Disability activist funds car adaptations for people with disabilities who want to own their cars.

People with disabilities have been excluded from activities known to be for abled people only. This norm is changing and driving has become an activity any person can partake in.

Clinical Psychologist Nicky Abdinor is a motivational speaker and disability activist. As a person living with a disability, deriving from her own dream to drive a car – Abdinor  founded a non-profit organisation Nicky’s Drive, that funds car adaptations for people with disabilities in South Africa.

Born without arms and shortened legs, medically termed Phocomelia, doctors could not explain the reason causing the disability. Abdinor expresses that “while there was no medical explanation for my disability, I was fortunate that my parents were determined to have an optimistic view for my future.”  Her parents gave her unprecedented love and support.  (Growing up, Abdinor was an adventurous child. She attended mainstream schooling and participated in various extra mural activities such as tennis, swimming and drama. She adapted well to her schooling environment and learned to write using her right foot.“I did well academically and was always self-motivated. I do not think my parents ever had to tell me to do my homework because independence was always important to me,” Abdinor said.

Abdinor’s excellent marks at school earned her a full university bursary. At present she holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology which she obtained in 2003,from the University of Stellenbosch. She divides her time between her  Clinical Psychology practice in Cape Town and travels internationally as a motivational speaker.

Having had the dream of driving an adapted car, Abdinor knew her dream would come true because there had been a woman with a disability similar to hers driving a specially modified car in the United Kingdom. During her years as a university student, this woman kindly donated what she termed an “old car” to Abdinor as she was getting a new car adapted.

Abdinor had to raise funds to go to the UK for fittings and further adaptations to suit her specific needs. “Driving has given me the ultimate level of freedom and independence and I am very grateful for that“, he says happily.

Abdinor’s spirit of Ubuntu led her to establish a non – profit organisation that sponsors car adaptations to people with disabilities with the same dream she had.  She notes that “the lack of accessible public transport is one of the greatest barriers to the employment of people with disabilities in South Africa. Abdinor thus understands the “importance of mobility and independence for people living with disabilities to become active members of society”.

For more information on Nicky’s Drive, visit

Leave a Reply