In the 1980s a small team of people at IBM helped disabled people adapt and adjust their computers. This service was not set up on a commercial basis, but IBM realised it was needed and so in 1992 gave start-up funding for a separate charity to carry on the work of this group. That initiative saw the beginning of AbilityNet.
In 1998, with a reputation as a leader in this field, it was only natural to merge with another charity with a growing reputation for excellence in adaptive software. The Computability Centre and The Foundation for Communication for the Disabled (also around since the 1980s), joined to form AbilityNet.
AbilityNet is a pioneer in the field of website accessibility in Europe.