Bijal Lal is the Special Needs Teacher and Transition Expert at the Almuntazir Special Education Needs School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. She teaches independent living and transition skills to adolescents and young adults with disabilities, and helps youth identify employment options that they can seek after their schooling.
She is a champion for both inclusive education and employment, having helped pioneer a new inclusion program at her school that enabled students with disabilities to enter higher mainstream inclusive classes for the first time. She has also taken leadership roles in raising awareness about autism and IDD in her community and striven to create inclusive opportunities around her.
Bijal developed a Fellowship project that sought to train job coaches to help Tanzanian students and adults with autism identify career skills and partner with employers who can give them work experience. Her project drew from both her independent work in Tanzania and programs at U.S. universities that help students with intellectual disabilities transition to postsecondary education and inclusive employment.
Since her Fellowship in Fall 2019, Bijal has resumed her work and continued collaboration with her mentor in the United States. She also co-manages the university’s Tanzania ECHO Program, which provides support and training in U.S. best practices to Tanzanian disability practitioners.
Bijal spent her Fellowship at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center.