Twenty Years of Tech - and AbilityNet

I’m very proud to have been with AbilityNet since the very start. Today marks our 20th birthday - and it’s worth taking a look at just how far we’ve come…

Two decades of changing lives through tech

Whichever way you look at it the past 20 years have been a blast! When AbilityNet was first founded in 1998, the internet was still young and fresh, computer speeds were measured in megahertz, mobile phones weren’t nearly so mobile (and definitely weren’t so smart) and the terrifying Y2K digital-apocalypse loomed large.

Toyota's driverless car made for Google, image credit Steve Jurvetson

Photo: Toyota's driverless car made for Google  |  Image credit: Steve Jurvetson

Today, the unstoppable rise of the smartphone has created a tsunami of smart gadgets and wearables, the internet is everywhere (and in everything from your watch to your washing machine) and self-driving cars and trucks are being road-tested on the streets of cities across Europe, the US and around the world.

Through all these changes, one thing hasn’t altered; AbilityNet has remained at the very cutting-edge, using our expertise to help people with disabilities.

Celebrating the power of tech

In these two decades, the technology has evolved in eye-opening ways but its potential to help overcome impairments has existed from the very start. In education, at home and in the workplace we’ve continued changing lives through the power of technology - helping many millions of people across countless countries reach their full potential.

Robin Christopherson and his dog Archie

Photo: Robin Christopherson and his dog Archie  |  Image credit: AbilityNet 

Without tech and its awesome ability to include everyone in this digital world, I wouldn’t be Head of Digital Inclusion for such an excellent organisation as AbilityNet - and been able to play a small part in enabling others to also achieve their ambitions over these many years.

I know what you’re thinking; of course AbilityNet wouldn’t exist without tech.

So I need to be really clear; without the power of tech to include everyone I wouldn’t be in work at all.

I and millions of others wouldn’t stand a chance. But tech has given us so much more than an equal chance at a career – it’s given us all those things that YOU use tech for every day.

I may need to tweak my computer and smartphone to do the things you take for branted, but that’s where AbilityNet comes in.

More about our birthday