The web has evolved from being an information resource to a fully interactive and transactional platform, and mobile devices mean that we have a continual interaction with software applications.
Our dependence on this rich and ubiquitous technology requires us to use whichever interfaces are made available to us. Typically, these require use of language and we are therefore obliged to use whichever language(s) an application supports. This support is primarily visible to the user interface with which we interact, but extends to language support for information capture, storage, and transmission along with other considerations.
Any restriction on the availability of a language when we use technology can restrict how we use it in our daily interactions with society, services, government, and commerce and with each other.
In Wales, this simply means that any applications should provide equal support for both Welsh and English, to give users the choice to use their preferred language.
Bilingual capability needn’t be burdensome, but does however require attention and careful planning. In many ways this is no different to many other requirements that software must adhere to, such as accessibility, security [link to GDPR and Cyber Security guidance for NHS maybe] and legislation.
The types of applications that should be made available in Welsh as well as English, to meet legislative requirements are as follows:
· Application interfaces made available to patients;
· Application interfaces made available to guardians/carers of patients;
· Application interfaces made available to the public at large;
· Application interfaces that offer specific areas of training for NHS staff;
· Application interfaces that support NHS staff in recording workforce requirements such as leave, rotas, sickness and other absences
This list is meant as a guide and a full list of the Welsh Language Measure 2011 can be found here: English, here is the link to the Welsh site: Cymraeg and the Welsh Language Standards (No.7) 2018 found below. The standards clearly outline the types of services and applications that should be designed and developed in both Welsh and English.
When designing and developing a software application, it is advisable that an Equality Integrated Impact Assessment is undertaken to measure the impact on the following matters:
Wellbeing of Future Generations
Modern Slavery and Ethical Employment
Information Governance and Security; and
Health and Safety
© NHS Wales 2020