Mareks Odumiņš was born in 1989 and comes from Bauska, Latvia. Marek had a joyful youth and is positive and happy with life. About one year ago, Marek’s life vastly changed as he was involved in an accident and he is now a wheelchair user.
The accident altered Mareks daily routine completely as he now depends on family and friends for help with everyday tasks. Due to the lack of support from the Government of Latvia, it is difficult for him to change his situation. He joined other disabled people in Latvia who cannot participate fully in society.
Marek lives on the fifth floor in a high-rise building. There is no lift in his building. He is imprisoned in his own home. Marek says, “I am already nine months in a trap”. As a result of this, he cannot access regular treatment through physiotherapy which is important for his future.
Marek along with other disabled people in Latvia is also not satisfied with the new personal assistant law as it only allows for the employment of not more than one, personal assistant. For Marek, he would need more than one personal assistant in order to live his life fully.
Seven months ago Marek sent a letter to the municipal government asking for support to move from his place of living on the basis that he the building is completely inaccessible. Unfortunately, he did not receive any support to improve his living situation.
Article 20 of the UN CRPD states that State Parties shall take effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence for disabled people including facilitating the personal mobility of disabled people in a manner and time of their choice and at affordable cost. Marek is being denied this right.