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.

Manual Wheelchair Training Guide

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: General Skills 1
   1.1 The Owner’s Manual 2
  1.2 Set Up and Adjustment 4
      Wheelchair Types 5
    Wheelchair Component Selection 9
    Verify Correct Seating Dimensions 13
    Wheelchair Setup 14
  1.3 Asking for Help 20
    Defining “Assistance” 20
    Who can Help? 20
    How to Ask for Help 22
    Describing Safe Body Mechanics 23
    When You Do Not Want or Need Assistance 23
  1.4 Learning Your Limits 24
    Shifting Your Weight Forward 24
    Shifting Your Weight Backward 25
    Sideways Weight Shift Technique 26
  1.5 Caster Trail 27
    Changing the Caster Wheel Trail 27
  1.6 Relieving Pressure 29
    Forward Weight Shift 30
    Side-to-Side Weight Shift 31
    Push-Up Weight Shift 31
    Tilting Weight Shift 32
  1.7 Reaching, Bending, and Lifting 33
    Reaching Sideways 34
    Reaching Forward 35
  1.8 Propelling Your Wheelchair 37
  Hand Positioning 38
    Basic Propulsion Stroke 38
    Hand-to-Hand (Left-to-Right) Propulsion 39
    Propelling Backward 39
    Turning Your Wheelchair 40
  1.9 Wheelies 41
    Partial Wheelies 42
    Balance Point 43
    Wheelies 43
    Popping a Wheelie 44
    Wheelies from Motion 45
    Moving in a Wheelie 45
Chapter 2: Navigation Skills 47
  2.1 Smooth Surfaces 48
  2.2 Thresholds and Obstacles 49
  2.3 Doorways and Tight Environments 52
    Manual Swinging Doors 53
    Manual Sliding Doors 56
    Doors in a Sequence  56
    Double-Leaf Doors 57
    Narrow Doors 57
    Automatic Doors 59
    Revolving Doors and Turnstiles 60
    Doors with Objects Around Them 60
    Tight Environments  61
    Turning in Narrow Hallways 61
  2.4 Rough Terrain 63
    Hard, Uneven Surfaces 64
    Soft Surfaces 64
    Crossing on Four Wheels 64
    Crossing in a Wheelie 65
  2.5 Ramps 67
    Going Up a Ramp 67
    Going Down a Ramp 70
    Turning on a Ramp 74
  2.6 Side Slopes 75
  2.7 Curb Ramps 77
    Going Down a Curb Ramp 78
    Going Up a Curb Ramp 80
  2.8 Curbs 82
    Going Up Curbs 82
    Going Down Curbs 86
  2.9 Stairs 89
    Going Up Stairs with Assistance 90
    Going Up Stairs Alone 92
    Going Down Stairs with Assistance 94
    Going Down Stairs Alone 95
  2.10 Elevators and Platform Lifts 97
    Catching an Elevator 97
    Riding in an Elevator  98
    Positioning Yourself in an Elevator  99
    Platform Lifts 101
  2.11 Escalators 102
    Going Up an Escalator with Assistance 102
    Going Down an Escalator with Assistance 103
  2.12 Tracks and Grates 105
    Crossing Railroad and Trolley Tracks 105
    Crossing Grates 107
Chapter 3: Emergency Skills 109
  3.1 Falling and Getting Up 110
    Falling 110
    Getting Up 112
  3.2 Evacuation Procedures 118
    Creating an Emergency Plan 119
    Personal Emergency 119
Chapter 4: Special Circumstances 121
  4.1 Planning Your Route 122
    Transit Stops 122
    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 122
    Rental Vehicles 123
  4.2 Crossing Streets 124
  4.3 Nighttime Safety 127
    General Pointers 127
    Visibility 128
    Emergency Equipment 128
    Protect Yourself 128
    Moving Around 129
  4.4 Hiking 130
    Adaptive Equipment 131
    Asking for Assistance 132
  4.5 Traveling 133
    Travel Planning Tips 133
    Hotel Rooms 134
    Bathrooms and Restrooms 134
  4.6 Weather 136
    Precipitation 136
    Sun 138
    Wind 138
  4.7 Transportation 139
    Cars 139
    Driving 140
    Taxis and Paratransit Vans 141
    Touring Buses and Trains 142
    Transportable Wheelchairs 143
    Air Travel 143
Chapter 5: Body Mechanics 147
  5.1 Protecting Yourself 148
    Body Position 148
    Using Safe Body Mechanics 149
  5.2 Setting Limits and Offering Help 151
    How to Say “No” 151
    Offering Assistance 152
Appendix A: The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 153
Appendix B: Accessories 155
Appendix C: References and Resources 161
Appendix D: Wheelchair Skills Program (WSP) 164