Ms. Kerryann Ifill

Ms. Kerryann Ifill is a well-known Barbadian activist who has ceaselessly promoted the rights of people with disabilities. Since losing her vision at the age of four, the 50-year-old has gone on to become the youngest person and first woman to be appointed President of the Barbados Senate. This was after becoming the first person with vision loss to complete a University of the West Indies degree (with Honours) at UWI’s Cave Hill campus, before completing a Master’s in Business Administration and postgraduate diploma in Special Education.

Ms. Ifill has been one of the premier advocates for the adoption of assistive technology for children with special needs, from primary through tertiary levels. She has been instrumental in preparing Barbados’ educational institutions to receive visually impaired students, one of whom went on to become Barbados’s first blind attorney-at-law.

She has also served the wider disabled community of the Caribbean by advancing a more inclusive agenda regionally. She has served as President of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, President of the Barbados National United Society of the Blind, President of the Caribbean Council for the Blind, and Vice-Chair of the Commonwealth Disabled People’s Forum. Her colleagues and admirers say that her advocacy has been so powerful it has created a ripple effect, encouraging others to work towards a more equitable and compassionate world.

Since 2022, Ms. Ifill has served on the Barbados Constitutional Reform Commission, and has also a member of Barbados’s National Committee for the Monitoring of the Rights of the Child. In 2023, she was awarded the national honour of the Order of Freedom of Barbados and is now styled “The Most Honourable Kerryann Ifill, FB”.

For an illustrious track record of empowering people with disabilities through her advocacy for legislative and educational improvements, Ms. Kerryann Ifill is our Public & Civic Contributions Laureate for 2024.