How Salesforce Is Making TrailblazerDX 2024 More Accessible

The TrailblazerDX logo on a field of white.

Image Description: The TrailblazerDX logo on a field of white.

How Salesforce Is Making TrailblazerDX 2024 More Accessible

Salesforce is enhancing accessibility at TrailblazerDX 2024 by including a Disability Help Desk, a Quiet Zone, captioning in all keynotes and breakout sessions, sighted escorts, sign language interpreters, over 100 accessibility staff volunteers, and more.

Mar 06, 2024

A broad overview of TrailblazerDX 2024:

  • Salesforce is enhancing the accessibility of TrailblazerDX 2024 by including a Disability Help Desk, accommodations for physical disabilities, and a Quiet Zone for attendees sensitive to overstimulation.
  • Approximately 100 volunteers will be present to identify and mitigate accessibility barriers, with roles including general assistance, Quiet Zone ambassadors, sighted escorts for attendees who are blind or have low vision, and keynote ushers for accessible seating guidance.
  • Captioning in English will be available for keynotes, breakout sessions, Salesforce+, and the Trailblazer Celebration, while sign language interpreters will also be provided during all keynote sessions.
  • Salesforce will offer accessible shuttle transportation for attendees, including to and from the Trailblazer Celebration, ensuring ease of access for those with mobility issues.
  • Salesforce emphasizes the importance of disability etiquette training for volunteers to ensure respectful and effective interaction with attendees with disabilities, aiming to provide a positive and inclusive event experience for everyone.

A New Era of Generative AI

To say it’s been a monumental year for generative artificial intelligence (AI) is an understatement. In particular, many groundbreaking advancements in AI are enhancing the autonomy and quality of life for professionals with disabilities.

AI-driven technologies have generated remarkable progress in assistive devices, including smart glasses equipped with AI algorithms that can interpret and verbally describe the visual world to those who are blind or have low vision. Envision glasses, for example, can read almost any short-form text that’s right in front of a person.

Google's Live Transcribe app uses AI to transcribe speech in real time, giving professionals who are deaf or hard of hearing greater access to conversations and social interactions with hearing peers.

Advanced prosthetics are leveraging AI for more natural movement and control, mimicking human limb functionality more closely than ever before, as well.

Salesforce developers, administrators, architects, and partners are flocking to TrailblazerDX 2024 to shape the future of AI-driven app development, making sure AI innovations keep accessibility and inclusion at the heart of what they do.

What Is TrailblazerDX 2024?

TrailblazerDX (TDX) is an AI developer conference where professionals can boost their skills, build new applications, and leverage Salesforce’s latest platform features. This pioneering event takes place in San Francisco on March 6 and 7.

Developers will build and deploy AI apps anchored by Salesforce, explore the latest AI breakthroughs, and enhance skills with hands-on coding sessions.

Administrators will amplify productivity, streamline workflows, and generate inventive solutions for the future of business on the Einstein 1 platform.

Architects will experiment with AI and data solutions on the Salesforce platform, collaborating with peers in workshops.

Partners will leverage new tech related to generative AI, learning how to build capabilities as trusted AI advisors.

Attendees at TDX will have access to 300+ technical sessions and hands-on workshops. For those who can’t be there in person, you can also stream the conference via Salesforce+.

Making TrailblazerDX More Accessible

A natural extension of Salesforce’s commitment to accessibility and inclusion, the cloud-based customer relationship company is integrating several initiatives into the TDX experience.

The Disability Help Desk will be available for all attendees. Intended to support both guests with visible and invisible disabilities and medical conditions, it will serve as a central hub for helping TDX participants feel supported and overcome any access barriers they may encounter.

Attendees are encouraged to let the Disability Help Desk know if they need any accommodations related to a medical condition or disability. (All responses are confidential.) For instance, physical disabilities accommodations include accessible entries, seating, bathrooms, stages, ramps, and elevators, and low-friction turf and low-height surfaces.

New this year, TDX will include a Quiet Zone, a low-lighting space designed for minimizing distractions and other stimuli that may disrupt a person’s ability to fully enjoy their experience. It’s a low-sensory place where individuals sensitive to overstimulation can decompress.

TDX will also be powered by roughly 100 volunteer staff members tasked with identifying accessibility barriers and ensuring attendees have the accommodations they need to fully participate. Staff will serve one of four roles:

  • General staffers will assist at the Disability Help Desk, fulfilling accommodations requests and answering other questions about TDX.
  • Quiet Zone ambassadors will ensure people in the space are keeping their voices down and abiding by other protocols specific to the space.
  • Sighted escorts will be available to help people who are blind or have low vision navigate the venue to ensure a safer and easier event experience.
  • Keynote ushers will help people with disabilities find the keynote and accessible seating areas.

Captioning (in English) will be available not just for keynotes but breakout sessions, on Salesforce+, and the Trailblazer Celebration, as well.

Sign language interpreters will also be present in all keynote sessions each day.

Salesforce will be providing accessible shuttle transportation, including to and from the Trailblazer Celebration.

The Importance of Disability Etiquette Training

Salesforce understands that organizing truly accessible events requires careful planning, and does its best to ensure volunteers are sufficiently trained around inclusive language and effective allyship. It can make or break an event.

“Working in accessibility is a sensitive topic,” explains Joanna Del Orbe Mejia, a communications and enablement specialist at Salesforce. “Volunteers come to these events and they want to help, but sometimes it’s not the correct way. So prioritizing training and the educational part of disability etiquette, how to interact with a person who has a disability, and knowing what to ask and not ask are really important. We can have all the right accessibility layers in the world, and one bad interaction can ruin a lot of things.”

While accessibility volunteers receive training before the event, many have limited experience in accessibility. So working an in-person Salesforce event is an opportunity for them to both remove accessibility barriers for others and become more familiar with the challenges people with disabilities face daily.

“Some people walk away saying, ‘I had no idea people had disabilities,’ or ‘I’ve never even thought about what a sighted escort might do,’” says Amy Wood, Accessibility Manager for Salesforce’s Office of Accessibility. “They always walk away with a deeper sense of appreciation for accessibility.”

Salesforce is a founding partner of InclusionHub, a resource for digital accessibility committed to helping businesses and organizations prioritize digital inclusion. To learn more about how your organization can better support professionals with disabilities, visit Salesforce’s a11y website.

Written by Jeffrey Howard

Jeffrey Howard is a senior inbound content developer at Hypha HubSpot Development and regular contributor at InclusionHub.

Leave a Comment