College student leads others to roll a mile in his shoes

Archer Hadley was born with cerebral palsy. But spend any time with Archer and you learn he's determined not to let his circumstances control his life.

AUSTIN - Living life in a wheelchair has its challenges. Archer Hadley knows that. He was born with cerebral palsy. But spend any time with him and you learn he's determined not to let his circumstances control his life. In fact he’s turned his challenges into change.

From the food to the seating, Alamo Drafthouse magnifies the movie experience.

“We want to make sure we are doing the very best for our guests,” said Amy Averett, director of family and community engagement for Alamo Drafthouse.

But it's about to do more.

“All of our buildings are ADA compliant, but we know compliance is not excellence," she said.

Next week you'll see many Alamo Drafthouse workers rolling the hallways in wheelchairs. That's thanks to Hadley.

“I could have never dreamed that this would grow into what it is now,” Hadley said.

It's all part of Archer's Challenge. What started as a day set aside to challenge all of us to look at the world differently has now turned into a week.

It's a mission he began three years ago. Born with cerebral palsy, Hadley had never been able to enter or exit Austin High School without help. There were no automatic doors.

“I was tired of waiting for someone to open the door for me,” he said.

So Archer changed that, encouraging people to spend a day in his shoes, rolling through the halls of his high school. He raised nearly $100,000 more than enough to install new doors. But he didn't stop there.

This next week city leaders, every-day-people and employees at businesses such as the Alamo Drafthouse will spend a day in wheelchairs.

“It's an opportunity to see where we can improve and do better,” Averett said.

Hadley's suggestions are already helping. The Alamo Drafthouse is considering a few changes such as popcorn bowls with rubber on the bottom so they don't slide so easily.

“They've been experimenting with different types of tables,” Averett said.

Tables that can move up and down depending on your disability.

For Hadley, this is about more than just changing the movie watching experience -- it's about inspiring others.

“That's why I'm doing it -- is to get people off their heinies to leave their house, to believe in themselves, to do something to make the world a better place,” Hadley said.

Archer's Challenge kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Town-Lake YMCA. That's where groups of people will run relays in wheelchairs. There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved next week, too. Learn more here.

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