3rd December marks the annual celebration of people with disabilities. This is an opportunity to recognise the strength shown by those people who live with disabilities. During the course of the pandemic, people with disabilities have often faced disrupted routines and rescheduled or cancelled medical appointments which they need to support their physical and mental health. As such, it is more important than ever to support International Day of People with Disability.

This year’s celebration focuses particularly on the theme ‘Not all Disabilities are Visible’, bringing attention to the fact that some disabilities are not immediately, visually apparent. This can lead to difficult situations, in which those with the so-called “invisible” disabilities are unable to receive the support they require.

We’ve gathered some information about the charities you can support through Pledjar this month which are working to help people with disabilities, both visible and not, to overcome the challenges they face.

Mencap is working towards a world in which everyone – particularly including those with a learning disability – is included, listened to and valued. They help individuals and their families directly by providing support, information and funding for the services they need. In addition, they take on legal disputes and campaign to have unfair legislation overturned, fighting to make the future a better place for everyone, including those with learning difficulties.

While wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be funded by the NHS in the UK, meaning they’re a fairly regular sight in our towns, many people in need around the world are left without mobility equipment. Wheels to Heal works to solve this problem by taking equipment that is no longer required in care homes across the UK to people in need without the means to access one. So far, Wheels to Heal have rehomed more than 6500 wheelchairs and 4500 mobility aids to patients in places including Bangladesh, Pakistan and Yemen.

Lafi Burkina is fighting for inclusivity in Burkina Faso for those with disabilities. They work with a range of partners on the ground in Burkina Faso to protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities. This includes working to secure personal freedoms and social inclusion, as well as protecting those living with disabilities from poverty. This is particularly important, as many employers in the country discriminate against those with disabilities, making it very difficult for them to support themselves financially.

Deafness is a disability which is not always visually obvious, but it can make everyday tasks like going to the supermarket more challenging. This is particularly true this year, with COVID regulations making face masks compulsory in many indoor spaces. As some deaf people rely on lip reading to communicate, opaque masks can make already tricky tasks more difficult. Deaf Hub operates on several levels to provide support to people who are hard of hearing. They advocate for deaf representation and rights at a national level, and provide consulting services to help companies ensure they are being inclusive. They also offer British Sign Language interpreters for events, and BSL lessons too.

All of these charities can be supported through the Pledjar app, which allows you to round up your card transactions to the nearest pound and donate the spare change to good causes. Get started today and choose the charity you’d like to support this December – every penny really does make a difference.

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