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Texas A&M's newest class breaks barriers by teaching students with disabilities how to care for animals

Posted at 11:03 AM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 12:03:24-04

COLLEGE STATION TEXAS — Texas A&M Department of Veterinary Medicine launched a class teaching students with disabilities how to care for animals in society.

Animals in society give students with disabilities the confidence and knowledge they need to explore a future career in veterinary science.

Aggie Achieve student Julia Gault has always had a love for animals.

“I live on a farm with ranches and then did FFA. I didn’t know how to feed the pigs and rabbits, so they helped me out,” said Julia Gault, an Aggie Achieve Student.

Over the years she has learned how to feed and care for them.

“We have a bunch of cows,” said Gault.

Dr. Herman witnessed a great opportunity to give Aggie Achieve students a hands-on learning experience in the trailblazing course Animals in Society.

“Here’s a need and we can help meet that need,” said Dr. James Herman, a clinical professor at Texas A&M.

Aggie Achieve students were combined in a class with undergraduates. This allowed them to learn from one another. Dr. Herman says the Aggie Achieve students exceeded the expectations of the undergrads.

Gault was one of the first students to take the class.

“It was a really cool experience for me it was really awesome to work with other people,” Gault shared.

This never-before-seen class normalizes the idea that people with disabilities can successfully work in this industry as well.

“Opportunities for the students in the Aggie Achieve program to work with veterinary technicians to work in an animal-related industry, so we’re working on building those relationships,” added Dr. Herman.

And giving them the confidence to believe it.

“Maybe like after college, I want to be a veterinary assistant,” Gault said.

According to the U.S bureau of labor statistics veterinarian jobs are projected to grow about 16 percent over the next eight years.