As the Shafallah Centre in Doha, State of Qatar hosts its second international forum on special needs, we ask, is enough being done to promote the rights of the disabled?
We speak to Cherie Booth, the wife of the British prime minister, who is in the Middle East in her role as patron of a disability charity.
The United Nations say that around 10 per cent of the world's population - that is around 650 million people – live with some sort of disability.
Yet 80 per cent of those living in developing countries have little or no access to the services they require.
The UN has launched an international convention, which once it is ratified, means that states which sign up to it will have to improve rights for the disabled and end discrimination against them.
It is an issue which is passionately believed in by the wife of the British prime minister.
Cherie Booth is a barrister, a human rights lawyer and patron of the British disability charity Scope.
This week she was in Doha at the Shafallah Centre for children with special needs, to promote global acceptance of disability rights.
The Shafallah centre in Doha is the first centre of its kind in Qatar, helping children with special needs and educating parents that disabled children shouldn't be hidden away.
Autism is a condition which usually appears in children in their first 3 years and affects their behaviour and communication skills.
Some are so badly affected they can't interact with other people and need constant care.
No-one really knows what causes it, or how best to treat it; but studies suggest it is on the increase.
In the United States, autism is a national health crisis; a recent report revealed that a million and a half Americans have some form of autism, and for families dealing with the life-long disorder, it means huge psychological and economic pressures.
Everywoman is scheduled to air at the following times:
Tuesday 01 May 2007 (05.30, 14.30 GMT)
Wednesday 02 May (02.30, 07.30 GMT)
Thursday 03 May (06.30 GMT)
Everywoman is presented from Doha by Shiulie Ghosh
Producer Autism: Nashwa Nasreldin
Producer Cherie Booth QC: Nashwa Nasreldin
Production Team: Jane Davidson, Reem Haddad, Diana Ferrero, Jenny Dare, Charlotte Sever, Ju Lin Ong
Editor: Maire Devine