SAP’s First Tranquility Lounge: A Paradigm Shift in Event Inclusivity
Sarah Loucks, Global Lead for SAP Autism at Work Program, SAP
In a world where innovation and inclusivity stand as pillars of success, SAP has spent the last decade reshaping conventional talent management practices while cultivating an all-encompassing environment through our Autism at Work program. Our commitment to inclusivity and innovation extends beyond the workplace and influences how we engage with customers, and the launch of SAP’s first Tranquility Lounge, a groundbreaking initiative, is a recent example of this.
The Tranquility Lounge Experience
The Tranquility Lounge introduced at the recent SuccessConnect event in October 2023, offered a unique and soothing experience for event attendees. It featured a variety of plush seating options, surrounded by lush greenery, calming colors, and imagery, all bathed in the warm glow of salt lamps. The environment was carefully designed to provide a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of busy events, which is particularly poignant for an event in Las Vegas. To cater to the diverse needs of attendees, the Tranquility Lounge provided several sensory tools and resources, including noise-canceling headphones, coloring books, fidget spinners, tactile gadgets, and eye masks. These amenities aimed to accommodate a range of sensory preferences, ensuring that all guests could find comfort and relaxation in the space.
Melissa Vilders, Head of Global Events for SAP HXM Solutions, highlighted the lounge’s role in providing a safe and welcoming space for all attendees: “Attending events can be overwhelming for many, especially those with neurodivergent conditions such as autism, ADHD, or anxiety. That’s why we have included a neurodiversity lounge at SuccessConnect. The lounge provided a safe space for attendees to relax and recharge away from the crowds and noise. The coloring books, noise-canceling headphones, fidget spinners, and eye masks were all carefully selected to provide a variety of sensory experiences to help attendees feel calm and centered. By making this lounge available, we hope to send a message that everyone is welcome at our event, regardless of their needs and differences. 200+ attendees used our Tranquility Lounge!”
The inspiration behind the Tranquility Lounge is SAP’s first Sensory Relaxation Room, which opened at SAP’s Prague office in April 2023. This calming space can be easily configured by the individual user to their needs and offers an assortment of sensory elements, such as a vibro-acoustic chair, chair swing, an optical fiber curtain, sensory lights, bubble cylinder, calming sounds, and a variety of tactile gadgets. SAP’s Autism at Work program designed the room, which is open to all employees, in consultation with the autistic colleagues located in that office.
SAP’s Autism at Work Program: A Decade of Transformation
Since 2013, SAP has been at the forefront of breaking down barriers and embracing the unique skills and talents of individuals on the autism spectrum through our Autism at Work program. The impact has been profound, with managers reporting increased team cohesion, a more inclusive culture, and a positive working experience as colleagues on the spectrum find a sense of belonging.
We were honored and thrilled when SAP’s dedication to Autism Inclusion in the workplace received accolades at a star-studded event in July 2023. The HollyRod Foundation named SAP with the prestigious Corporate Compassion Award, a recognition that wholeheartedly reaffirms our commitment to empowering individuals on the autism spectrum to lead their best lives (you can read more about the win). To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this remarkable program, SAP partnered with Disability:IN to sponsor the 2023 Autism Inclusion Company of the Year Award. This partnership and award serve as strong testaments to our leading journey in the realm of autism inclusion.
The success of SAP’s Autism at Work program can be witnessed through multiple impacts:

235+ Colleagues on the Spectrum: SAP has over 235 colleagues (as of Q3 2023) on the autism spectrum, working across all areas of the company in both tech and non-tech roles. With active programs in 16 countries led by local leaders, including individuals on the spectrum, SAP is making a global impact. Prospective candidates are encouraged to review the SAP Autism at Work Careers page.
Employee-Led Initiatives: SAP’s Autism Inclusion Network is a thriving voluntary, employee-led Employee Resource Group, working toward normalizing neurodiversity in the workplace. This network includes individuals on the spectrum and their allies, who are passionate about fostering an inclusive culture and a sense of belonging.
Sharing Best Practices: SAP leads by example and shares its wealth of experiences with a thriving network of 100+ organizations committed to the cause of autism inclusion. growing community of organizations. Through the SAP Autism Inclusion Pledge initiative and the ‘Connecting for Inclusion’ virtual event series, we offer valuable resources for employers interested in embracing neurodiversity, contributing to our mission of fostering a more inclusive world.

Join SAP’s Growing Community
If you are looking for ways to accelerate your autism inclusion journey at work, we have a treasure trove of resources waiting for you! SAP Autism Inclusion Pledge is an inspirational initiative through which SAP shares our knowledge in the field with organizations who are embarking on a journey towards autism inclusion in the workplace. Gain access to a range of practical resources to help start, expand, or enhance your program. Signatories are invited to virtual events designed to enhance corporate learning and facilitate peer-to-peer best practice discussions.
Make the Pledge Today: SAP Autism Inclusion Pledge 
Read about SAP’s D&I practice