New York Local 3's Sportsmen's Club members donned T-shirts and comfortable shoes for an autism awareness walk in 2023 to support local charity Eden II. It's one of a number of ways that Local 3 supports autism acceptance throughout the year.

Across the country, IBEW locals are lighting up their halls, posting on social media and engaging members in other activities to recognize members of their unions and communities who have autism.

As part of its recognition of autism awareness, Baltimore Local 24 is sharing graphics on social media and on an LED display outside the hall.

This year marks the 16th annual World Autism Awareness Day, celebrated April 2 as part of World Autism Month. Autism spectrum disorder, as it's medically defined, is a neurological and developmental condition that affects how people interact with others, including how they learn and behave. Some people with ASD, who may also go by the term neurodivergent, are diagnosed as children while others are well into adulthood before it's detected.

Individuals on the spectrum can work any job, including those held by IBEW members. As such, a number of locals participate in Autism Awareness Month. St. Louis Local 1 is lighting up its hall in blue, the color often associated with autism awareness, as it has done in years past.

New York Local 3 and its affiliated clubs also participate in a variety of ways. Last year, its sportsman's club held a walk and fundraiser, something it’s done for years, raising tens of thousands of dollars. And Baltimore Local 24 has created graphics that it is sharing on social media and an LED display outside the hall.

IBEW locals, including Local 3 and Local 24, also support autism awareness outside of April, with walks and other activities held at various times of the year.

"Some Local 24 families have members that have autism or are neurodivergent. Raising awareness helps with acceptance and understanding," Business Manager Mike McHale said. "Local 24 has been promoting awareness for several years, and we are sure many of our members have been doing it much longer. Unions are a place for everyone."