys of resilience from the global Parkinson's community into one installation that will take the shape of a tree with thousands of leaves. Each leaf will have the quote or message of someone living with or touched by Parkinson's from around the world.
  • The Mask is a photo exhibit looking at the symptom of the masked face. 
  • "This is Parkinson's": Anders M. Leines, a video journalist by profession, has turned to the art of the still image to capture younger, 'early-onset' Parkinson's patients in a series of portraits that are once poignant and celebratory. 



 WPC Choir 

The WPC World Choir is open to ALL WPC delegates: people with Parkinson's, care partners, family, friends, medical professionals, non-profit professionals and students! No singing experience and no cost required. Click here to learn more about the WPC Choir. 


Getting Ready


 Medical Responsibility

It is the responsibility of each delegate to do everything possible to ensure his/her own safety and well-being for the duration of Congress. Thorough planning is mandatory.

  • It is imperative that every delegate has medical insurance and appropriate accessible personal medical information.
    • Contact your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate medical coverage while in Portland.
    • Contact your doctor to see if he/she can recommend a doctor or medical facility for you in Portland.
    • Each delegate must carry, at all times, personal identification and information about whom to contact in case of an emergency. *This information can be written on a card that is tucked into the individual’s registration badge.
    • A Medical Emergency Card will be provided for all delegates in each registration package. We recommend that you fill this out and carry with you at all times.
    *NOTE: In the case of a health or medical emergency during Congress, your first stop is the Emergency First Aid room at the Congress.

Please refer to the Medical Responsibility handout for more details on your health care responsibilities.  


  • It is important to seek specific medical advice from your neurologist. He would be able to give you a letter detailing your diagnosis, your medications (including generic names - see,2#c1 - and dosages), and contact information for your neurologist/physician and pharmacist.

  • Because travel often means entering another time zone, your medication schedule might need some adjustment. In consultation with your neurologist, work out a schedule that follows your usual timing as closely as possible e.g. you may wish to follow your regular schedule and add an additional dose at breakfast (often just before landing).

  • We all know things get lost when traveling so some extra organization is required. Bring extra meds (we suggest 3x as much as you need – carry one set in your carry-on/handbag, another set in your packed bags and a third set with your traveling companion.) A readily accessible pill organizer (holding your daily requirements plus an additional dose) would be helpful on your travel day. All meds should be readily identifiable because every country has its own regulations about bringing in prescription medication. Carry meds in original containers. Be sure to keep meds away from sources of heat.

  • Carry water with you at all times – a small bottle in your purse or knapsack will be handy.



  • Pack early and do a trial run. Know what the suitcase allowances are for your carrier and ALWAYS check the weight and size of your case before you leave home.

  • Pack light – clothes should be wrinkle-free, lightweight, mix-and-match, and comfortable. You will want some clothes that you can layer as the temperatures may change throughout the day. Take a jacket, gloves and scarf, and perhaps a pashmina.

  • An electrical adaptor, a water bottle, small flashlight and a nightlight are useful.

  • Carry gum and facial wipes – you will be ready to meet anyone after a very long flight or a very long day.



  • You are encouraged to determine the services available and the accessibility features at the accommodation you have chosen; "accessible" does not always mean the same thing.

  • If the hotel has an airport shuttle service, you may wish to make a booking before you leave home.

  • A room on the ground floor or near the elevator might alleviate long waits or long walks. 

  • The World Parkinson Congress has booked rooms at a preferential conference rate at several hotels in Portland. Rates are in US dollars, and do not include applicable taxes. Learn more about the hotels in the WPC room block. 



Just as Parkinson’s disease affects each person differently, the comfort level you feel for traveling will vary depending on your symptoms and your previous travel experiences. You may feel intimidated by the thought of traveling because of the challenges you face with movement, speech or mental acuity. Yet the journey to a place and the return trip home are integral to the overall experience. Even the simplest or shortest journey needs careful planning. By following some basic steps and being well-prepared and well-informed, traveling can be enjoyable and rewarding. If at all possible, allow for a rest day after you arrive at your destination so you can recover from the journey and be ready to participate when Congress opens. For a great traveling experience to Portland, check out the suggestions and tips we have put together in the following handouts:

  • Be a Smart Traveler: This handout provides tips on traveling by plane, train, car or bus.
  • Traveling by car

  • Travel Fit Tips: This handout provides ways to keep your muscles and joints from stiffening up and becoming sore while you are en route.

  • Travel Checklist: Going through the Travel Checklist will ensure you have all the required paperwork with you.

  • Traveling with CPAP: Guidelines for taking your Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine with you.

  • Traveling with DBS: Demystifying travel if you have either of these devices.

If you use Duopa/Duodopa, there may be some extra details to attend to, but you will still be able to travel. Your pharmaceutical rep can provide you with a Travel Checklist for Duodopa to ensure you have thought of all travel concerns and are well-prepared. Any questions you have could be discussed with the drug provider or representative.

For specific information about traveling to Portland, visit Getting to Portland.  


Planning Your Day

Making good choices about how you will spend each day will help you get the most out of Congress. Remember, it is important to pace yourself. With about 7 time slots and more than 50 speakers each day, it may seem like an overwhelming task to sort through the program.

 Structure & Terminology

  • Hot Topics (8:00 – 9:00 a.m.) Each morning four topics from the poster abstracts will be presented to the broader audience. These are generally given by researchers and clinicians who are relatively new to the field of Parkinson’s and stand to be our future leaders.

  • Award Ceremony (9:00-9:10 am) Awards will be presented to outstanding contributors in the field of Parkinson’s research and management.

  • Plenary Sessions (9:15-11:15 am) Delegates come together every morning to hear presentations from 4 experts on specific topics that highlight the theme for the day. There is limited time for questions and answers but the speakers will be available all week at different sessions to continue the discussions.

  • Parallel Sessions (1:30-3:00 pm & 3:30-5:00 pm) In-depth sessions focussing on specific, cutting edge research in the field of Parkinson’s that will increase understanding of the basic and clinical science underlying the many facets of Parkinson’s.

  • Workshops (1:30-3:00 pm & 3:30-5:00 pm) These are designed for smaller groups where an overview of a topic will be presented followed by illustrative case studies or research findings. These are more interactive than the parallel sessions and offer more time for questions and answers.

  • Roundtables (1:30-3:00 pm & 3:30-5:00 pm) Delegates have the opportunity to sit down with an expert in a small, more intimate group. After a short introductory talk, the time will be open for discussion. Registration for roundtables will take place each morning at the OCC, in the foyer of the plenary room. You will be able to register each day for the roundtable that will take place on that day only. Spaces are limited and will be processed on a first come first served basis.

  • Wrap-Ups (5:15-6:00 pm) An opportunity for all delegates to gather again to discuss the highlights of the day. Experts and leaders in the field of Parkinson’s will help to synthesize the information and ideas that were presented throughout the day.

  • Poster Tours (Wed. & Thurs. 5:15-6:30 pm) Small group tours will highlight specific topics of work being done by young researchers and clinicians. In addition, authors of posters will be around to explain their work between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm each day. Sign up is required for each tour.

  • Special Lunch Presentations are given on Wednesday and Thursday over the lunch hour.

There are three classifications for the sessions (basic science, clinical science & comprehensive care) and three presentation levels (highly, moderately or minimally scientific) to help you identify the intended audiences. Each presentation will be identified with 2 symbols or icons to indicate session type and level. 



 Events and Activities

There is a lot happening each day at Congress. Besides the presentations, there are many other activities, displays, events and opportunities that you may be interested in and that are also an important part of your Congress experience. There are several new initiatives this year. All have been planned with you in mind. To help you select the activities you would enjoy participating in, we have created a checklist for you to use as you contemplate your daily schedule. You can download the Checklist of Events to assist you. 



 Personal Planning Schedule

There are several things to consider when you map out your schedule for each day - not only your own interests but also your energy and abilities. Tips to Help You Plan Your Day has been developed to guide you in determining what you will choose to do each day. Remember to remain flexible and to pace yourself. 

When you have decided which sessions and activities you will attend, you may want to use a Personal Daily Schedule. At a glance, you will be able to see what your day looks like. We are providing two options. If you like, download one of these daily schedule templates for your use. 

Click on either image below to open a printable document for your use. 



 WPC Floorplan

It is often useful to familiarize yourself on where to find locations of interest. This floorplan should help! 


 Sightsee Portland

Portland is a beautiful city with many attractions and activities to enjoy during your visit. The following links provide information that will help you plan your trip. Discover what makes Portland so special.

Public Transit: There are many ways to get around Portland including the wheelchair accessible MAX light rail and TriMet bus.

NOTE: At registration every WPC delegate will receive a complimentary 7-day TriMet pass to be used during the week of the Congress. This pass can be used on the all Portland public transportation (buses, Max Light Rail, WES commuter rail and Portland Streetcar). 

Et Cetera 


 Promoting the WPC

There are many things you can do to promote the WPC in your community. Read our Promote the WPC for ideas. Brochures, postcards, posters, and other materials are available either online or from the WPC office. They are available in print or electronic form on the WPC website.



Revisit the WPC's comprehensive glossary to understand new terms. Click here to view the glossary. 


We would like to thank UCB for their support of the WPC 2016 ToolKit.


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