Dreamforce: Equality Through Accessibility

By Joshua Klipp

The biggest, most exciting tech conference in the world, Dreamforce, is almost here! Between all the trailblazing keynotes, 170,000 “Customer Trailblazers”, 15 million online viewers, and 150 viewing parties around the world in 28 countries, Dreamforce is the best event on the planet. And this year, Dreamforce also committed to becoming the most accessible event it can be — and someday — the most accessible tech event in the world.

We’ve been hard at work identifying features, modifications and processes to ensure that all Dreamforce Trailblazers, regardless of ability, have an incredible experience. But before we give you the highlights we need to address a misstep: regrettably, the Dreamforce registration form is not screen-reader friendly. We apologize for this error and because the conference is right around the corner, there’s not much time to correct it. If you or someone you know has a visual impairment and needs help registering for Dreamforce, please call the Dreamforce Registration Headquarters — (US and Canada): 1–866–855–3818 or (International): +1–650–416–8832 — and you will receive prompt, personal assistance through the registration process.

Now, here are some of the exciting accessibility experiences offered at Dreamforce 2016:

  • This year we are partnering with Ava — real time captioner to empower deaf and hard-of-hearing people to understand and participate in group conversations. This means that all 2100+ breakout sessions and 100+ hours of content will be accessible regardless of hearing ability — just download the app and join the conversation.
  • We have also partnered with Salesforce’s new Employee Resource Group, Abilityforce. Ask anyone wearing a t-shirt with the Abilityforce logo for accessibility assistance. We even have Abilityforce volunteers standing by as Service Support Providers for guests needing 1:1 assistance on campus due to visual or mobility impairments.
  • For Trailblazers with less visible impairments who may need to step away, visit our “Meditation Zone” on Dreampark and Meditation Lounge, located in Moscone South Mezzanine Room 252 and open daily. And for any Trailblazers’ service animals, there are also plenty of nearby relief areas!
  • There are so many thought-provoking and inspirational keynotes by speakers such as sports icon and humanitarian Billie Jean King, civil rights pioneer and Georgia Congressman Rep. John Lewis, Equal Pay for Equal Work activist Lily Ledbetter. Our very own Employee Resource Group, Abilityforce is also sponsoring two exciting breakout sessions:
  • Abilityforce: Why Deaf and Hard-of-hearing People Make Better Programmers sforce.co/2bCzfkr
  • Abilityforce: Solve for Customer and Employee Needs Through Accessibility sforce.co/2bQ9D0s

Add these to your Agenda Builder today.

  • All guests can request auxiliary assistance during the registration process, and receive a badge that will allow quick and easy access to Reserved seating. If you forget to do this during registration, you can have a new badge printed up for you on-site.
  • Have an accessibility question or suggestion? Post it to the Success Community’s “All Dreamforce” Chatter page #abilityforce and someone will get back to you.

We know these are only a few steps in the right direction, but our feet are On the Road. We believe that total accessibility leads not only to full inclusion, but also incredible innovation.


Originally published at www.salesforce.com.