Brain implants are near in the future, they could possibly assist people with deafness or blindness such as the picture below. So far brain implants have been expiremental, scientists have been able to read monkey's minds. Brain implants have been used to fiz hearing problems and blindness so far.
external image blind_.jpg
Resources:
http://www.dickran.net/img/blind_.jpg
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6127
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6645