About Us

Autism Action Network is a national, non-partisan, grassroots, political action organization formed by parents in support of children and adults with autism, vaccine injuries, and neurodevelopmental and communication disorders. We are dedicated to advancing public policy issues affecting people with autism and related disorders, protecting their human and civil rights, educating the public and media, supporting candidates sharing our goals in state and federal elections, and holding accountable those in government who do not act in the best interest of people affected by autism and related disorders. Our vision is that all people with developmental and communication disorders will grow and successfully participate in their community. Our mission is to be a strong and unified voice for people with neurodevelopmental and communication disorders so that each person will be provided with the support necessary to live a full and productive life. Our goals include developing and organizing a strong advocacy support resource for people with neurodevelopmental disorders, their families and communities, advancing education, health insurance coverage, research, legal and legislative issues affecting people with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

We began as A-CHAMP (Advocates for Children's Health Affected by Mercury Poisoning) in 2005. Our initial focus was on legislative efforts to end the use of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in vaccines. We were partially successful in that effort, and it is still a goal we continue to pursue. In 2008 we changed our name to Autism Action Network to reflect the wider range of issues we seek to influence.

Dedicated to the Memory of Liz Birt

Liz BirtThis website is dedicated to the memory and ongoing inspiration of A-CHAMP board member and co-founder Liz Birt who died tragically young in an automobile accident on December 28, 2005 in Aspen, Colorado.

In addition to her work with A-CHAMP, Liz founded Medical Interventions for Autism, was a founding board member of the National Autism Association, and co-founder and board member Coalition for SafeMinds. Liz was a principal author of Mercury in Medicine, the staff report released by the House Committee on Operations and Government Reform in 2003 that for the first time focussed Congressional attention on the toxicity of mercury used as a preservative in childhood vaccines.

Liz's son Matthew was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder in 1996. She dedicated her life to finding out what caused his disorder and what could be done to help him and the thousands of children who suffer with autism spectrum disorders today. Her brilliant mind, strong spirit and passion for truth propelled the entire autism community forward.

Liz, a corporate and tax attorney by training, lived in Wilmette, Illinois with her three children Sarah, Matthew and Andrew Lopez. She was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.