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.

FlexRim Low Impact Wheelchair Pushrim 

Final Report PDF

Project Goal

The goal of this research project is to develop and evaluate a FlexRim low impact wheelchair pushrim. This innovative pushrim is designed to lower the impact forces experienced by wheelchair users during propulsion. The FlexRim reduces impact forces by replacing the rigid interface normally found between the wheelchair wheel and the pushrim with a flexible interface. When an impact load is delivered to the FlexRim during propulsion, the FlexRim is able to displace relative to the wheel and reduce the impact stresses related to upper extremity injuries.

Need for Low-Impact Pushrims

Approximately 65% of manual wheelchair users experience upper extremity pain or injury, which can significantly impact their mobility and independence. Research has demonstrated a relationship between impact stresses on the upper extremities during wheelchair propulsion and upper extremity injury. Impact stresses occur when the hand contacts the pushrim, transmitting the stresses to the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Current pushrim technologies do not effectively reduce these impact stresses.

Phase I FlexRim Concepts

In Phase I, three FlexRim concepts were developed and evaluated to determine their effect on propulsion kinetics, wheelchair maneuverability, and mechanical efficiency. The concepts allowed the pushrim to translate relative to the wheel, thus lowering the impact forces. FlexRim prototypes that allowed translational displacement resulted in reduced impact forces and mechanical efficiencies greater than 96%. Wheelchair users preferred FlexRim prototypes with conservative force-displacement characteristics.

FlexRim Shock Mount Concept

Phase II Proposed R&D

A proposal was submitted to the National Institutes of Health in April of 1999 for Phase II funding. In Phase II, new FlexRim concepts will be developed and evaluated based upon Phase I results. Biomechanical evaluations of impact loading and mechanical efficiency will be conducted at the Pittsburgh Human Engineering Research Laboratories with 15 subjects. In addition, 30 wheelchair users will evaluate the FlexRim over a three to six month period of use. Because the FlexRim reduces impact stresses related to upper extremity injuries, it serves to prevent injury, and preserve function and mobility.


This research was co-funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Center for Injury Prevention & Control (NCIPC), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Grant # 1 R43 HD36533-01.