“Report shows Outdoor Industry has work to do on its online ADA compliance” by OSI (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

“Report shows Outdoor Industry has work to do on its online ADA compliance” by OSI (BRA Supporting Vendor Partner)

Image of Jon Comer, pioneer of adaptive skateboarding (courtesy of ESPN)

Outdoor Sports Insurance evaluated industry sites for compliance

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINNESOTA (Last Monday marked the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Outdoor Sports Insurance (, the longest serving business insurance broker in Ski, Bike, Board and Outdoor markets, recently completed a report evaluating over 275 outdoor industry retailer and brand websites for ADA compliance.

“We often only think about the ADA in our physical spaces, but with so much of our lives now being
conducted online it is important that we ensure that all have equal access to our digital presence,” said
Rob Martin, Outdoor Sports Insurance managing director.

Using the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE), Outdoor Sports Insurance evaluated the
homepages of 141 outdoor retailers and 147 outdoor brands and manufactures for errors and contrast
errors. Errors include empty links, missing alternative text, and missing labels, among others. Contrast
errors are present when the color of text and the color of the background are low-contrast.
The 147 brand websites evaluated included a broad spectrum of the industry in terms of size, reach, and
category including apparel, footwear, paddle sports, hardgoods, camping, hiking, nutrition, and more. The
evaluated sites on average had 18 errors and 17 contrast errors. About 54% of the sites had 10 or less
errors and 58% had 10 or less contrast errors. 12 brands received perfect scores with 0 errors and
contrast errors. Of the 141 retailer sites evaluated, on average the sites had 13 errors and 19 contrast errors. About 57% of the sites had 10 or less errors and 47% had 10 or less contrast errors. Only 3 retailers received perfect

“It’s clear from these results that as an industry we are far from perfect, but it is encouraging that the
majority of the sites evaluated only need minor adjustments to increase accessibility for all people,” added
Martin. “That said, this was only a cursory evaluation and we recommend that everyone take a closer look
at their sites to improve compliance and accessibility throughout.”

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits
discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools,
transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the
law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.
The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals
on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for
individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local
government services, and telecommunications.

This report was strictly done as a research project, as Outdoor Sports Insurance does not advise on ADA
compliance. Outdoor Sports Insurance can help businesses connect with professionals in ADA
compliance to improve accessibility, and also offers affordable premiums for network security insurance
— a fast-growing threat among small and mid-sized businesses.

Outdoor Sports Insurance offers comprehensive insurance coverage on gear rentals, demos, liability,
worker’s compensation and more. They also ensure that waivers are accurate and complete, help train
staff with best practices, and provide general business protection.
Outdoor Sports Insurance will be attending Outdoor Retailer Summer Market and The Big Gear Show. To
set up an appointment to review your ADA report card or discuss risk management at either show contact or stop by their Outdoor Retailer booth (42001-UL) located just inside the
show’s main entrance.

To learn more about Outdoor Sports Insurace’s ADA research or discuss risk management for your
businesses, contact

To learn about the life and impact of adaptive skateboarding pioneer Jon Comer, click here

Outdoor Sports Insurance works across multiple carriers to make sure all board retail
businesses can find the right policy with the appropriate coverage at an affordable premium. In
addition to the coverage itself, Outdoor Sports Insurance supplements the policies with risk
management services and third party resources curated to ensure policy holders are equipped
with the tools to mitigate the threat of an attack, and expedite the response time should an
attack occur. Included in the coverage portfolio, policy holders have access to a 24/7 cyber
response hotline, educational tools to help network users identify threats and phishing
campaigns, recommendations for protective software implementations, and best practices for
user protocol of a business’s IT property and systems.

BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that Outdoor Sports Insurance is a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. If you would like to be introduced via email to Rob and the solid team of people behind this outstanding resource, email me. – Doug Works, BRA Executive Director

If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form