129 - A Legacy in FASD and Law - A Conversation with Kay Kelly

April 28, 2022

FASD Hope is a podcast series about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), through the lens of parent advocates with over nineteen years of lived experience.

FASD Hope is honored to welcome Kathryn "Kay" Kelly in Episode 129, titled "A Legacy in FASD and Law". Kathryn Kelly, called Kay by most who know her, came to the University of Washington after an extensive career in criminal justice. She worked for nine years as a probation officer for the state of California, and for twenty years as a federal probation officer. She was retrained as a mitigation specialist and served for three years as part of a team assembled by the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles to represent inmates on Death Row seeking redress of their death penalty sentences.

In 2001, Kay joined the Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit (FADU) at the University of Washington, working with Dr. Ann Streissguth. With a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she and Dr. Streissguth established the FASD Legal Issues Resource Center. In that role, Ms. Kelly has planned and/or participated in numerous trainings for judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and other court professional throughout the United States, and in numerous foreign countries. Since 2013, she has organized a series of conferences about FASD and the law held in conjunction with the biennial UBC - Vancouver International Conference on FASD.

Ms. Kelly was instrumental in the organization of the first forensic FASD diagnostic team, FASDExperts, and in the passage of an American Bar Association Resolution on FASD in 2012.

Ms. Kelly is also a Research Coordinator for a National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)-funded five year project: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Adults: Health and Neurobehavior.  Ms. Kelly is a Board member of the FASD United Affiliate - Washington.

In this ENLIGHTENING episode, Kay discusses the following: her work and contributions in the FASD community, her amazing work with Dr. Ann Streissguth / FASD Legal Resource Center, her current projects and initiatives....and words of experience, encouragement and hope for parents and caregivers.


Kathyrn "Kay" Kelly - faslaw@uw.edu

Tel- 206-616-5408


University of Washington - FADU


FASD Resolution - ABA



FASD Hope -



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Check out our  book “Blazing New Homeschool Trails: Educating and Launching Teens with Developmental Disabilities” by Natalie Vecchione & Cindy LaJoy  BUY IT NOW!


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