Alt text as Poetry artwork ORIGINAL c Photo courtesy of the artist 1
Workshops & Courses

Alt-Text as Poetry by Shannon Finnegan

Work­shop design­ing spec­u­la­tive treat­ments for the symp­toms caused by excess dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy use

Opening Times
Sun–Thu, Closed
Friday, 16:00 – 18:00
Saturday, Closed
Alt-text is an essential part of web accessibility, making visual content accessible to people who are blind, low vision, or have certain cognitive disabilities. It is often overlooked altogether or understood as an unwelcome burden to be met with minimum effort. How can we instead approach alt-text thoughtfully and creatively?

In this workshop, developed by artists Bojana Coklyat and Shannon Finnegan, we will reframe alt-text as a type of poetry and practice writing it together.

About alt-text:

Alt-text is a written description of an image posted online. It allows people who are blind or have low vision to engage with visual content. Alt-text is a type of “hard-coded” metadata associated with an image that exists as HTML. It is most often included in an alt-text field when uploading an image, for example, on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or a personal or business website.

— Adapted from this blog post by Rooted in Rights

Artists Bios

Shannon Finnegan is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in New York City, making work about accessibility and disability culture. They have done projects with Banff Centre, the High Line, MCA Denver, Tallinn Art Hall, Nook Gallery, and the Wassaic Project. They have spoken about their work at the Brooklyn Museum, School for Poetic Computation, The 8th Floor, and The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library. In 2018, they received a Wynn Newhouse Award and participated in Art Beyond Sight’s Art + Disability Residency. In 2019, they were an artist-in-residence at Eyebeam.

Bojana Coklyat found herself becoming an advocate for disability justice when she began losing her vision. Informed by her experiences with lack of access to the arts and education, she started several programs to fill this void: she formed her own position where she implemented an accessible art program at St. Joseph’s School for the Blind and she worked to institute ADA accommodations throughout art venues in Jersey City. After graduating from New Jersey City University with a BA in Art Therapy, Bojana went on to receive her MA from Gallatin, focusing on the intersection of Disability Studies and Art Administration.

Access Information

BSL and live captioning for online events are available on request, please contact us in advance. Control Shift online events will take place across three different digital platforms: Zoom, BigBlueButton and YouTube. All of these platforms are compatible with common screen readers. After events, we will make transcripts and videos available online.

Please get in touch if you have specific access needs or would like advice using the online platform, we'd be happy to help. Please email Martha ( or call 07799067031.
Alt text as Poetry artwork ORIGINAL c Photo courtesy of the artist 1