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Written expressive language is often difficult for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. And yet, there is a need for these voices to be heard and seen. Our InFocus Advocacy poet, Lauren Beja, is a published author working with individuals to share poetic messages that describe an appreciation for community and a desire for inclusion. Our poetry groups are inclusive, providing an opportunity for people of all abilities to explore writing, share personal stories, learn from each other, and develop friendships within the program, all while educating the public about the varied abilities and perspectives among us. Poetry InFocus premiered in Spring 2017 and is currently continuing in the Fall 2020. This five-week program will be entirely virtual as to remain compliant with current guidelines. Lauren Beja and writing enthusiast and self-advocate, Ally Clayton, will be facilitating  a meaningful and exciting program that allows people from all walks of life to connect and share their stories, feelings and experiences as we navigate this entirely new season of life together.

Lauren Beja, Poet
Lauren & Poetry Program Participant
InFocus Advocacy Poetry Program Participants

We are different, each of us. 

We come from different 





Not a single one of us is the same

But it doesn't take conformity

To create beauty


Our goal is simple

To take each one 

Of our stories

Our experiences

Our messages

And create one voice 


One voice to inspire the voiceless to take heart,

And the loud to speak louder

To make a noise in each of our communities


We are here

We have come together

As one

With the unity of the written word


Which is stronger than

Any Disability



That could break us


It is a common passion that unites us

And we want to share that with you

 So join us

Walk in our shoes

Roll in our tracks


And let us teach you

Things about your world

You never knew.

                           ~By Allyson Clayton

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