Update to phone lines at our Birchmount and General Hospitals: If calling through Birchmount main line (416-495-2400), add “7” when dialing an extension. If calling through General main line (416-438-2911), add “8” when dialing an extension.


At Scarborough Health Network (SHN), we strive to provide an accessible and inclusive environment for all patients, staff, family members, and those who work, volunteer, or partner with us. We are committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people of all abilities, to ensure that everyone can receive quality, exceptional care in a way that respects each individual’s dignity and independence.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

In 2005, the Ontario Government passed a law called the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) to ensure a more accessible province for people with disabilities. The goal of the AODA is for all of Ontario to be fully accessible by 2025. All public sector organizations including hospitals must be in compliance by 2021.

A new, harmonized policy for SHN was approved in early 2024. The policy establishes accessibility standards at SHN in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005). This policy applies to all employees, agents, volunteers, physicians, students, patients, families and contracted service staff of SHN. Topics covered by the policy include: Providing Goods & Services to People with Disabilities, Procurement, Kiosks, Communication and Format of Documents, Notice of Availability of Documents, Accessibility Internet Websites and Content, Notice of Temporary Disruptions, Inclusive Meetings, Telephone Services, Assistive Devices, Feedback Process, Emergency Procedures, Plans or Public Safety Information, Workplace Emergency Response, Employment, Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, Accessibility Training, and Service Animals.


SHN has established, implemented, maintained and documented a multi-year accessibility plan outlining the strategies under AODA and the supporting standards to meet its requirements in preventing and removing barriers for persons with disabilities. SHN’s multi-year accessibility plan builds on previous years’ plans. The plan includes measures that SHN will take to identify, remove and prevent barriers to people with disabilities who work or use the facilities and services at SHN, which includes review of policies, programs, practices, and services. We will review and update the plan annually as we identify and address barriers.

The 2024-2027 accessibility plan is based on input from SHN employees, professional staff, volunteers, patients, visitors, community members and stakeholders. The plan incorporates and addresses the standards and general requirements of the AODA.

Patient and Family Assistance

For concerns about accessibility or to request materials/resources to be made available in accessible formats, please contact communications@shn.ca

Patients or visitors can call to reserve a volunteer up to 24 hours before their hospital visit. Patients call a dedicated phone extension number prior to their arrival at the hospital to arrange for a volunteer to meet them at the entrance and assist them in navigating the hospital for their appointment. Accreditation Canada identified this initiative as a leading practice in December 2016.

Learn more about the Call Ahead for Volunteer Assistance program.

SHN is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by service animals (dogs) to all areas of the hospital unless excluded by law or public health concern.

We are committed to ensuring that our patients clearly understand clinical issues and health outcomes. The hospital provides assistive devices for our patients and ensures that staff members are knowledgeable about how to access and use these devices. Devices include, but are not limited to:

  • Staxi Chairs, which are available at both main campuses
  • Accessible washrooms, which are available at all of our locations
  • Text Telephones (TTY) and access to sign language, which are available for deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing patients

Dual-handset interpretation phones have been installed at the Information Booths at the General and Centenary hospitals to allow volunteers to assist patients and families with language barriers. Interpretation phones are also available in the clinical areas of all three hospitals.

Learn more about our Interpretation Services.