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.

Back Support Shaping System

Need for a Better Back Support

The upholstery on most sling-back wheelchairs sags after a few months of use. Sitting in a wheelchair with sagging upholstery causes poor posture that, over time, can lead to back pain, neck pain, and spinal and pelvic deformities.

Project Goal

The goal of this project was to develop an affordable, lightweight, comfortable, orthopedically correct, and easily adjustable back support designed to work with existing sling-back upholstery. Unlike commercially available back supports, which must be removed to fold the wheelchair, cannot be added to existing sling upholstery, and are unable to conform to the contours of different individuals, the back support shaping system was designed to adjust to the different activities of the wheelchair user.

Phase I Prototype Development and Clinical Testing

In January 1993, Beneficial Designs developed a back support system that consists of support pads that hook onto the upright frame members of a wheelchair behind the sling-back upholstery. One support pad is contoured to fit the lower back, while the other, consisting of two smaller pads connected by a tension strap, is designed to provide support for the upper back. The horizontal tension straps on each support can be adjusted to customize the amount of support the pad provides.

Sixty-nine subjects participated in a short term clinical evaluation of back support prototypes and provided feedback to optimize the design specifications. The Back Support Shaping System improved comfort, spinal posture and wheelchair mobility in the majority of subjects, and 70% reported it was more effective than any back support they had used before.

Phase II Long Term Clinical Testing

In June 1994, 40 subjects wore the back supports for a year and evaluated them for durability, posture, comfort, and function. Their comments were used to develop the back support shaping system into a design suitable for commercial marketing. The back support shaping system was shown to improve posture, comfort, and function.

The low back support is now being manufactured by PinDot Products by Invacare Corporation as the PaxBac, and was introduced at the March 1996 International Seating Symposium held in Vancouver.

PaxBac by PinDot Products


This project was funded by the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health through Small Business Innovation Research Phase I Grant #1 R43 HD29983-01 and Phase II Grant #2 R44 HD29983-02.