Born and raised in Japan, Makoto Ikegami came to Gallaudet University as a recipient of the Nippon Foundation Scholarship to pursue an MSW degree in social work, achieving a long-held dream to attend a university where all classes and programs are designed without communication barriers.
After graduating in 2009 with an MSW degree, Makoto began employment with PAHrtners Deaf Services (http://www.pahrtners.com/) in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He worked as an intensive case manager where he provided support to deaf people with serious mental illnesses, emotional disorders, and developmental disabilities, assisting them in gaining access to medical, social, educational, and other various services necessary to live and function independently. In 2011 he was promoted as a mental health outpatient therapist, where he provides individual, family and group psychotherapy to deaf clients and families.
Makoto believes that “the importance of networking with your classmates, field instructors and other professionals while one is a graduate student will pay off in a big way after graduation.”
The Japanese ASL Signers Society http://www.npojass.org/ was instrumental in linking Mr. Ikegami with the Nippon Foundation, which provided a scholarship to pursue his MSW degree.