Turner Contemporary collaborate with RNIB to highlight importance of Alt Text

Posted in – News

Turner Contemporary have partnered with leading sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and integrated creative agency MullenLowe UK to raise awareness of the importance of using Alternative Text (Alt Text) on visual content to ensure it’s accessible to blind and partially sighted people.

Turner Contemporary, RNIB, and MullenLowe UK created an image description of Another Time, the cast iron sculpture located on Fulsam Rock, beside the gallery, to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day on Thursday 16 May.

Another Time is one of a series of one hundred, solid cast-iron figures by Antony Gormley that explore the experience of being human. The sculpture is only visible when the tide is out and disappears under the sea when the tide comes in, further highlighting what’s hidden from blind and partially sighted people if Alt Text isn’t included when posting any visual content online.

One of the best ways people can make visual content accessible to everyone is by including Alt Text. Alt Text is a written description of the image, read aloud by a screen reader to help people with sight loss understand the content of the image and to engage with it.  Alt Text is relied on by the two million people in the UK with sight loss. But Alt Text descriptions are often either really poor quality or non-existent.

To raise awareness of the issue, signage has been added to the railings on Margate seafront describing the Sir Antony Gormley statue, coupled with an accessible QR code, which when scanned, describes the statue and provides further information on Alt Text.

The initiative comes in response to recent RNIB research[1], which found that only three in ten people are aware of Alt Text. Out of those who do know about it, nearly half of those (47 per cent) said they’d use it if they saw others do the same. RNIB’s aim is for this collaboration to raise awareness of alt text and encourage more people to use it when sharing visual content.

Martin Wingfield, RNIB’s Director of Brand, said: “Alt Text makes a huge difference to blind and partially sighted people in their everyday lives. it breaks down barriers and makes content accessible for everyone to enjoy. Inclusive content is just good content and ensures you aren’t excluding anyone. Our motto is always to think of accessibility as a love note – it tells people we want you here as well.

“The aim of our campaign for this year’s Global Accessibility Awareness Day is to highlight how the public, brands and organisations can use Alt Text to make their content as accessible as possible. It’s fantastic to have had this opportunity to work with Turner Contemporary and MullenLowe UK on this year’s campaign, and we’re incredibly grateful for their support in raising awareness of the importance of Alt Text and accessibility in general.”

Clarrie Wallis, Director at Turner Contemporary, said: “At Turner Contemporary, we are committed to making art and our gallery inclusive and accessible to all and are delighted to be supporting RNIB to highlight this important initiative.”

To find out more about Alt Text and how to make content posts accessible, visit rnib.in/AccessibleSocialMedia. If you’d like to find out more about how to improve accessibility, visit www.rnib.org.uk/professionals/business-professionals/ for more information.


Notes to editors

For press enquiries about Turner Contemporary contact Turner Contemporary Press: press@turnercontemporary.org.

For press enquiries about RNIB, contact their PR team: pressoffice@rnib.org.uk or 020 7391 2223. For urgent enquiries out-of-hours, please call 07968 482812.


About RNIB

We are the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

Every six minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. RNIB is taking a stand against exclusion, inequality and isolation to create a world without barriers where people with sight loss can lead full lives. A different world where society values blind and partially sighted people not for the disabilities they’ve overcome, but for the people they are.

RNIB. See differently.

Call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk

About Turner Contemporary 

Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Founded to celebrate JMW Turner’s connection to Margate in 2001, the David Chipperfield-designed gallery opened in 2011. Their work extends beyond showcasing world-class exhibitions, to driving the social and economic regeneration of Margate and East Kent and transforming lives in one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

Since it opened, Turner Contemporary has welcomed over 4 million visits, put over £80 million back into the Kent economy and connected with thousands of people from the local community through their world class programme.



About MullenLowe UK

MullenLowe is an integrated creative agency committed to always being a challenger. They help brands innovate because brands who do grow faster. They are rich in local culture with both intimacy and scale, present in 55 markets. Their specialisms include creative strategy, social & influencer, creative technology, design, production and purpose & sustainability consulting.

They are consistently ranked among the most awarded creative and effective agency networks in the world. For twelve years, MullenLowe has topped the Effie Index as the most effective global network in terms of points per dollar revenue. MullenLowe has recently ranked among the ‘Top Agency Networks for Creativity’ and ‘Top Agency Networks for Effectiveness’ in the WARC 100 and MullenLowe agencies have won Cannes Lions Top 10 Agency of the Decade on two continents.

MullenLowe UK is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG).


[1] Research by RNIB was conducted between Monday 4 and Monday 11 December 2023.  The survey was conducted amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,001 UK adults aged 16+.