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.

A Guide to WC Selection

A Guide to Wheelchair Selection

For book purchases, contact:

Click here for a printable order form. This book is also available electronically on amazon and nook

An Indispensable Resource

A Guide to Wheelchair Selection: How to Use the ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standards to Buy a Wheelchair is designed to help consumers make better educated decisions when purchasing a manual or powered wheelchair. The guide clearly explains how to use the ANSI/RESNA Wheelchair Standard test results to compare the characteristics and performance of both manual and powered wheelchairs. This publication is also useful, in combination with the Manual and Powered Wheelchair Training Guide's, as a textbook for Occupational and Physical Therapy programs. Future therapists, with the help of this publication, will be able to help their patients choose the appropriate wheelchair that will meet all of his or her needs. 

Wheelchair Standards

Since 1982, the ANSI/RESNA Standards Subcommittee on Wheelchairs has been developing standards to test and measure wheelchairs. These standards encourage manufacturers to produce better products by giving consumers a means to compare different wheelchairs and by establishing a minimum quality level.

Using the Standards

The book provides an overview of the ANSI/RESNA standards, including:

  • the rationale for each test
  • a brief description of the test methods
  • how the test results will be presented
  • what the test results mean

wheelchair locker cartoon

Determination of Maximum Speed –
How fast can the chair go?

The Right Wheelchair for You

In addition to educating consumers about wheelchair standards, the guide provides tips on how the wheelchair should fit, lists general lifestyle considerations to take into account when considering models, and suggests ways to prioritize features desired on the chair. The appendix lists additional resources consumers can consult.

wheelchair static stability cartoon

Determination of Static Stability -- How tippy is the chair? Having the ability to lean forward in your wheelchair allows you to negotiate steeper slopes.


Funding to write this book was provided by the Paralyzed Veterans of America Spinal Cord Injury Education and Training Foundation.

Written by Peter Axelson, Jean Minkel, and Denise Chesney; Illustrations by Peter Thomas; Published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America.