Information needs of the end users have never been discussed: An investigation of the user-intermediary interaction of people with intellectual impairments
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBerget, G. (2020). Information needs of the end users have never been discussed: An investigation of the user-intermediary interaction of people with intellectual impairments. In: H. O'Brien & L. Freund (Eds.). CHIIR '20: Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval. New York: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 93-102
Many people with intellectual impairments experience challenges searching for information. Consequently, they rely on intermediaries (e.g. caregivers) to solve their information needs. In the field of IIR, little is known about this user-intermediary interaction. More empirical data is therefore needed, both to understand how to support the intermediaries and increase the possibilities for people with intellectual impairments to solve information needs themselves. In this study, 25 people working with adults with intellectual impairments were interviewed about the information needs of the end users and the routines for solving these needs. The purpose was to explore when and how the userintermediary interaction occurred. According to this study, most end users had limited access to information sources, and relied almost entirely on intermediaries. Further, the technological skills among the intermediaries seemed to affect access to and use of digital devices. Few end users expressed information needs outside everyday life. Moreover, information needs were given very little attention and solving such needs were not part of the routines at most facilities.