Today, marks the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Outdoor Sports Insurance (outdoorsportsins.com), the longest serving business insurance broker in Ski, Bike 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, paddlesports, 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 scores.
“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 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 will also ensure waivers are accurate and complete, help train staff with best practices, and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
ABOUT OUTDOOR SPORTS INSURANCE
Outdoor Sports Insurance is the longest serving broker providing business insurance, risk management and liability mitigation tools for retailers, brands and outdoor professionals in Ski, Bike and Outdoor markets. The recognized market-share and mind-share leader in outdoor specialty insurance, Outdoor Sports Insurance has a legacy of engagement in emerging outdoor issues, best-in-class guidance and training, and exclusive products and services. For more information, please visit outdoorsportsins.com or contact Amos Horn, firstname.lastname@example.org.