How Does MaUSECat Work?
MaUSECat uses an existing commercial program, Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 or 7, combined with public domain media gleaned from the Internet as well as our own speech recordings. Adobe Photoshop Elements is a program marketed to amateur digital photographers. We have merely exploited the features of the program to make it work for our clinical purposes. For example, one of the key features of Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 or 7 is its ability to let users catalog their photos and videos. For most users of the program, this means creating categories such as Tyler's Little League and Christmas 2005. We, however, have created categories such as fricatives, medial /s/, intransitive verb, and Health. This allows us to quickly bring to the screen images relevant to particular clinical goals. Moreover, once the images are selected, they can be displayed in a variety of ways, with or without audible pronunciation of each word.
A second key feature of Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 or 7 is that it permits the user to output collections of images in three kinds of media files:
- PDF files, which can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat
- WMV video files, which can be viewed in Windows Media Player
- HTML files, which can be viewed in Internet Explorer or other browser programs
These files, then, can be played on any PC without the Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 or 7 program or the MaUSECat catalogs and media being installed. Among other uses, this allows you to develop stimulus materials on one computer (e.g., a home desktop) and display them on another (e.g., a school laptop). Furthermore, it provides a means of sending practice stimuli home with the client or patient to be viewed or printed on their computer. Flash drives or even email attachments provide an inexpensive, reusable, and readily available means for delivering the files from clinic to home.