WATCH | Her adapted cars are driving independence for people with disabilities

People are surprised when Nicky Abdinor sits in the driver’s seat. Born with a rare deformity, she has no arms and shortened legs.

But this never held Abdinor back. While in school, she partook in numerous activities such as tennis, where she used her chin and shoulder to maneuvre the racket.

Later, Abdinor thrived at university and achieved her Master’s in Psychology. Still, she clutched to a seemingly impossible dream – to drive. That all changed when Abdinor received a car she could control arms-free.

In 2002, Abdinor was given a vehicle that was specifically modified for her. She used her right foot to press buttons to start the car, rev the engine, and brake.

A U-shaped joystick placed beneath her right shoulder enabled her to steer with ease. It opened a new lane of freedom, allowing Abdinor to go wherever she pleased.

After experiencing this life-changing adjustment, Abdinor founded Nicky’s Drive, an initiative that sponsors and adapts cars for people with disabilities in South Africa.

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“Independence has always been important to me and that’s what fuelled my passion,” she says. “I’ve been able to make changes that have had a huge impact on other people’s lives and that makes me really proud.”

Abdinor’s dedication and zeal is uplifting people with disabilities, while changing the world to suit their requirements.

“I encourage everybody to think about the small things that they can do to make a difference,” she says.

We’re all faced with obstacles. But by equipping each other with what we need, we can progress together.