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.

UTAP Tools and Materials

UTAP Tools and Materials

Tool Kit

Our Universal Trail Assessment Tool Kit includes a complete array of inexpensive and easy-to-use devices that will enable you to assess your trail accurately while keeping your costs down.

Each kit includes:

a Suunto compass to determine the trail bearing;
a Suunto clinometer to measure the average grade between two points of the trail;
a digital SmartTool inclinometer to measure trail sections for maximum grade and maximum and average cross slope in percent, degrees, or rise:run
a Rolatape to measure the trail length and the positions of trail features and points of interest.
Also included in the tool kit is a good old-fashioned tape measure to measure tread and clearance widths and the magnitude of obstacles, two clipboards to hold data sheets, preprinted marking flags, a roll of marking tape, a dictaphone and cassettes, a 2-3 person First-aid Kit, master copies of the Trail Data Forms, a permanent marker for writing on flags, and a backpack for carrying essentials. All items fit into a sturdy carrying bag, with plenty of room left for granola bars and rain gear.

The above items can be purchased separately or as a kit. The Minimum Kit includes all of the above items for one low price, and the Preferred Kit includes a second compass and inclinometer.

For purchasing information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click here for a printable version of the UTAP Order Form in Portable Document Format (.pdf) . You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file. You can download the free Acrobat Reader here.

Trail Assessment Training Manual

The Universal Trail Assessment Coordinator Training Manual teaches you how to assess a trail for access, mapping, and maintenance information. Illustrated step-by-step instructions show how to use each assessment tool, how to accurately measure grade, cross slope , width, and obstacles and how to describe surface type.

The manual includes tips for putting together an effective trail assessment team, checklists for organizing a trail assessment, slope conversion tables (percent:degrees:run/rise), and both the Access Board's and Beneficial Designs' proposed design standards for outdoor recreation access routes and trails.

The Training Manual also teaches you how to correctly complete each line on the Trail Data Form and record trail descriptions. The Training Manual includes examples of obstacles, trail features, points of interest, maintenance issues, and other descriptive information.

Although the Training Manual offers detailed instruction for conducting a Universal Trail Assessment, there's no substitute for hands-on training. We strongly recommend that before you conduct a Universal Trail Assessment, you participate in a Universal Trail Assessment Coordinator Training Workshop.