Meri Huws has been appointed as Welsh Language Commissioner and started officially in her role on April the 1st, 2012. On the Welsh Language Commissioner’s website
“The principal aim of the Welsh Language Commissioner, an independent body established by the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, is to promote and facilitate use of the Welsh language. This will entail raising awareness of the official status of the Welsh language in Wales and by imposing standards on organizations. This, in turn, will lead to the establishment of rights for Welsh speakers.
Two principals will underpin the Commissioner’s work:
It is stated on the Welsh Language Commissioners website
“The Welsh Language Act 1993 does not place a direct statutory duty on third sector organizations to provide Welsh language services.
Many third sector organizations do provide bilingual services voluntarily because:
• In Wales, the Welsh language should be treated no less favourably than the English language
• Persons in Wales should be able to live their lives through the medium of the Welsh language if they choose to do so”
• it is in keeping with their identity
• it is seen as good practice
• they want to provide a Welsh language service in order to respect the user’s language choice"
Third Sector organizations that have functions of a public nature may be required to prepare Welsh language schemes as part of a grant condition or contract with a public organization.”
The voluntary and community sector has traditionally been prominent and innovative in securing equality and inclusion. An increasing number of 3rd sector organisations can see the benefits of offering a bilingual service, without there being a legal obligation for them to do so, to secure a better service for their clients and the public.
One of the Welsh Language Commissioner’s main strategic aims is to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language and works to encourage the use of the language among third and private sector organizations on a voluntary basis.
The Commissioner’s promotion and facilitation team offer free advice and support to businesses and third sector organizations. By completing the Welsh Language Progress Plan, they can assess their current provison, and plan to increase their use over time.
Find out more on the ‘Hybu’
microsite, along with research, guidelines and videos from others sharing their experiences of the benefits of using the Welsh language.
A framework to allow you to plan your use of the Welsh language with an emphasis on increasing that use over time.
How does it work?
Step 1: A questionnaire to assess your current use. A questionnaire has been created that enables you to get an idea of your current use in various areas that are part of the day to day activities of a business or charity.
Step 2: Based on your responses to the questionnaire, the system will create the basis of an action plan on your behalf with an idea of your current level of provision (from 1 to 3) in each area.
Step 3: You can then set targets in the plan to aim for the next level, improving your provision for users and customers. Ask one of the Commissioner's officers for more information or discuss with one of our local partners.
Step 4: Present your progress plan to the Commissioner.
Remember, you can contact the Commissioner at any point during the process to discuss further and receive practical advice on how to move forward. Take a look at the events and training calendar to find opportunities to learn more about the benefits of using the Welsh language.
You can find the questionnaire here.