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We host a USA government website that allows administrators to upload documents to share with other users. These documents are usually PDFs, spreadsheets, and Word documents, but occasionally folks will upload .msg files that they've saved from Outlook.

Being a government website, we are required to verify that all documents that are available on the site are compliant with Section 508 for accessibility. Does anyone have any guidance that they use when verifying if a .MSG file is 508-compliant?

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I would say No based on this search string msg file format – Benny Skogberg Nov 16 '12 at 18:33
@BennySkogberg: changing msg to message brings up slightly more, but not much of relevance. By the way: how do you add links to comments with a different "caption" like you just did? – Marjan Venema Nov 16 '12 at 19:36
@MarjanVenema It's part of the Markdown syntax that all the answer and comment edit-boxes use across all the stack exchange sites. Also - see the help link to the right of the comment box when adding a comment! (Is that what you meant?) – Roger Attrill Nov 16 '12 at 20:15
@RogerAttrill: yup. Thanks. Never noticed that pesky help link before... – Marjan Venema Nov 16 '12 at 20:35
The .msg file is not 508 compliant on its own because it is not readable by any application other than Outlook or an an application written to open it. If your visitors are using Outlook then the answer is Yes because Outlook is 508 compliant. If they are using another application to open .msg files then the answer depends on the application they use. – user1757436 Nov 17 '12 at 16:24

In order to prove whether msg-files are section 508 compliant or not I think you need to move to a disability laboratory where they have the equipment to test this issue you’re having. I guess you need to do this before you can use the files. Until then you can advise your users to save the file in a format that you know is section 508 compliant.

Reference: Web Accessibility for Section 508

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