The origins of CRU lie in an initiative of the parent advocacy organisation, Queensland Parents of People with a Disability (QPPD). In its role as a catalyst for improving services for people with disabilities and their families, QPPD, in alliance with some committed professionals, organised the Search Workshop.
Held in October 1987, this gathering of 90 people involved people with disability, parents, service providers and government representatives from all over Queensland, coming together to develop a shared vision for Queensland. One of the initiatives to come from this 3 day gathering was a task force which developed a strategy for supporting, informing and providing training opportunities for people with disabilities, their families, workers and organisations. CRU is a result of that work. Initially sponsored by QPPD, CRU subsequently became incorporated in October 1988.