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As Student Celebrates Project, Abbott Calls Him an Inspiration

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott visited Austin High School on Monday to tour new automatic push-button doors, which were paid for by funds raised by an Austin High School senior.

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott applauded Austin High senior Archer Hadley on Jan. 5, 2014, for raising enough money to put in automatic doors at the school.  Hadley raised more than $80,000 for the installation.

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott visited Austin High School on Monday to tour new automatic push-button doors, which were paid for by funds raised by a student. 

Austin High senior Archer Hadley, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, raised more than $80,000 from students, teachers and the Austin community to fund automatic push-button doors on campus. He invited Abbott to an on-campus event celebrating the automatic doors, and the governor-elect showed up on Monday at the front of the school to use the new doors. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not require automated doors.

“As students come into these doors every single day, there are teachers who are getting them ready to take tests. And I know one of the issues we face is whether or not students are being taught to be prepared for too many tests,” Abbott said.

“The reality is there is one test that matters far more than any other test that any student ever takes — and that is the test of whether or not they are ready to go out into life.”

Abbott said Hadley had passed that test. Hadley said he hoped his success would inspire others.

"The goal of this project was to set an example for young students just like me, whether they're disabled or not, to strive to something great," Hadley said. 

Abbott will be the first Texas governor who uses a wheelchair. While campaigning for governor, Abbott referenced his “spine of steel” several times. But Abbott has also faced criticism for arguing that Texas should be granted "sovereign immunity" from the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

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