Welcome to

Beneficial Designs

We are located in Minden, Nevada just east of the Sierras. We believe all individuals should have access to the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of life. Please earn more about us!


We have many different services available to meet your needs. Beneficial Designs provides highly efficient assessment and transition plan services to identify hazards and access issues in the sidewalk and outdoor recreation environments.

Wheelchair Testing

We can insure that your manual and powered wheelchair products will be tested to meet the requirements necessary for Pricing, Data Analysis and Coding (PDAC), 510k submission to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and/or United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) submission.

Sidewalk Assessment

Sidewalk assessment services are available; our sidewalk assessors are assessing college campuses and cities all across the country using the Public Rights-of-Way Assessment Process—PROWAP—electronics and software. Call today to see how our services can help you identify tripping and ADA liabilities.

Outdoor Recreation Assessment Equipment

Our trail assessment products and software have been developed to enable you to locate liabilities and access issues. We are constantly developing the right tools to efficiently assess all outdoor environments for the safety and enjoyment of people of all abilities.

Surface Measurement Tools

The Rotational Penetrometer is a precision instrumented surface indenter for measuring the firmness and stability of ground and floor surfaces, such as trails, playgrounds, and carpets. The Rotational Penetrometer is the only device of its kind—a reliable, objective, portable instrument for testing surface firmness and stability.

Mapping and Signage

The Architectural Barriers Act—ABA—requires that trail signage contain Trail Access Information, which is created from data collected during trail assessments using the Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP) and the High Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP). All trail users find grade, cross slope, tread width, surface, and obstruction information useful for the enjoyment of trails.

Trail Training

Onsite training is available to become a certified Trail Assessment Coordinator using the Universal Trail Assessment Process (UTAP) and to become proficient in the use of the High Efficiency Trail Assessment Process (HETAP) hardware and software.

Pax Press Publications

Published books include The Manual Wheelchair Training Guide, The Powered Wheelchair Training Guide, and A Guide to Wheelchair Selection. These guides provide new and experienced users and rehabilitation professionals with valuable reference materials.

Research and Development

We are working on new technologies that will make your access issues disappear. We are currently developing an application for mobile devices that will enable the efficient assessment of all outdoor recreation environments, including picnic and camping areas, outdoor recreation trails, and access routes.

Expert Witness Services

Peter Axelson can assist as an expert witness for powered and manual mobility devices. He has knowledge and experience related to the training of mobility device users and the design, manufacturing, prescription, fitting, and usage of mobility devices. He also has the expertise to assess the environment in which the accident may have occurred.

Sidewalk Assessment

More than 400 miles of sidewalk and a dozen college campuses in 5 states have been  assessed. Allow us to help your city with all your assessment needs.

Expert Witness Services

If you or somone you know needs an expert witness for forensic testing of mobility devices, contact us today!

Press Releases

Our team has worked hard on releasing the newest versions of the trail assessment equipment and software as well as the rotational penetrometer an instrumented surface indentor. 

Wheelchair Testing

We are always performing wheelchair testing requested by manufacturers. Check out what options you have when choosing Beneficial Designs.

Company Information

Company Information

Our Mission

 BD Meridian Location

Beneficial Designs works towards universal access through research, design, and education. We believe all individuals should have access to the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of life. We seek to enhance the quality of life for people of all abilities, and work to achieve this aim by developing and marketing technology for daily living, vocational, and leisure activities.

Our Work

Beneficial Designs develops assistive and adaptive technology, performs rehabilitation research, contract design, legal consultation, standards development, and serves as a rehabilitation information resource.

Adaptive Recreation Equipment

After sustaining a spinal cord injury, Peter Axelson founded Beneficial Designs in 1981 to manufacture his Arroya Sit-ski design. Many Beneficial Designs devices, including hand controls for manual transmission vehicles, and a piano pedal pusher operated by the abdominal muscles, have been inspired by Peter Axelson\'s desire to reestablish the physical, intellectual, and spiritual balance in his own life.

Peter Axelson's zest for outdoor recreation has led Beneficial Designs to specialize in the development of a variety of adaptive recreation equipment, including mono-skis, cross-country snow skis, a wave ski for surf kayaking, and ultralight aircraft modifications.

To help wheelchair users maintain optimal hand/arm condition and flexibility, Beneficial Designs has developed a dynamic rowing machine to exercise the upper limb muscles that oppose normal wheelchair pushing.

Beneficial Designs, Inc.  

Rehabilitation Research & Development

At Beneficial Designs, we develop assessment systems and devices to give people the information they need to access a variety of environments. This work includes developing the Universal Trail Assessment Process to obtain and deliver access information about outdoor recreation trails, and designing devices and methods to objectively measure surface firmness and stability, characteristics that impact accessibility.

We also develop technologies to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. This work includes designing, building, and testing innovative wheelchairs, ergonomic wheelchair back support shaping systems, and devices to assess hand strength that serve as clinical tools to research hand, arm, and shoulder overuse injuries common to manual wheelchair users.

Design Consultation

Beneficial Designs offers comprehensive design and consultation services to manufacturers and developers of new rehabilitation products. Complete production facilities and skilled technical support permit us to receive a concept, develop it into a design, fabricate a prototype, and conduct product testing until a technology is ready for manufacturing.

Legal Consultation

Beneficial Designs conducts research and testing for legal cases, and Peter Axelson provides expert testimony in cases involving rehabilitation equipment.