Version: October 2014
Sight Life (Cardiff Institute for the Blind) is part of the RNIB Group and works in partnership with RNIB Cymru. Our vision is of a world in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same rights, freedom, responsibilities and quality of life as people who are fully sighted.
The Welsh Language Measure 2011 gives the Welsh language official status in Wales and also included the principle that the Welsh language should be treated no less favourably than the English language. This document is available in Welsh here.
Voluntary organisations do not fall directly under this Measure, but Sight Life acknowledges that offering a service in the chosen language of the user is an integral part of good practice and equal opportunity, and will strive to do so where practically and financially possible.
It should be recognised that as a small charity, the extent to which we can provide information and services in Welsh, or any other language, is often going to be limited. Sight Life currently has no Welsh speaking member of staff but we are currently in the process of reviewing how many of our volunteers can speak and write in Welsh in order to support us in this area.
2. General Principles
In conducting public business in Wales, Sight Life will, where practicable and affordable, treat the Welsh and English languages on a basis of equality. Language is an essential part of a person’s identity and warrants respect, and our ability to provide information and services will be reliant on the resources available.
3. Sight Life’s Commitments
Sight Life will demonstrate respect for the Welsh language through all its activities, and will be appropriately responsive to the linguistic needs of Welsh speakers.
Sight Life will also work with RNIB Cymru to support these commitments where appropriate.
4. Corporate identity & marketing communications
Sight Life’s logo will be bilingual.
Signage within our headquarters will be bilingual.
Stationary and email signatures will be bilingual.
Core publications and marketing materials, including accessible formats, will be bilingual.
Any Welsh speaking staff will be trained to undertake media interviews where the role is appropriate to do so.
5. Funding applications and contracts
Where appropriate, all funding applications will take account of the cost of delivering a bilingual service.
All contracts should reflect the true cost of translation and production in print and accessible media such as audio and Braille, in Welsh and English.
6. Written and telephone communications
All written correspondence received in Welsh will be answered in the language of the original correspondence where reasonably practicable.
The head office switchboard will be answered with a bilingual greeting and head office answerphone will carry a bilingual message. Individual staff telephone extensions will also apply the same where that individual is a fluent Welsh speaker.
As staff posts or volunteer roles become vacant, they will be allocated a language designation, which is used in recruitment. All new posts introduced are also given a language designation.
The language designation considers the degree to which communicating in Welsh is necessary in carrying out the post’s duties. In some cases, the language designation may reflect the requirements of funders or stakeholders.
The following designations are used:
- Welsh essential – only candidates who define themselves to be fluent in Welsh can be shortlisted and interviewed. For Welsh essential posts, a short written and verbal test will be conducted as part of the interview. Welsh verbal essential is accepted for certain posts.
- Welsh an advantage – where the ability to speak Welsh is given an equal priority in the interviewing process to other essential requirements, but does not prevent non-Welsh speakers from being short listed or appointed. An agreement to appropriate Welsh language training can form a part of the job offer.
- Welsh desirable – ability to speak Welsh is considered only after other relevant factors are weighed, and is used where there is little difference in other factors between candidates.
Welsh Essential job descriptions and person specifications for salaried posts in Wales will be produced in Welsh.
If the ability to speak Welsh is an essential requirement for a salaried post, the advertisement will be in Welsh only. There will be a note on the advert in English explaining that this is a Welsh Essential post. If the ability to speak Welsh is not essential, then recruitment advertisements in Wales will be bilingual if affordable. Where a post designates Welsh as essential, then a Welsh speaker must be on the interview panel.
8. Training and Development
Sight Life will support members of staff wishing to learn Welsh.
9. Implementation and Monitoring
Actions regarding Welsh language will be monitored and reviewed as part of the Annual Marketing and Communications Action Plan.
Any comments in relation to Sight Life’s ability to respond to Welsh-speaking customers should be directed to the following address:
Director of Operations