Autism Coalition For Research & Education (ACRE) 1999 – 2005 | An Autistic History Collection #NotAnAutisticAlly

Autism Coalition & Autism Speaks: Not An Autistic Ally


Autism Coalition for Research & Education (ACRE)

Also known as the Autism Coalition.


Kevin Murray & 3 Board members


1999 – 2005 | Merged with Autism Speaks in 2005.

Affiliated programs/initiatives:

Night of Too Many Stars, Child Health Care Act of 2000, Centers of Excellence, Autism Organization Leaders Council, 10-year Autism Research Roadmap

Affiliated organizations/groups:

Cure Autism Now (CAN), Dan Marino Foundation, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation, National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), Organization for Autism Resarch (OAR), Unlocking Autism, Autism Speaks, First Signs, Families for Effective Autism Treatment (FEAT), Foundation for Educating Children With Autism (FECA), Holistic Learning Center, Max Foundation, UC Mind Institute, The New England Center for Children, Schafer Autism Report, IACC, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Education, NIH, NIMH,

Affiliated people:

Kevin Murray, Jon Shestack, Portia Iverson, Suzanne Wright, Bob Wright, Bernie Marcus, Phil Geier, Dan Marino, Doug Flutie, Emily Gerson Saines, Rita Bigelow, James Schwab, Paul Levine, Gary Mayerson, Robert Smigel, Michael Brogioli, Ann Hyatt, Tory Brucato, Maureen Priolet, Valerie Delaine

Main address:

181 Westchester Ave Ste 306 

Port Chester, NY 10573 



The Autism Coalition for Research and Education (ACRE) was formed in 1999 to give a national voice to non-Autistic parent advocates and their parent-led autism organizations. ACRE was co-founded by Kevin Murray and three board members.

Autism Coalition

The Autism Coalition’s mission was to work with national, state and local organizations that promoted autism research, education and supportive services. The primary goal was to raise funds to accelerate biomedical and applied research, and to work with existing organizations to find the cause, treatments, and cure for autism. ACRE also worked to raise autism awareness.

ACRE attempted to join the overlapping and often warring parent-led autism organizations into a single body to better address the concerns of the autism community. Again, Autistics weren’t included in any meaningful manner in the leadership or goals of this organization.

The Autism Coalition boasted about sponsoring the autism community’s largest single fundraising events, including the Night of Too Many Stars which aired nationally on NBC.

Also, ACRE was proud to be an early sponsor to the pilot research studies that brought ’new talent’ to the field of autism and were ’integral’ in the development of ‘autism legislation’ that later morphed into becoming a part of the Child Health Care Act of 2000. This act authorized the establishment of the Centers of Excellence for Autism Research and Treatment.

Another initiative was the creation of an annual symposium titled Autism Organization Leaders Council. This was attended by the major autism advocacy groups at that time: Cure Autism Now (CAN), National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR) and Autism Society of America (ASA). At that point, autism prevalence was touted as 1 in every 166 children.

The Autism Coalition merged with Autism Speaks in 2005. The goal going forward was to ’add those critical missing pieces’ and launch a national patient network for researchers to have open access to an enormous set of data on Autistics of all ages and types. It was thought to ’reduce the high cost’ and ’speed the pace of research’ to ’lead to real answers’ for Autistic children.

“With the guidance and energy of Autism Speaks Co-Chairs Suzanne and Bob Wright, and with your help, the Autism Speaks campaign will turn the tide on this mysterious epidemic.”

— Kevin Murray, co-founder of Autism Coalition for Research and Education (ACRE)

Autism Coalition Timeline

[Note: More dates will be added as discovered. Last updated: October 18, 2021]

Articles & More With The Autism Coalition

The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community

* The “autism community” is not the Autistic Community. The autism community was created by non-Autistic led organizations and includes mostly parents, professionals and their friends. Most of what the world knows about autism is sourced from the non-Autistic “autism community.”

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