Maha Helali earned her Masters in Inclusive and Special Education from the Institute of Education of University College London. She quit her post with UNESCO to establish the Learning Resource Center (LRC) in 1996, and then established with other parents, the Egyptian ADVANCE Society for Persons with Autism & Related Disorders in 1998, and has been the Chairperson since. Maha was chosen in 2007 as an Ashoka Fellow in support of her mission of including persons with Autism in the Egyptian Community. She co-established the Arab Network for Autism (ANA) and served as Secretary of the Board since 2009. From 2011 to 2018, Maha was President of the Foundation of the Egyptian Experts and Organizations in support of the Inclusive Education Foundation in Egypt (IEF). She was also President of the Inclusion International – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from 2012 to 2018. In 2015, she was chosen as a board member of the Egyptian National Council for Persons with Disability (NCPD) representing parents of people with intellectual disabilities, and in 2016, she became the Vice-Head of the Women with Disability Committee (WwD) at the National Council for Women (NCW). In 2018, Maha was awarded by Amwal Al-Ghad Magazine, in its Outstanding Women Initiative to empower women, as one of the Top 50-Most Influential Women in Egypt for 2017.