Bijal Dipak Lal is a teacher 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 plans to develop a project that will train job coaches to help Tanzanian students and adults with autism identify career skills and partner with employers who can give them work experience. She intends for her project to create new transition opportunities and act as a model for the future, particularly with regard to engaging Tanzanians with intellectual disabilities. She is keenly aware of how individuals with IDD often have even less access to job training or employment resources and hopes that her initiative will generate similar projects that are more inclusive of people with IDD than others have been in the past.