OBJECTIVE: Aims of this study are to assess the activities of daily living (ADL) for disabled persons in some rural communities using an appropriately developed ADL scale and to analyse the relationship between severity of impairment and ADL score. METHOD: ADLs of 98 disabled persons in two myeons of Kyunggido were assessed from May 1996 to August 1997. The newly developed ADL index composed of eight basic ADL (B-ADL) and two instrumental ADL (I-ADL) parameters were used. Impairment defined by the National Reparation Law was divided into a severely disabled group, grades 1 to 6 and a mildly disabled group, graded 7 to 14. Correlations between the impairment grade of each body part and the assessed ADL score were studied. RESULTS: 1) The most dependent ADL item of ten ADL parameters was performance in the public office (37.8%) and, the most independent ADL item was feeding (98.0%). 2) With severe impairment of the upper or lower limb, all ADL scores except for feeding were significantly low (p<0.05). In addition, with severe hearing impairment, scores of performance in public office were accessed low (p<0.05). 3)With severe lower limb impairment, average scores of I-ADL and B-ADL were low (p<0.05). 4) With severe language impairment, the average I-ADL score was also low (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: The task of performance in the public office was the most difficult ADL item for disabled persons. All ADL parameters except feeding were affected for disabled persons with lower or upper limb impairment. We think this pilot study may be used to develop more appropriate ADL scales for community based rehabilitation in the future.