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.

Vehicle Barrier for Trails

Accessible Trail Gate Barrier Technologies 

Project Summary

People with disabilities are often prevented from using trails that prohibit motorized vehicles. Land management agencies are required to provide accessible facilities, but current gate designs that are accessible to personal mobility devices (PMDs), such as wheelchairs, also permit access by small motorized vehicles (e.g., snow machines, motorcycles). As a result, land managers must choose between providing access to people with disabilities and protecting the trail environment from degradation through motorized use. This project will design a trail gate that: prevents motorized vehicle access, allows all non-motorized users and PMDs, and is consistent with accessibility legislation. The results of this project will provide technical benefits through enhanced accessible design capability, economic benefits to rural communities of up to $140,000/year/mile of trail, and social benefits through enhancing the community participation and health of people with disabilities and their families.

Accessible Trail Vehicle Barrier Project Goals

This research project will develop a trail vehicle barrier that:

  • Prevents trail access by motorized vehicles,
  • Allows all non-motorized users, including people who use personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as walkers, wheelchairs or power scooters, and
  • Is consistent with accessibility legislation.

Phase 1 of the project (May to December 2005) will establish the feasibility of designing an accessible trail vehicle barrier, identify distinguishing characteristics of motorized trail vehicles (MTVs) and personal mobility devices (PMDs), document the performance characteristics of MTVs and PMDs, develop at least three initial design concepts for an accessible trail vehicle barrier, and conduct a market survey of land managers on the commercialization issues related to the new barrier design.

Phase 2 of this research (Fall 2006-2008) will build and evaluate the designs developed during Phase 1. The evaluation process will include assessments of the design suitability for different trail environments, design accessibility to trail users with and without disabilities and the effectiveness of the design in preventing MTV access.


This work is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) under Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Grant #2005-00325.