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Michael "Spell" Spellacy Front-end developer, designer and accessibility specialist in Allentown, PA

Inaccessible Brand Guidelines

So, here is a neat thing that happened this week.

My company is currently redesigning a website for a big client and I was asked to chime in on the accessibility of the new design. Nothing new. Upon reviewing the work, it was discovered that certain color combinations were going to create poor contrast situations. Not cool. It was later revealed that these contrast issues were at the core of the clients brand guidelines. Oh my. Inherent accessibility issues are bad news for any brand, but to the clients credit, they are now revisiting their global brand guidelines to be more web friendly and accessible. Win!

I really, really love when things like this happen because if you can effect positive change, for the good of accessibility, at the core of a product or brand guidelines, then it is almost certain to have a ripple effect. Not only will the clients other vendors benefit from this update, but more importantly, you and I will, too. Small change. Big impact.

So the lesson here, as always, is that accessibility is worth making a fuss about, so don't be afraid to speak up. You might just be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Galaxian Update: Almost There!

I had meant to post this a few days ago, but the cabinet itself is done and all that is left to do is install the electronic components! Wish me luck because that is truly the hard part!

I'm somewhat impressed with my newfound skills here.

Galaxian Update: Painting Done!

The painting on the Galaxian cabinet is finally done! Next up are the decals, but even without them I think it still looks pretty darn sweet! I'll be posting all the details about this little endeavor over the Summer, so stay tuned…

Happy Pride Month

Sass wanted to celebrate #pride, so the kids made it happen. Peace and love to all!

The 10 Rules of Joy

My daughter, Joy, has some rules for all you people, so you had better get with it! Especially if you are boy!

  1. Girls only
  2. Every girl is allowed to draw in this notebook.
  3. We don't like boys
  4. Girls rule
  5. Boys drool
  6. I'm a girl
  7. I'm not a boy
  8. Girls are the best
  9. Boys are the worst
  10. Girls rock and boys smell

Damn straight, Joy.

Galaxian Update: Coin Door Restored!

I finished the Galaxian coin door today. The color is not 100% to my liking, but it will do and still harkens back to the original. Most people just paint them black because it is easier than matching color. The door is pretty easy to pop off and take apart, so if ever I land on the right color for it, then I will revisit. In the future, I will have a longer article detailing all the work and products used in this restoration.

Morning Walk: The Snapping Turtle

Am I not turtley enough for the turtle club? Turtle, turtle, turtle! Beth and I spotted this big snapping turtle today. So cool. I love turtles!

Cozy Dog Is Cozy

Wouldn't you agree? Ladies and gentlemen, my bundled up pooch, Sassy! Woof! Woof!

Wedding Anniversary

19 wonderful years of marriage to this woman! What an awesome trip it's been, too!

Morning Walk

Pennsylvania is beautiful country. This is practically in my back yard. Moments like these remind me of the Staten Island of my youth. (Where I'm originally from.) I am glad that our kids get to experience green, wide-open living, like this. Hopefully we can save it for our grandkids.

CSS Is Awesome

I often use this picture at the end of presentations that I produce. The original work is from a coffee rationing campaign during World War 2. The edit is mine, of course, and always gives me a little chuckle.

Coming Soon: The Galaxian Restoration

This is the arcade cabinet that I am currently restoring. Isn't it lovely? I used to pump so many quarters into these things! I hope to finish it this summer, so expect a lot of detailed posts about it in the coming months! If you think it looks bad now, you should have seen it a few months ago!

Enter the IndieWeb

I have been spending a lot of time lately, exploring the IndieWeb. I dig the idea of owning my online presence and content. I will post more as I learn about it, but today I was able to get IndieAuth and Micropubs working on this site, which is run via Jekyll (GitHub Pages). I’m pretty happy with it so far. Next up are Webmentions. That looks hard.

Curb Repeal

Happen to notice anything missing from this curb ramp? A sidewalk perhaps?!? This was taken near my home in Allentown, PA on May 7th, 2019. The work is complete, too. No plans, to my knowledge, to add a sidewalk here. Nice one, City of Allentown!

Accessibility is a Human Need

Most people I encounter seek to handle web accessibility in the same way—by throwing a lot of tools at it. Tools are great, but until you realize accessibility is a human need, all the tools in the world aren’t going to help you succeed in getting better at it.

My New Email Signature

Things I am considering adding to my work email signature:

  • Did you clear your browser cache?
  • Does the client need IE8 support?
  • No, you can't have widgets.
  • No carousels without an exceptionally good reason.
  • No. Just no.
  • Web standards.