Re-situating Information Poverty: Information Marginalization and Parents of Individuals with Disabilities

Gibson, Amelia N.; Martin III, John D.
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

This article outlines a constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) study of information poverty among a group of mothers of individuals with Down syndrome and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from a critical perspective, drawing on concepts from critical disability theory, critical race theory, and critical work within information and library science. The researchers gathered interview data from 24 mothers. Resulting data were inductively analyzed using Chatman's (1996) theory of information poverty. We propose information marginalization as a complimentary concept to describe the contextual conditions that contribute to a range of defensive information behaviors and suggest that assessment of these contextual conditions be a part of the system design process. This study has implications for the development and design of systems and service models intended to provide access to information and services for individuals with disability and contributes to a critical literature on information poverty.