For the past 5 consecutive years, the International Data Corporation (IDC) has named Salesforce the #1 CRM system in the world. A Customer Relationship Management system or CRM as it’s more commonly known, is a system designed to manage all of a company’s customer or potential customer relationships and interactions. According to Salesforce, “A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.” Salesforce takes the design of all their products and services further with the goal of universal design in mind. Salesforce has established strict procedures and guidelines to ensure their products and applications are accessible to all individuals, including those who are differently abled.
Salesforce’s Commitment to Section 508 and WCAG Guidelines
In 1998, the Workforce Investment Act was signed into law, amending Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. The amendment required federal agencies to develop, procure, maintain and use information and communications technology (ICT) that is accessible to people with disabilities; regardless of whether they work for the federal government or not. ICT is defined as any equipment or system that is used to create, convert, duplicate or access information and data; such as a telephone or Internet website.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 focuses on a number of recommendations for making online web content more accessible. The guidelines were established to aid individuals impacted by a number of different disabilities, including blindness or a visual impairments, deafness or hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and all possible combinations.
Salesforce is committed to providing on-demand enterprise applications that are accessible to all individuals. This includes users working with assistive technology, such as speech recognition software and screen readers. To help meet their goal of universal design, Salesforce follows the internationally recognized best practices in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA to the fullest extent possible.
Salesforce’s VPAT Assessment
The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a standardized form developed in partnership by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to document a product’s conformance with key regulations of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These documents describe how federal agencies can use Salesforce accessibility features. A third party vendor has completed an accessibility assessment of Salesforce’s core CRM products and has documented their accessibility status using the VPAT’s below:
|Product VPAT (WCAG 2.0 AA unless specified):||Release:||Legacy VPAT versions:|
|Lightning Experience Sales Cloud||Winter ‘19|
|Salesforce Lightning Community Template for Desktop||Summer ‘18|
|Salesforce Lightning Community Templates for Mobile||Summer ‘18|
|Lightning App Builder||Summer ‘18||Section 508|
|Lightning Experience Service Console||Summer ‘18|
|Service Cloud Snap-ins for Web||Summer ‘18|
|Financial Services Cloud||Spring ‘18||Section 508|
|Lightning Dialer||Winter ‘18||Section 508|
|Health Cloud||Winter ‘18||Section 508|
|Marketing Cloud – Email Studio (Section 508)||Fall ‘17|
|Lightning Experience Reports & Dashboards||Spring ‘17||Section 508|
|Salesforce1 for iOS||October ‘16||Section 508|
|Salesforce1 for Android||October ‘16||Section 508|
|Lightning Process Builder (Section 508)||Winter ‘16|
|Data Import Wizard (Section 508)||Winter ‘15|
Overall, Salesforce has successfully created market leading products and services that are designed with every potential user’s specific needs in mind. They continue to strive for a universal design and to open up the world of technology to everyone without discrimination. In conclusion, Salesforce as a company, believes they have a moral obligation to drive equality for all and use their business to make a positive change in the world.