Research supports NDIS businesses’ COVID recovery and growth

10 DECEMBER 2020

Research supports NDIS businesses’ COVID recovery and growth

A team from Charles Sturt University are helping NDIS disability support services around Australia to transition to a new COVID-impacted world.

  • Charles Sturt marketing research supports hundreds of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services across Australia
  • University-government-industry partnership delivers online workshops for NDIS services to adjust to a new COVID-impacted world
  • Over 93 per cent of participating NDIS services surveyed intend to implement strategies offered by Charles Sturt

The team have presented a series of online workshops that provide consumer behaviour research, in partnership with the federal government funded Boosting the Local Care Workforce Program (BLCW).

The workshops have been held for every state Territory, except for Victoria which will have workshops in February 2021.

These workshops are led by Charles Sturt’s Dr Jodie Kleinschafer, researcher and Lecturer in marketing in the School of Management and Marketing; with marketing advice by Ms Kath Attree, Course Director in the Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences; and communication strategy planning by Ms Victoria Erskine, Lecturer in communication in the School of Communication and Creative Industries.

The workshops give businesses operating in this new disability services market some key insights into what carers and participants in the scheme are looking for and how these needs are changing as the market develops and copes with the impact of major disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

BLCW Rural and Remote Specialist Ms Jacqueline Cannon said the idea to collaborate with Charles Sturt University was based on the market intelligence gathered by the BLCW coordinators and discussions with the University on its NDIS marketing research.

“The workshops, titled ‘Building a customer focused marketing and communication strategy for your NDIS business COVID-19 and beyond’, are having a really positive impact on the NDIS businesses,” Ms Cannon said.

“The workshops are providing businesses with key insights into how to adapt the marketing and communications aspect of their business strategy to new and emerging markets.

“More than 200 people have attended the workshops, with more than 93 per cent of the participants polled indicating that they will be making some changes to their marketing and or implementing some of the strategies as a result of what they had learned from the Charles Sturt team. This is a great endorsement for the content and style of the program for us.”

Dr Kleinschafer conducted an NDIS research project through Charles Sturt’s Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS) in the western NSW region over 18 months, looking at the challenges of the transition to the NDIS.

“Our research found there was a disconnect in the perceptions of service providers and carers about how people were exercising choice and control under the scheme,” Dr Kleinschafer said.

“That research has seen us well positioned to respond as organisations work towards COVID recovery and build the resilience to face future challenges, whatever they may be, and that’s been a really rewarding outcome of the project.”

“In the context of an already very complex market, which COVID-19 is changing even more, it is important that NDIS businesses maintain an understanding of the needs of their participants (customers) and use marketing and communication strategies that convey what makes their business unique in the marketplace.

“We have had some excellent feedback from businesses as we have rolled out the workshops; they have really valued the consumer insights and practical advice we are delivering, to help  improve the profile and targeting of their business, which is really why we do this work.”

The online workshops included panel sessions with NDIS participants and/or their representative and NDIS service providers in each state who shared their personal stories about navigating this new market and whose experiences supported the Charles Sturt research.

Workshop participants acclaimed the workshops as ‘fabulous’, ‘ … great, good insights from Charles Sturt, well targeted at the audience’, and ‘brilliant ... reassuring, thought provoking and helpful’.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Jodie Kleinschafer and Ms Jacqueline Cannon (BLCW) contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via

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