it came time to decide on a college, Savanna (Law) Daniels ’16 had to look further than the graphic design programs she was interested in. She lost her hearing when she was 18 months old because of a hereditary condition, and she wanted to make sure the college she chose was willing to work with her.

“Missouri Western assured me they could provide services that would give me equal access in the classroom,” she said.

All her classrooms were wired so she could connect her computer to receive Real Time Captioning Service to transcribe the lectures. “If I missed anything, the notes would be on my computer screen, which was a huge help.”

Daniels graduated with a graphic design degree and was hired before graduation as a graphic designer and marketing coordinator for the Kansas City Ballet.

Last year, she created the promotional design looks for Septime Webre’s world premiere of “The Wizard of Oz” in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and her wicked witch design was on the cover of KC Studio Magazine.

She also developed the creative concepts for the 2019-20 season and is working on a “new look and feel” for the Kansas City Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker.”

“Being deaf has its challenges for sure but it also has its advantages,” Daniels said. “It gives me the drive and motivation to work hard and to succeed in everything that I do. It has also taught me to advocate for myself to be given the same opportunities as everyone else. I’m constantly striving to prove that I can do anything a hearing person can, except hear.”

She gives her parents credit for her success as well. “My parents wanted me to have every opportunity available to me, so from a very early age I was put in speech therapy, taught to read lips, learned sign language and worked with a teacher of the deaf to develop my language skills until I graduated high school,” she said. “If it hadn’t been for my parents and my teacher, Deb Sparks, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Daniels says she loves working in the performing arts industry and plans to keep learning, growing and changing. The field of graphic design, she says, is always evolving, and she loves the challenge of coming up with new concepts and ideas.

“I want my story to be about the fact that even though I have a disadvantage with my hearing loss, if you work hard, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to,” Daniels says. “Missouri Western exemplifies the fact that everything is possible, because they gave me the tools I needed in order to achieve my goals.”