Helen Keller Lecture to be held Oct. 16

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 4, 2001

at Troy State

Staff Report

Dr. David Hartman, a Virginia psychiatrist who became the first blind person to earn a medical degree, will deliver the keynote address at the Seventh Annual Helen Keller Lecture.

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The public is invited to attend the lecture, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Oct. 16 in the Adams Center Performing Arts Theatre on the Troy State University campus. The lecture is part of Disabilities Awareness Week at TSU.

The Keller Lecture is designed to promote awareness of people with disabilities, particularly those who excel in their chosen field despite physical limitations. The lecture is sponsored by the colleges of Education and Health and Human Services at TSU, the Helen Keller Eye Research Foundation, the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the State Department of Education Division of Instructional Services, Special Education Services.

Hartman, a native of Havertown, Pa., lost his sight to glaucoma at age 8. He attended a school for the blind until eighth grade, when he transferred to the public schools of Havertown. Following graduation from Gettysburg College in 1972, he attended medical school at Temple University. In 1977, he began his psychiatric residency at the University of Pennsylvania.

Following graduation, Hartman spent two years on the University of Pennsylvania faculty before moving to Roanoke, Va. in 1982 to being a practice in general psychiatry. He is a member of the professional staff of the Lewis Gale Clinic in Roanoke.

Hartman’s autobiography, "White Coat, White Cane," dealt with his struggle to prepare for and apply to medical school. The book was adapted into a script for a 1975 made-for-TV movie called "Journey from Darkness," starring Marc Singer as Hartman.

Hartman is married to the former Cherie Walker, who earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology and works with teenagers at risk of dropping out of high school. The couple has three children.