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New smart phone app highlights importance of Welsh in healthcare education and practice

20 March 2012

A new app, launched by Cardiff University this week for healthcare students, will highlight the importance of the Welsh language in health, social care and higher education in Wales.

The app (a software application for smart phones and mobile devices), ‘App Iechyd Da’, includes information about a variety of Welsh language-specific initiatives such as demographic trends, political directives, economic influences, and useful Welsh language communication guides.

Its glossary of terms ranges from ‘Canadian model of occupational therapy’ to everyday vocabulary like ‘bore da’ (with phonetic pronunciations), alongside an extensive directory of industry contacts.

"We hope all our students, and indeed clinical colleagues, will make maximum use of this free downloadable app," said Dr Gwilym Wyn Roberts, Cardiff School of Healthcare Studies. "It will be a valuable tool in academic and clinical studies at all levels and across a variety of programmes."

"Professionals and students need to be aware of patients’ unique cultural and linguistic background," added Dr Roberts. "Bilingual skills increase graduates’ employability, and the app will encourage non-Welsh speaking students to develop their language skills by undertaking Welsh courses."

The app will be launched at the Welsh Therapies Advisory Conference in Cardiff on Thursday (March 22nd) by Alison Strode, Therapies Advisor to the Welsh Government. She said: "I am delighted to support the app developed by Cardiff University. The Welsh Government's vision is to see the Welsh language thriving in Wales and to increase people’s awareness of the value of Welsh. This app will give more opportunities for students and others to engage with the Welsh language through modern technology. "

The app, created by design and development studio ‘fi a fo’, is initially available for Apple devices, but is to be developed for Android devices too.

It is available for download by students who can use it on their iPod touch or iPhone if they are in a location without an internet connection, and is also available to the general public.

The project was made possible with the help of a £2,500 grant from the Higher Education Academy.

The School of Healthcare Studies Cardiff University who developed the App is the leading provider of education for allied health professionals in Wales and one of the leading schools in the UK.

It provides pre-registration programmes, recognised by the UK Health Professions Council, in occupational therapy, operating department practice, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography and radiotherapy & oncology.

It also offers a wide range of post-registration and postgraduate programmes. This provision is supported by its rapidly developing research profile and its links to a wide range of clinical placement providers throughout Wales.

Notes to editors

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010.

Further information

Emma Darling, Public Relations, Cardiff University Tel: 02920874499 Email:

Dr Gwilym Wyn Roberts, Director of Occupational Therapy, School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff University Tel:(0)29 206 87797